Former Steelers on HOF List

<b>CANTON, OH – </b> Former All-Pro quarterbacks Dan Marino and Steve Young, both first-year eligible candidates, head a list of eighty-nine former players, coaches, and contributors who make up the preliminary list of nominees for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2005.

From this preliminary list, Hall of Fame selectors will choose 25 candidates who will advance as semi-finalist nominees. The list of 25 semi-finalists will be announced later next month.

The 25 semi-finalists list will be reduced by a mail ballot to 13 modern-era candidates. That list will increase to 15 finalists with the addition of two previously announced Senior Committee nominees, Benny Friedman and Fritz Pollard. Friedman, a two-time All-America quarterback at Michigan, played with the Cleveland Bulldogs (1927), Detroit Wolverines (1928), New York Giants (1929-1931), and the Brooklyn Dodgers (1932-1934). Pollard, an All-America at Brown, played and sometimes coached for four different NFL teams, the Akron Pros/Indians (1919-21/1925-26), the Milwaukee Badgers (1922), the Hammond Pros (1923, 1925), and the Providence Steam Roller (1925). Fritz also spent time in 1922 and 1923 playing for the strong independent pro teams in the Pennsylvania "Coal League."

The Class of 2005 will be selected from the list of 15 finalists. The actual voting will be conducted at the Selection Committee's annual meeting, which will be held on Saturday, February 5, 2005, in Jacksonville, Florida, the day before Super Bowl XXXIX. The election results will be announced immediately after the meeting at a press conference in the media headquarters. While there is no set number for any class of enshrinees, the ground rules provide that between three and six new members will be selected.

Other first-year eligible candidates joining Marino and Young for consideration for the Class of 2005 include wide receiver Michael Irvin, and linebacker Derrick Thomas. Also on the impressive preliminary list are four former head coaches, and eleven contributors, including NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

To be considered for Hall of Fame election, a nominated player must have been retired at least five years. For a non-player, there is no mandatory retirement period, but a coach must be retired before he may be considered. A contributor, who is a nominee who has made outstanding contributions to pro football in capacities other than playing or coaching, may still be active in his pro football career.

PRELIMINARY LIST OF NOMINEES FOR THE CLASS OF 2005

Nominees in First Year of Eligibility

Quarterbacks: Dan Marino, Steve Young

Wide Receiver: Michael Irvin

Guard: Nate Newton

Defensive Lineman: Charles Haley (DE/LB)

Linebackers: Kevin Greene, Derrick Thomas

Defensive Back: Steve Atwater (S)

Coach: Dan Reeves

Additional Nominees:

Quarterbacks: Ken Anderson, Jim Plunkett, Phil Simms, Ken Stabler, Doug Williams

Running Backs: Roger Craig, Gerald Riggs, Herschel Walker

Wide Receivers: Cliff Branch, Harold Carmichael, Mark Clayton, Isaac Curtis, Mark Duper, Henry Ellard, Louis Lipps, *Art Monk, Haven Moses, Drew Pearson

Tight End: Todd Christensen, Russ Francis, Brent Jones

Centers: Ray Donaldson, Jay Hilgenberg (also G), Kent Hull, Rich Saul, Jeff Van Note

Guards: Russ Grimm, Chris Hinton (also T), *Bob Kuenchenberg

Tackles: Jim Covert, Leon Gray, Joe Jacoby, Mike Kenn, Henry Lawrence (also G), *Gary Zimmerman

Defensive Linemen: Curley Culp (DT/G), Fred Dean (DE), *Richard Dent (DE), Mark Gastineau (DE), L.C. Greenwood (DE), Claude Humphrey (DE), Ed "Too Tall" Jones (DE), Joe Klecko (DE-DT-NT), Harvey Martin (DE), Fred Smerlas (NT/DT)

Linebackers: Matt Blair, *Harry Carson, Randy Gradishar, Rickey Jackson, Clay Matthews, Karl Mecklenburg, Sam Mills, Chris Spielman, Darryl Talley, Andre Tippett

Defensive Backs: *Lester Hayes (CB), Albert Lewis (CB), Lemar Parrish (CB), Ken Riley (CB), Donnie Shell (S), Everson Walls (CB), Roger Wehrli (CB)

Special Teams/Position Players: Elbert Shelley (DB), Steve Tasker (WR)

Punter/Kicker: Ray Guy (P), Nick Lowery (K)

Coaches: Don Coryell, Jimmy Johnson, Chuck Knox

Contributors: C.O. Brocato, Ed DeBartolo, Jr., Pat Haggerty, Art McNally, Art Modell, Ed Sabol, Steve Sabol, Paul Tagliabue, Ralph Wilson, Jr., Ron Wolf, *George Young

* Notes: On last year's 15 Finalists List

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