The 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame candidates were announced exclusively during a one hour special on the NFL Network Wednesday night and of 126 nominees there were 16 first year eligible candidates amongst the group of some of football’s greatest players to not make the Hall of Fame.
Greats of the 00’s such as Marvin Harrison, Shaun Alexander, Derrick Brooks, Warrick Dunn and Zach Thomas headlined the list of the first ballot players in this year’s Hall of Fame eligible class. Mike Holmgren and Tony Dungy headline the coaches while the former coach of Derrick Brooks and Warrick Dunn filled out the third eligible first ballot Hall of Famer in the coaches wing as former Raiders head coach Jon Gruden cracked the list of 2013 first ballot nominees.
Over the course of ten years in the NFL split between Oakland and Tampa Bay, Gruden compiled a 100-85 overall record during 11-year career. Gruden also led teams to five division crowns, including one conference championship and one Super Bowl title won famously over his former team in the Raiders with the Bucs. Gruden also won NFL Coach of the Year one time in 2002.
Gruden joins Tom Flores in the group of former Raider coaches looking to get into the Hall. Flores is one of only 13 coaches who have won two or more Super Bowls. Flores also led his teams to an overall record of 105-90 and shows just how hard it is to make it into the Hall of Fame as a coach. That is the uphill battle Gruden will be facing as he tries to crack a waiting list that already includes contemporaries such as Dan Reeves, Dick Vermeil, Chuck Knox, Jimmy Johnson, Marty Schottenheimer and fellow first years in Tony Dungy and Mike Holmgren. Many have better resumes that Gruden’s very short career as an NFL coach. With such a long list of former great NFL coaches waiting to get their day in the Hall of Fame it is very unlikely that we will see Gruden’s bust in Canton anytime soon.
Here is the full list of first year nominees:
QB: Trent Green | RB: Shaun Alexander, Warrick Dunn | WR: Marvin Harrison | OL: Willie Anderson, Walter Jones LB: Derrick Brooks, Tedy Bruschi, Willie McGinest, Zach Thomas | DB: Rodney Harrison, Sam Madison, Patrick Surtain |Coach: Tony Dungy, Jon Gruden, Mike Holmgren
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will choose 25 candidates who will advance as semifinalist nominees. The list of 25 semifinalist nominees will be announced in late November.
That semifinalist list will be further reduced by a mail ballot to 15 modern-era finalists and announced in early January. The Class of 2014 will be selected from the list of the 15 modern-era finalists plus the two senior nominees (former Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders punter Ray Guy and former Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Claude Humphrey) who were selected last month by the Hall of Fame’s Senior Selection Committee.
The actual voting for the Class of 2014 will be conducted at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee’s annual meeting, which will be held in New York City on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014 the day before Super Bowl XLVIII. The election results will be announced at a live announcement show that evening.