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A Trio Of Former Colts Named 2015 Pro Football Hall Of Fame Finalists

Intro: The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced their finalists for the 2015 class on Thursday night. Which Colts connections made this year’s cut?


INDIANAPOLIS – A trio of former Colts are one final step away from being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

On Thursday night, Tony Dungy, Marvin Harrison and Bill Polian were announced as three finalists for the 2015 Hall of Fame class.

The 15 finalists will be dwindled down to a class no larger than five modern inductees (doesn't include Polian) on Saturday, January 31.

It marks the second straight year that Dungy and Harrison have made it to this stage as modern era finalists.

Many thought Harrison should have been a first-ballot inductee last year as he finds himself in the top-five of several NFL receiving lists.

Dungy became the first NFL head coach to lead his team to the playoffs in 10 consecutive years.

With three different franchises, Polian made playoff appearances 17 times in 24 years. His teams reached the Super Bowl on five different occasions.

Here's the NFL’s full list of finalists who could be getting the call to Canton (first-year eligible finalists denoted with an asterisk):

Morten Andersen, kicker (1982-2004, 2006-2007): Drafted in 1982, Andersen scored more than 90 points in each of 22 seasons and topped 100 points 14 times in his 25-year career. Andersen's best moment might have been a game-winning field goal in overtime to send the Falcons to Super Bowl XXXIII.

Jerome Bettis, running back (1993-2005): Bettis rushed for 1,000-plus yards eight times and ranked fifth all-time in career rushing yards at the time of his retirement. The running back affectionately known by fans as "The Bus" helped Pittsburgh to a Super Bowl XL title in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan, before riding off into the sunset.

Tim Brown, wide receiver (1988-2004): The 1987 Heisman Trophy winner spent all but one season in Oakland, setting multiple franchise records and finishing with the second-highest total receiving yards in NFL history at the time of his retirement. Brown was an All-Pro choice as a kick returner in 1988 and as a wide receiver in 1997, and finished with 100 receiving touchdowns.

Don Coryell, head coach (1973-77, 1978-1986): An innovator who introduced a passing system decades ahead of its time, Coryell first brought the St. Louis Cardinals out of the doldrums, going 42-27-1 in five years. The coach then installed his "Air Coryell" offense after taking over the San Diego Chargers in 1978, amassing more than 24,000 yards from 1978 to 1983 and capturing three AFC Western Division crowns from 1979 to 1981.

Terrell Davis, running back (1995-2001): Once taken as an afterthought in a crowded backfield, Davis stormed into the starting lineup and led a ground game that powered the Denver Broncos to back-to-back Super Bowl titles in 1997 and 1998. Davis was a three-time All-Pro selection and 1998 NFL MVP before a knee injury cut his career short. He topped the 2,000-yard plateau in 1998.

Tony Dungy, head coach (1996-2008): Dungy took over a Tampa Bay Buccaneers franchise known only for perennial failure in 1996 and ushered in a turnaround that culminated in Tampa Bay's Super Bowl XXXVII victory a year after Dungy's departure. No matter for the coach, who moved on to Indianapolis, where he won Super Bowl XLI and finished with a career regular-season record of 139-69.

Kevin Greene, defensive end/linebacker (1985-1999): A three-time All-Pro, the former Ram posted double-digit sack totals 10 times. A member of the NFL's All-Decade Team of 1990s, he currently ranks third among all-time sack leaders with 160.

Charles Haley, defensive end/linebacker (1986-1996; 1999): Haley is the only player in NFL history to play on five winning Super Bowl teams, earning rings with the Cowboys and 49ers. He has 100-plus sacks for his career.

Marvin Harrison, wide receiver (1996-2008): Teaming with Peyton Manning, Harrison posted eight consecutive 1,000-plus yard seasons with 10 or more touchdowns. A six-time All-Pro, he shattered the record for receptions in a single season with 143 in 2002. He was a member of the Colts team that won Super Bowl XLI.

Jimmy Johnson, coach (1989-1993, 1996-1999): Johnson left the college ranks to take over the downtrodden Cowboys in 1989 and lead a turnaround that included two Super bowl titles in five seasons. After leaving Dallas, Johnson returned to the league in 1996 as head coach of the Miami Dolphins, and led the team to playoff berths in his final three seasons on the sideline.

John Lynch, safety (1993-2007): Lynch was an integral member of a historically great defense that led the 2002 Bucs to a Super Bowl title. A four-time All-Pro, he racked up over 1,000 tackles during his 15-year career.

* Orlando Pace, offensive tackle (1997-2009): The longtime St. Louis Ram earned five All-Pro nods and led an offensive line that blocked for three straight NFL MVPs. A member of the team that won Super Bowl XXXIV, he was one of the dominant tackles of his generation.

Bill Polian, contributor (1978-1982, 1984-2011): Polian spent more than three decades helping build franchises into dominant playoff teams, resulting in five Super Bowl appearances between the Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts. Polian was also at the helm of the expansion Carolina Panthers, building a roster that made it to the NFC Championship in the franchise's second year of existence.

* Junior Seau, linebacker (1990-2009): Seau led the San Diego Chargers to their lone Super Bowl appearance in franchise history. An eight-time All-Pro, he was the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year in 1992.

Will Shields, guard (1993-2006): Shields was the definition of durability, playing 224 straight games from his rookie season until his retirement in 2006. The lineman was named first-team All-Pro three times, during which he blocked for an NFL-best scoring offense featuring running back Priest Holmes in 2002 and 2003.

Mick Tingelhoff, center (1962-1978): Signed as a free agent out of Nebraska in 1962, Tingelhoff earned the starting center position as a rookie and never relinquished it. The durable, seven-time All-NFL/All-Pro Tingelhoff anchored a Vikings offensive line that helped win 10 division titles from 1968 to 1978 and appeared in four Super Bowls. He's the lone senior finalist for the Class of 2015.

* Kurt Warner, quarterback (1998-2009): A two-time NFL MVP, Warner led the Rams to their only Super Bowl championship in franchise history. He then led the Arizona Cardinals to their lone Super Bowl appearance, totaling three Super Bowl games for the two-time All-Pro. Warner entered the league as an undrafted free agent and owns the three highest passing yardage totals in Super Bowl history.

Ron Wolf, contributor (1963-1974, 1976-2001): Starting as a scout for Oakland in 1963, Wolf made a lasting mark as player personnel director, building Raiders teams that won nine division titles and appeared in three Super Bowls. Wolf later moved on to Green Bay, where he assembled a roster that claimed three straight NFC Central division titles and won Super Bowl XXXI. He's viewed as one of the best talent evaluators in NFL history.

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