The NFL revealed its complete list of modern-era candidates for the 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame class Wednesday night, and two of the 16 first-year eligible candidates are former Colts.
Wide receiver Marvin Harrison and head coach Tony Dungy are both stand outs among the candidates and have legitimate chances of entering Canton as first-ballot Hall of Fame-rs.
Marvin Harrison is the only first-year eligible wide receiver on the list, a testament to the incredible accomplishments he achieved throughout his 13-year career, all of which was spent with the Colts. The Colts drafted Harrison with the 19th over all pick in the 1996 NFL Draft, and the wideout went on to become one of the most prolific receivers in NFL history. Harrison was voted to eight Pro Bowls and was part of the Colts’ 2006 Super Bowl championship team. He ranks in the top 10 all time in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns, and he set a single season record for receptions when he caught 143 passes from Peyton Manning in 2002. The duo of Manning and Harrison was named the top passing combination of all time by the NFL in 2008. Harrison retired in 2009.
Tony Dungy is one of three first-year eligible coaches on the list of 2014 Hall of Fame candidates, but he is one of the most deserving. Dungy, in 13 seasons as a head coach, only had one losing season. Dungy pretty much split his head coaching career between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1996-2001) and the Colts (2002-2008), but he will forever be considered a Colt after leading the Indianapolis franchise to its first Super Bowl win in 2006. Dungy was also the first African American head coach to win a Super Bowl. The Colts made the playoffs every year that Dungy was their head coach, and under him they won five consecutive AFC South titles from 2003 to 2007. Dungy is now a NBC football analyst and a part of the network’s “Football Night in America” broadcasts. He also serves as a mentor to NFL players who struggle off the field with personal issues.
Dungy and Harrison are sure to be among the 25 semifinalists announced in late November to make next year’s Hall of Fame Class. From there, they will have to be selected to a final mail ballot of 15 Hall of Fame nominees. The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014 will be revealed on the eve of Super Bowl XLVIII on February 1, 2014.
It’s only a matter of time before these two Colts legends receive their Hall of Fame busts and gold jackets. Regardless of whether they make the Class of 2014, Marvin Harrison and Tony Dungy have more than earned places in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.