Two former members of the Indianapolis Colts franchise are finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Running back Edgerrin James didn’t make the final cut in his first year of eligibility.
Harrison’s 13 year career left him at third all time in receptions with 1,102. Harrison is also seventh all time in receiving yards with 14,580. His 128 receiving touchdowns is good enough fifth in NFL history.
Of the players ahead of Harrison in touchdowns, two are in the Hall and the other two are not yet eligible. Harrison holds the record for most receptions in a season with 142, the closest anyone has ever come to that number was Antonio Brown‘s 129 catches this season.
Harrison retired after the 2008 season at 36. Injuries kept him out for most of his 2007 season and he wasn’t the same player when he returned in the next year.
Harrison’s outstanding record speaks for itself and he should have been an easy first ballot hall of fame nominee. While other receivers has supposedly had to “wait” the fact of the matter is that Harrison is widely considered the second best receiver after Jerry Rice.
Dungy coached in the NFL for 13 years; six years with Tampa Bay and seven with the Colts. He compiled a record of 139-69 record and was 9-10 in the playoffs. In his 13 seasons, Dungy only had a losing record one: his first year as a head coach.
With the Colts, Dungy’s teams never won less than 10 games, and after his first year in Indianapolis they never won less than 12 games. The Colts had seven straight playoff appearances with Dungy at the helm.
The Colts claimed five division titles in Dungy’s tenure, losing to the Titans in 2002 and 2008, his first and last seasons as head coach.
The Colts were a model of consistency with Dungy. They tied the Cowboys record of nine straight playoff appearances with Dungy as head coach for seven of those years.
The culmination of his career as head coach came in 2006 when the Colts won the Super Bowl. He was also the architect of the Tampa-2 defense that led the Buccaneers to a title in 2002.
Dungy also played in the NFL for three season. He played quarterback for Minnesota in college, but went undrafted.
He was signed as a safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers and was on the 1978 Super Bowl Championship team. He’s credited with nine interceptions in his two years for the Steelers. He finished his career playing for the San Francisco 49ers.
Polian was the architect for six Super Bowl teams. He was the General Manager of the Buffalo Bills when they appeared (and lost) four straight Super Bowls.
He was the GM of the Colts from 1997 to 2011 and in that time the Colts went to two Super Bowls, winning one, and appeared in the playoffs 11 times.
For Colts fans, both players should be a lock for the Hall of Fame. The contributions to the league that Dungy made and the model of consistency he produced in Indianapolis, along with a Super Bowl ring, should be enough to get him in the Hall in the near future.
Harrison should have gotten in last year and there’s really no excuse for him not to be inducted this time around.
Polian is considered one of the greatest football managers of the past 20 years and it would be hard to see him not get into the Hall of Fame, if not now then next year.