Colts HOF connections: Dungy, Harrison

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 31, 2014
Anyone looking for an expert to discuss the candidacies of Marvin Harrison and Tony Dungy for the Pro Football Hall of Fame didn't need to search very far during Super Bowl week. Hey, Peyton, what do you think? ''Marvin Harrison had a tremendous impact on my career,'' star quarterback Peyton Manning said before getting ready to lead the Denver Broncos into the NFL title game against Seattle. ''My very first football game in the preseason, on the third play of the game, I threw my first pass. I threw him about a 4-yard pass, and he ran 48 yards for a touchdown. I said, `Boy, this NFL is pretty easy. All you do is throw it to Marvin Harrison and he runs for touchdowns.' ''That's pretty much what he did throughout the time we played together.'' Harrison did it so well that he made 1,102 catches for 14,580 yards and 128 touchdowns in 13 seasons with the Colts, 11 years with Manning throwing to him. They set a record with 953 completions, 12,766 yards and 112 TDs together. Dungy was Manning's coach for seven seasons, winning a Super Bowl, and just as importantly initiating a franchise philosophy based on honesty, trust and never panicking. ''Coach Dungy's influence on me and our entire team was very strong,'' Manning said. ''His calming presence - that face that you see on TV when he's giving away all of our plays on the NBC halftime show - it's that same calm face he always had which was peaceful for our players in a Super Bowl, in a championship game, in the preseason. It made players on his team play calm and play at a high level. ''I'm indebted to him for his help for me in my career, and of course, our teams there in Indianapolis. I was very honored to play for him for a number of years.'' Harrison and Dungy are among 17 finalists for the hall; the voting will take place Saturday and be announced that evening, along with the AP NFL awards, at the NFL Honors show. They are first-time eligibles, along with Derrick Brooks and Walter Jones. It's an impressive list of new candidates - Brooks was perhaps the best outside linebacker of his era with Tampa Bay, and Jones was a practically unbeatable left tackle with Seattle. And it gets added to an equally outstanding group previously up for election: placekicker Morten Andersen; running back Jerome Bettis; wide receivers Tim Brown and Andre Reed; defensive ends Claude Humphrey (a senior nominee), Michael Strahan, Charles Haley and Kevin Greene; punter Ray Guy (senior nominee); safeties John Lynch and Aeneas Williams, who also played cornerback; guard Will Shields; and former 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr. Guy would become the first full-time punter in the hall, while Andersen, the career scoring leader with 2,544 points in 25 seasons, would join Jan Stenerud as the only placekickers enshrined. Jones and Brooks were regulars on the All-Pro list, with Jones making it four times and Brooks getting selected five times. Each got a Super Bowl, with Brooks getting the ring for the 2002 season and Jones losing with the Seahawks after the 2005 campaign. ''Anytime you can get that title of first ballot Hall of Famer that's a great title, and just being a Hall of Famer is a great title,'' Jones said. ''Would it be a letdown (to not be elected)? Probably will. ''But I think it's still a moment that will be exciting whenever it happens. If it happens this year it will be exciting, if it happens two years from now it will be exciting. For me to be on that list is amazing and to be on that list and been able to play with one team is amazing, too.'' Greene and Haley are in their 10th year of eligibility, the longest among non-senior finalists. Reed is in his ninth, followed by Brown and Williams (fifth), Bettis (fourth), Shields and DeBartolo (third), Anderson, Strahan and Lynch (second). --- AP Sports Writer Tim Booth contributed to this story. --- AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Hit Stick: What is the one sports video game fans need to buy this holiday?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Louisville's Lamar Jackson wins 2016 Heisman Trophy

Carmelo Anthony ‘skeptical’ of new CBA before Thursday deadline

Erik Spoelstra on sitting Hassan Whiteside: ‘This league is for competitors only’

Andrew McCutchen admits trade rumors left him ‘on edge’

Leicester City put up three goals in first 20 minutes against Manchester City

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Houston regent: Lane Kiffin ‘was not a safe hire’

Adam Jones takes a shot at Terrelle Pryor

Jeff Fisher, Les Snead deny ‘toxic’ relationship reports

‘Field of Dreams’ 24-diamond complex clears final hurdle, will build on site from film

Dorial Green-Beckham fined for wearing non-charity Yeezy cleats

Chargers GM won’t commit to Mike McCoy’s return in 2017

Winners, losers and what is still pending from baseball's 2016 Winter Meetings

The best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

Why UCLA's Lonzo Ball is the most interesting player in college hoops

The NBA goes courtside to curbside: Drinks and rides for discerning fans

Five teams on upset alert in NFL Week 14

CFB Crash Course, Graduation: Final grades and awards

NHL All-Star Game fans are in search of another John Scott

Box Score 12/9: Carey Price has had enough of your nonsense

MLB Winter Meetings, Day 4: News, notes and rumors

Matt Ryan is now Mr. Pick-Two

Ten most significant developments of the NBA season

Sporting life: Gifts for the fan who is always on point

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Winners, losers and what is still pending from the 2016 Winter Meetings

Why UCLA's Lonzo Ball is the most interesting player in college hoops

The NBA goes courtside to curbside: Drinks and rides for discerning fans

CFB Crash Course, Graduation: Final grades and awards

The five best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

NHL All-Star Game fans are in search of another John Scott

Sporting life: Gifts for the fan who is always on point

Matt Ryan is now Mr. Pick-Two

MLB Winter Meetings, Day 4: News, notes and rumors

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker