Former Chiefs guard Will Shields is one of 15 modern-era finalists for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013.
By RANDY COVITZ
The Kansas City Star
Shields, a 12-time Pro Bowler, is in his second year of eligibility and was a finalist last year. He will face some stiff competition again this year.
The other 14 modern-era finalists announced today include four first-year eligible players, and two are offensive linemen from Super Bowl-winning teams — Baltimore tackle Jonathan Ogden and Dallas guard Larry Allen. Defensive end Michael Strahan and defensive tackle Warren Sapp are the other first year-eligible candidates.
Also, former Chiefs defensive tackle Curley Culp and former Green Bay linebacker Dave Robinson will be considered for election when the 46-member selection committee meets on Feb. 2 in New Orleans. Culp and Robinson will be voted on separately before the deliberations and voting on the modern-day candidates begins.
The other 10 finalists — seven players, former owners Art Modell and Ed DeBartolo Jr., and former coach Bill Parcells — have been finalists in the past.
The seven modern-era players on the final ballot are: running back Jerome Bettis, wide receivers Tim Brown, Cris Carter and Andre Reed; outside linebackers Kevin Greene and Charles Haley and cornerback Aeneas Williams.
No more than five modern-era nominees can be elected in a given year and a class of six or seven can only be achieved if one or both senior nominees are elected. To be elected, a finalist must receive a minimum positive vote of 80 percent.
Shields was selected by the Chiefs in the third round of the 1993 NFL Draft after he won the Outland Trophy at Nebraska. After he came off the bench in the 1993 opener at Tampa Bay, he went on to make a franchise-record 231 consecutive starts (including playoffs) during 14 seasons. Shields, who retired following the 2006 season, was a nine-time All-Pro and was selected to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team.
The Chiefs won four division titles and made six playoff appearances during Shields’ career, and he was part of an offense that led the NFL in points scored in 2002 and 2003, highlighted by running back Priest Holmes’ then-record 27 rushing touchdowns in 2003.
Shields also was honored as the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, the league’s most prestigious honor for performance on the field and contributions to the community off the field in 2003 when the Chiefs went 13-3 and won the AFC West. He was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 2012.
Culp, who spent 1968-74 with the Chiefs before he was traded to Houston, was the cornerstone of the club’s famed Triple Stack defense — along with Hall of Fame tackle Buck Buchanan and Hall of Fame linebackers Bobby Bell and Willie Lanier — that dominated Minnesota in the Chiefs’ 23-7 win in Super Bowl IV.
Culp was one of the NFL’s first true nose tackles at Houston. He led the team with 11.5 sacks and was voted NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1975. He helped the Oilers earn back-to-back appearances in the 1978 and 1979 AFC championship game.
The Class of 2013 will be enshrined on Aug. 3 in Canton, Ohio.
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