Two Michigan Natives to Learn Hall of Fame Fate Today


The Detroit Lions don’t have any players up for today’s Pro Football Hall of Fame vote to determine the Hall’s class of 2015, but there are two Michigan natives. Jackson’s Tony Dungy is a finalist for what he was able to accomplish as a head coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts. Also up for the Hall is Detroit’s Jerome Bettis for his playing career, first with the Rams then with the Steelers.

In his Hall of Fame predictions on yesterday, Elliot Harrison indicated that he initially thought Dungy would get it. Harrison wrote:

"Dungy completely turned around the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and won a Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts. His social impact is difficult to ignore. And now that another head coach — John Fox — has failed to win a Super Bowl with Peyton Manning at quarterback, perhaps Dungy’s title triumph takes on more meaning."

However, Harrison became less sure after talking to various football people this week at the Super Bowl.

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"And my sense is that Dungy, who received much attention in 2014 as a first-year eligible, has fallen back to the pack. If coaches like Bill Cowher (whom Dungy once worked under) and Johnson are waiting … well, you get the picture."

Odds for Bettis look even longer.

"With Jerome Bettis being on the proverbial doorstep for the fifth straight year — and I see him staying there — I have a hard time seeing Terrell Davis getting the call in his first year as a finalist. I’m on the record with Davis; I feel he deserves the honor. But, as an employee of the NFL, I am currently ineligible to be a voter."

This year’s finalists include:

Morten Andersen, kicker
Jerome Bettis, running back
Tim Brown, wide receiver/returner
Don Coryell, coach
Terrell Davis, running back
Tony Dungy, coach
Kevin Greene, linebacker/defensive end
Charles Haley, defensive end/linebacker
Marvin Harrison, wide receiver
Jimmy Johnson, coach
John Lynch, safety
Orlando Pace, offensive tackle
Junior Seau, linebacker
Will Shields, offensive guard
Kurt Warner, quarterback

The Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2015 will be announced later today.

Next: Seniors to Watch at the 2015 NFL Combine

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