Former Green Bay Packers linebacker Dave Robinson is one step closer to enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Robinson, 71, who played with the Packers from 1963 to ’72 before spending his final two seasons (1973-74) with the Washington Redskins, on Wednesday was announced as one of the two senior finalists for the Class of 2013. Defensive tackle Curley Culp, 66, is the other senior nominee. He played for the Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Oilers and Detroit Lions from 1968 to ’81.
The Hall of Fame began the process of selecting senior nominees, originally known as old-timer candidates, in 1972. A senior nominee is a player whose career ended at least 25 years ago.
The designation was changed from old-timer candidate to senior nominee in 1990, and the nominees were increased from one to two in 2004. Selection as a senior nominee doesn’t guarantee enshrinement; Robinson and Culp still must receive 80 percent of the vote, just as modern-era candidates need for induction. The vote will take place on Feb. 2, the day before Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.
The nominees were chosen by a seniors committee comprised of nine members of the Hall of Fame’s overall selection committee. The candidates are narrowed through a mail-in vote, and then the final two are chosen by the committee.
Since the two-nominee system began in 2004, at least one of the two candidates has been elected to the Hall and both candidates have been selected five times.
Robinson, a first-round pick out of Penn State in 1963, teamed with Hall of Famer Ray Nitschke and Lee Roy Caffey to form a dominant linebacking corps for Vince Lombardi’s 1960s Packers.
During his 10 years in Green Bay, Robinson won one NFL championship and two Super Bowl titles. He was selected to the Pro Bowl three times and was MVP of the 1967 Pro Bowl.
Sacks and tackles weren’t tracked when Robinson played, but he did intercept 27 passes in his career, 21 as a Packer. If Robinson were elected to the Hall of Fame, he would be the 22nd Packer in Canton, Ohio, and the 11th from the Lombardi era.
Culp, a second-round pick out of Arizona State in 1968, began his career with the Chiefs that season. He was selected to the Pro Bowl twice with the Chiefs (1968-74) and four more times with the Oilers (1974-80). He finished his career with the Lions in 1981.