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 one of 16 first-year Hall of Fame nominees

Posted by: Mark Craig under NFC Updated: September 12, 2013 - 7:47 AM

Sixteen first-year candidates, including former Bucs and Colts head coach and Vikings defensive coordinator Tony Dungy, are on the list of 126 nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2014.

Dungy, the former Gophers quarterback who went on to win a Super Bowl as head coach of the Colts, is one of eight nominees with links to the Vikings. The one with the strongest link is former safety Joey  Browner, who earned four consecutive first-team All-Pro honors and went to six Pro Bowls while playing for the Vikings from 1983-91. He also played a year with the Bucs in 1992.

Browner has been a nominee before, but has never been a finalist. Other nominees this year with links to the Vikings are: QB Randall Cunningham, RB Roger Craig, RB Herschel Walker, OL Chris Hinton, K Morten Andersen and K Gary Anderson.

Other first-year nominees include former Colts receiver Marvin Harrison and former Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks.

The Hall's board of selectors will trim the list to 25 in late November. That list will then be reduced to 15 in early January. Those 15 modern-era candidates will join the two senior candidates -- former Raiders punter Ray Guy and former Falcons and Eagles defensive end Claude Humphrey -- to be considered for the Class of 2014 by the board of selectors in New York the day before Super Bowl XLVIII.

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