Former Green Bay Packers linebacker Dave Robinson is one step closer to enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Robinson, a 71-year-old who played from 1963-72 with the Packers before spending 1973-74 with the Washington Redskins, was named Wednesday as one of the two senior finalists for the Class of 2013. Defensive tackle Curley Culp, 66, is the other nominee. He played for the Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Oilers and Detroit Lions from 1968-81.
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 name changed to senior nominees in 1990, and the Hall went from one nominee to two in 2004. Selection as a senior nominee doesn't guarantee enshrinement; Robinson and Culp still must receive the required 80 percent of the vote modern-era candidates need for induction.
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 down through a mail 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, with both candidates being selected for enshrinement five times.
Robinson was a first-round pick out of Penn State in 1963 and teamed with Hall of Famer Ray Nitschke and Lee Roy Caffey to form a dominate 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 three Pro Bowls and was the MVP of the 1967 Pro Bowl.
Sacks and tackles stats weren't tracked when Robinson played, but he did intercept 27 passes in his career, 21 as a Packer. If Robinson is elected to the Hall of Fame, he will be the 22nd Packer in Canton 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 named to the Pro Bowl twice with the Chiefs from 1968-74 and four more times with the Oilers from 1974-80. He finished his career with the Lions in 1981.