Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Dungy among 15 modern-era finalists for Hall of Fame

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, Bears, NFC, Super Bowl Updated: January 9, 2014 - 8:46 PM

Tony Dungy, the former Gophers quarterback and Vikings defensive coordinator who went on to become the first African American head coach to win the Super Bowl, took another step toward the Pro Football Hall of Fame by making this year’s list of 15 modern-era finalists in his first year of eligibility, the Hall of Fame announced on Thursday night.

Joining Dungy as first-year eligible finalists are two players he coached – Buccaneers 11-time Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Brooks and Colts receiver Marvin Harrison, who ranks third in NFL history in receptions (1,102) and fifth in receiving touchdowns (128) – as well as Seahawks nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Walter Jones. Another former player of Dungy's -- Buccaneers safety John Lynch -- also made the final 15.

"This would be something beyond belief," Dungy said on the NFL Network when asked what it feel like to enter the Hall of Fame alongside Brooks, Harrison and Lynch, who is in his second year of eligibility. "When we [got to Tampa Bay], we just talked about building a structure and getting a team that could win some games. I got to Indianapolis and saw Marvin Harrison operate. ... To see him practice and do what he does and be the focal point to the point where everybody was trying to stop him. We didn't put him in motion, we didn't move him around. We put him on the right side. You could triple cover him if you wanted to, and to catch 140 to 150 balls every year, it was just phenomenal. So I am looking forward to all three of these young men go into the Hall of Fame."

Also selected from the list of 25 modern-era semifinalists were: kicker  Morten Andersen, running back Jerome Bettis, receiver Tim Brown, owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., linebacker Kevin Greene, defensive end Charles Haley, receiver Andre Reed, guard Will Shields, defensive end Michael Strahan and safety Aeneas Williams.

The group of finalists will be joined by two senior nominees, Ray Guy and Claude Humphrey, for consideration for the Class of 2014. The entire 46-member Selection Committee will meet on Feb. 1 in New York City to hold its annual selection meeting on the eve of the next day’s Super Bowl in New York. Between four and seven new Hall of Famers are chosen each year. No more than five modern era finalists can be chosen.

Dungy, 58, spent four years as a Gophers quarterback, but joined Chuck Noll’s Pittsburgh Steelers dynasty as a safety from 1977 to 1978. He won a Super Bowl before moving on to the 49ers in 1979 and a brief stint with the Giants before being released before the 1980 season.

Dungy spent the 1980 season coaching defensive backs at the University of Minnesota before moving back to the NFL as Steelers defensive backs coach (1981 to ’83) and defensive coordinator (1984 to ’88). He went on to be Chiefs defensive backs coach from 1989 to ’91 and Vikings defensive coordinator from 1992 to ’95 before getting his first head coaching job.

In 13 seasons as an NFL head coach in Tampa Bay (1996 to 2001) and Indianapolis (2002 to ’08), Dungy’s only losing season was his first in Tampa Bay. He posted a 148-79 record (.652), including a 9-10 postseason mark that included a 29-17 win over the Bears in Super Bowl XLI.

Anderson played 25 seasons, finishing his career with the Vikings in 2004.

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - J. Peavy 7:07 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Houston 43 2nd Qtr 0:48
Orlando 49
Brooklyn 22 1st Qtr 0:58
Boston 20
Washington 25 2nd Qtr
New York 24
Cleveland 7:00 PM
Memphis
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Milwaukee
Atlanta 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Portland 9:00 PM
LA Lakers
Phoenix 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Toronto 0 Postponed
Ottawa 0
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Washington 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Buffalo 9:30 PM
Anaheim
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Chivas USA 8:30 PM
Real Salt Lake
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who should get the Twins' managing job?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT