Former Bucs Derrick Brooks, John Lynch named HOF finalists
Tampa Bay Buccaneers legends Jonh Lynch and Derrick Brooks, as well as former coach Tony Dungy, were all named finalists for the Hall of Fame.
Safety John Lynch (left) and linebacker Derrick Brooks (right) were crucial in turning around the Buccaneers.
USA TODAY Sports
By Andrew Astleford
TAMPA, Fla. -- Chances are the Pro Football Hall of Fame will have larger Tampa Bay Buccaneers presence next summer.
Former coach Tony Dungy, former linebacker Derrick Brooks and former safety John Lynch were among the 15 modern-era finalists, 17 total, to be named Thursday night. Each will be considered for election when a 46-member selection committee meets Feb. 1 in New York City.
Brooks, 40, has the best chance to be enshrined. He's arguably the greatest defensive player in franchise history, the most valuable member of a unit that was a large reason why the Bucs captured their lone title in Super Bowl XXXVII. During his time with the Bucs from 1995-2008, he amassed 1,715 tackles with 25 interceptions, along with 13 1/2 sacks. He was an 11-time Pro Bowl player and a nine-time All-Pro.
Dungy, 58, coached the Bucs from 1996-2001 and helped give life to a lost franchise. He led them to four playoff appearances in his last five seasons. He went 54-42 in the regular season during his time with Tampa Bay, posting a 2-4 record mark in the playoffs. In addition, he became the first African-American coach to win a Super Bowl when he guided the Indianapolis Colts to a victory in Super Bowl XLI over the Chicago Bears, coached by current Bucs leader Lovie Smith.
Lynch, 42, was known as one of his era's most physical defenders. A nine-time Pro Bowl player and a four-time All-Pro, he had 787 tackles and 23 interceptions in his time with the Bucs from 1993-2003. He concluded his playing career with the Denver Broncos from 2004-2007.
Only two people with Bucs ties are currently enshrined. Former defensive lineman Lee Roy Selmon was inducted in 1995, and former defensive tackle Warren Sapp was voted in last year.
Here's a complete list of the finalists.
-- Morten Andersen, Kicker: 1982-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-2000, 2006-07 Atlanta Falcons, 2001 New York Giants, 2002-03 Kansas City Chiefs, 2004 Minnesota Vikings -- Jerome Bettis, Running Back: 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers -- Derrick Brooks, Linebacker: 1995-2008 Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Tim Brown, Wide Receiver/Kick Returner/Punt Returner: 1988-2003 Los Angeles/ Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Edward DeBartolo Jr., Owner: 1977-2000 San Francisco 49ers -- Tony Dungy, Coach: 1996-2001 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2002-08 Indianapolis Colts -- Kevin Greene, Linebacker/Defensive End: 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers -- Ray Guy, Punter: 1973-1986 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders -- Charles Haley, Defensive End/Linebacker: 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys -- Marvin Harrison, Wide Receiver: 1996-2008 Indianapolis Colts -- Claude Humphrey, Defensive End: 1968-1978 Atlanta Falcons, 1979-1981 Philadelphia Eagles -- Walter Jones, Tackle: 1997-2008 Seattle Seahawks -- John Lynch, Free Safety: 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos -- Andre Reed, Wide Receiver: 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins -- Will Shields, Guard: 1993-2006 Kansas City Chiefs -- Michael Strahan, Defensive End: 1993-2007 New York Giants -- Aeneas Williams, Cornerback/Safety: 1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 2001-04 St. Louis Rams