Colts’ Jeff Saturday, Edgerrin James among Pro Football Hall of Fame nominees

jeff saturday

Jeff Saturday

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – There’s plenty of Indianapolis Colts’ flavoring to the list of 108 modern-era players and coaches in the running for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018.

The group, announced Tuesday evening, features running back Edgerrin James, one of 15 finalists two years ago, and center Jeff Saturday, in his first year of eligibility. It also includes center Ray Donaldson and guard/tackle Chris Hinton. Another nominee, defensive end Simeon Rice spent one season with the Colts.

The current list will be further pared to 25 semifinalists in November by the selection committee – we are a member – and to 15 finalists in January. The Class of 2018 will be determined Feb. 3 in Minneapolis, the day before Super Bowl LII.

James and Saturday offer the biggest name recognition with Colts’ fans. Each was instrumental in the franchise’s run of excellence in the 2000s.

James, the fourth overall pick in the 1999 draft, is the Colts’ career leader with 9,226 rushing yards. He led the NFL in rushing his first two seasons, was a fourth-time Pro Bowl selection and was named to the All-Decade team of the 2000s despite suffering a serious knee injury in 2001. James ranks 12th in league history with 12,246 rushing yards and 14th in 15,610 total yards from scrimmage.

Of the 11 players ahead of James on the rushing charts, 10 have bronze busts in Canton, Ohio. The exception still is active: Colts’ running back Frank Gore.

Saturday was the anchor of the Colts’ offensive line from 1999 until 2011. He started 188 of 197 games in Indy, was named to six Pro Bowls and was part of the Super Bowl XLI championship squad. Saturday also played a key role in the resolution of the 2011 NFL-NFLPA labor dispute.

Donaldson’s 17-year career included 13 seasons with the Colts, four in Baltimore and nine in Indy. He was a six-time Pro Bowler.

Hinton spent his first season with the Baltimore Colts in 1983 before being part of the relocation in ’84. He started 92 of 94 games with the Colts before finishing his career in Atlanta and Minnesota. Hinton was named to seven Pro Bowls, and spread them around three positions – left guard, left tackle and right tackle.

The list of 108 nominees includes 11 eligible for the first time: Saturday, wide receivers Randy Moss, Donald Driver and Steve Smith; center Matt Birk and guard Steve Hutchinson; defensive linemen Richard Seymour and Kyle Vanden Bosch; linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher; and defensive back Ronde Barber.

The complete list:

  • Quarterbacks: Randall Cunningham, Rich Gannon, Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair, Phil Simms.
  • Running backs: Edgerrin James, Tiki Barber, Earnest Byner, Roger Craig, Corey Dillon, Eddie George, Lorenzo Neal, Fred Taylor, Herschel Walker, Ricky Watters.
  • Wide receivers: Isaac Bruce, Donald Driver, Henry Ellard, Torry Holt, Chad Johnson, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Sterling Sharp, Jimmy Smith, Rod Smith, Steve Smith, John Taylor, Hines Ward.
  • Tight ends: Mark Bavaro, Ben Coates, Ferrell Edmunds, Jay Novacek.
  • Offensive linemen: T Willie Anderson, C Matt Birk, T Tony Boselli, T Lomas Brown, G Ruben Brown, C Ray Donaldson, G Alan Faneca, G/T Bill Fralic, C Jay Hilgenberg, G/T Chris Hinton, C Kent Hull, G Steve Hutchinson, T Joe Jacoby, T Mike Kenn, G/C Kevin Mawae, C Tom Nalen, G Nate Newton, C Bart Oates, C Jeff Saturday, T Richmond Webb, G Steve Wisniewski.
  • Defensive linemen: T La’Roi Glover, E/T Leonard Marshall, E/T Keith Mallard, D Leslie O’Neal, E/T Michael Dean Perry, E Simeon Rice, T Richard Seymour, E Neil Smith, D/T/LB Greg Townsend, E Kyle Vanden Bosch, T Bryant Young.
  • Linebackers: Carl Banks, Cornelius Bennett, Tedy Bruschi, Seth Joyner, Ray Lewis, Greg Lloyd, Wilber Marshall, Clay Matthews, Willie McGinest, Karl Mecklenburg, Sam Mills, Joey Porter, Darryl Talley, Zach Thomas, Brian Urlacher.
  • Defensive backs: CB Eric Allen, S Steve Atwater, CB/S Ronde Barber, S LeRoy Butler, S Brian Dawkins, S Rodney Harrison, CB Ty Law, CB Albert Lewis, S John Lynch, S Dennis Smith, CB Everson Walls, S Darren Woodson.
  • Kickers/punters: K Gary Anderson, P Sean Landeta, K Nick Lowery.
  • Special teams: Brian Mitchell, Steve Tasker.
  • Coaches: Don Coryell, Bill Cowher, Tom Flores, Mike Holmgren, Jimmy Johnson, Chuck Knox, Buddy Parker, Richie Pettibon, Dan Reeves, Marty Schottenheimer, Clark Shaughnessy, Dick Vermeil.