INDIANAPOLIS – Three Seniors candidates, including one with light Indianapolis Colts ties, are within one step of earning residency in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Chuck Howley, Joe Klecko and Ken Riley are Senior finalists for the Class of 2023. Klecko is best known for his role with the New York Jets’ “Sack Exchange’’ from 1977-87, and also spent the 1988 season with the Colts.
That trio was chosen by the Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee and now advances to the final phase of the selection process in January. The 49-member Selection Committee will hold an up-or-down ballot, and it will require each individual receiving 80% approval.
A quick look at the nominees:
Howley: an outside linebacker for the Chicago Bears (1958-59) and Dallas Cowboys (1961-73). Howley holds the distinction of being the only player from a losing team to be named MVP of the Super Bowl. He appeared in 180 games and finished with 25 interceptions and 18 fumble recoveries. He was named first-team All-Pro five times and selected to the Pro Bowl six times.
Klecko: played all three defensive line positions during his 12-year career with the Jets and Colts. He was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and twice was named first-team All-Pro. Klecko had 78 sacks in his career, including 20.5 in ’81 when he finished second in the Defensive Player of the Year voting.
Riley: The standout cornerback played his entire 15-year career with the Cincinnati Bengals. He finished with 65 interceptions – 5th-most in NFL history – in 207 games.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.