After a close call in 2010, former New Orleans Saints left tackle William Roaf is back on the ballot as a strong candidate for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012.
Roaf is one of 103 candidates for consideration, including 11 first-year eligible modern era candidates.
Roaf, who played for the New Orleans Saints from 1993-2001 (nine seasons) 2002-2005 (four seasons). Roaf was a seven-time Pro Bowl participant with the Saints. He made the Pro Bowl four additional times in Kansas City.
Roaf was a first-team All-Pro three times while with the Saints. He was named to the NFL All-Decade team of the 1990's and for the decade spanning 2000-2009.
Former New Orleans Saints Interim Head Coach and Offensive Line coach Dick Stanfel is also a finalist, nominated by the Senior Selection Committee for his playing days with the Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins from 1952-1958.
Stanfel went on to coach offensive line with the Saints under Hank Stram and Dick Nolan from 1976-1980. He served as Interim Head Coach for the final four games of the 1980 season after Nolan was dismissed following a Monday Night Football loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Stanfel returned to New Orleans to coach the offensive line under Mike Ditka in 1997 and 1998.
The late Sam Mills, who played for the Saints from 1986-1994 (nine seasons) before closing his career with Carolina from 1995-1997 (three seasons) is also on the list of nominees.
Mills earned four Pro Bowl selections with the Saints as part of the vaunted 'Dome Patrol linebacker corps, which included NFL Hall of Famer Rickey Jackson, Vaughan Johnson, Pat Swilling and Mills. The group was voted as the all-time best set of linebackers in NFL history by NFL Network.
Mills was voted All-Pro with the Saints in 1991 and 1992. He went on to earn Pro Bowl honors with the Panthers in 1996 and was an All-Pro for Carolina in 1995 and 1996. His number 51 is retired by the Panthers and there is a statue of Mills outside of Bank of America Stadium. Mills passed away from cancer in 2005 at the age of 45. He was inducted into the Saints Hall of Fame in 1998.
New Orleans native Aeneas Williams of Fortier High School is nominated as well. Williams played for the Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals from 1991-2000 (10 seasons) before finishing his career with the St. Louis Rams (2001-2004).
Williams was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and a four-time First-Team All-Pro choice. He was named to the NFL 1990's All-Decade Team. Williams is a member of the Arizona Cardinals' Ring of Honor and he was named to the St. Louis Rams 10th Anniversary Team. Williams received the Bart Starr NFL Man of the Year Award in 1999. Williams finished his career with 55 interceptions.
Former Saint cornerback Eric Allen had a storied career from 1988-1994 (seven seasons) before playing for the Saints from 1995-1997 (three seasons) before closing his career with the Oakland Raiders 1998-2001 (four seasons). Allen finished his career with 54 interceptions.
Former center Jay Hilgenberg, who finished his career with the Saints in 1993, is on the list as well.
Hilgenberg played the majority of his career with the Chicago Bears from 1991-1991 (11 seasons) before playing for the Cleveland Browns in 1992. He was a seven-time Pro Bowl player and seven-time All-Pro with Chicago.
The preliminary list of nominees will be pared to 25 semifinalists in mid November.
The list of candidates will be pared to 15 modern era finalists and two senior nominees with the voting set for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection annual meeting on Saturday, February 4, 2012, one day prior to Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. The election results will be announced that evening on NFL Network.
Here is the list of nominees and the official release from the Pro Football Hall of Fame:
Modern-Era Nominees for the Class of 2012
CANTON, OH â€“ Running back Tiki Barber, quarterback Drew Bledsoe, wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, guard Will Shields, and coaches Bill Cowher, Bill Parcells, and Marty Schottenheimer are among the 11 first-year eligible modern-era candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2012.
The complete list of nominees for the Class of 2012 consists of 103 candidates. From that list of nominees, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will choose 25 candidates who will advance as semifinalist nominees. The list of 25 semifinalists will be announced in mid-November.
The list of 25 semifinalists will be further reduced by a mail ballot to 15 modern-era finalists and announced in early January.
The final list of nominees that will be considered for election will consist of the 15 modern-era finalists and the two senior nominees, former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Jack Butler and former Detroit Lions guard Dick Stanfel, who were selected this last month by the Hall of Fame's Senior Selection Committee.
In 2008 the Hall of Fame modified its By-Laws for the Selection Committee making it mandatory for coaches, like players, to be retired five consecutive seasons. Prior to that change, coaches were eligible immediately upon retirement. As such, Parcells was a nominee in 2001, 2002, and 2003 and Schottenheimer was a nominee in 2000. This is their first year of eligibility under the new provision.
The Class of 2012 will be selected from the list of 17 finalists (15 modern-era and two senior nominees). The actual voting will be conducted at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee's annual meeting, which will be held on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012 the day before Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. The election results will be announced that evening on NFL Network, live from the Super Bowl Media Center.
While there is no set number for any class of enshrinees, the selection process by-laws provide that between four and seven new members will be selected.
The preliminary list includes 71 players, 14 coaches and 18 contributors, including former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and longtime team owners Bud Adams, Jr., Jack Kent Cooke, Ed DeBartolo, Jr., and Art Modell.
While a nominated player or coach must have been retired at least five consecutive seasons, a contributor, who is an individual who has made outstanding career contributions to pro football in capacities other than playing or coaching, may still be active in his pro football career. The complete list of nominees can also be found at Profootballhof.com.
Preliminary List of Nominees for the Class of 2012
First-year Eligible Nominees
Quarterback â€“ Drew Bledsoe
Running Backs â€“ Tiki Barber, Stephen Davis
Wide Receivers â€“ Keyshawn Johnson, Rod Smith
Offensive Lineman â€“ Will Shields (G)
Defensive Back â€“ Troy Vincent (S)
Kicker â€“ Mike Vanderjagt
Coaches â€“ Bill Cowher, Bill Parcells, Marty Schottenheimer
QUARTERBACK â€“ Phil Simms
RUNNING BACKS â€“ *Jerome Bettis, Larry Centers, Roger Craig, Terrell Davis, Eddie George, *Curtis Martin, Brian Mitchell (also KR/PR), Gerald Riggs, Herschel Walker, Ricky Watters
WIDE RECEIVERS â€“*Tim Brown, *Cris Carter, Gary Clark, Mark Clayton, Henry Ellard, *Andre Reed, Sterling Sharpe, Jimmy Smith
TIGHT ENDS â€“ Todd Christensen, Frank Wycheck
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN â€“ Tony Boselli (T), Lomas Brown (T), Jim Covert (T), *Dermontti Dawson (C), Joe Fields (C), Jay Hilgenberg (C), Chris Hinton (G/T), Kent Hull (C), Joe Jacoby (T), Mike Kenn (T), Jim Lachey (T), *Willie Roaf (T), Steve Wisniewski (G)
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN â€“ Dave Butz ((DE/DT), *Chris Doleman (DE/LB), Carl Hairston (DE/DT), *Charles Haley (DE/LB), Ed "Too Tall" Jones (DE), *Cortez Kennedy (DT), Joe Klecko (DE/DT/NT), Dexter Manley (DE), Charles Mann (DE), Fred Smerlas (NT)
LINEBACKERS â€“ Cornelius Bennett, Kevin Greene (LB/DE), Ken Harvey, Clay Matthews, Karl Mecklenburg, Sam Mills
DEFENSIVE BACKS â€“ Eric Allen (CB), Steve Atwater (S), Joey Browner (S) LeRoy Butler (S), Kenny Easley (S), Albert Lewis (CB), Donnie Shell (S), Aeneas Williams (CB/S), Darren Woodson (S)
PUNTERS/KICKERS â€“ Gary Anderson (K), Nick Lowery (K), Reggie Roby (P) SPECIAL TEAMS/POSITION PLAYER â€“ Steve Tasker
COACHES â€“ Bill Arnsparger, Bud Carson, Don Coryell, Tom Flores, Jimmy Johnson, Chuck Knox, Chuck Mather, Buddy Parker, Dan Reeves, Clark Shaughnessy, Dick Vermeil
CONTRIBUTORS â€“ K. S. (Bud) Adams, Bobby Beathard, Gil Brandt, Leo Carlin, Jack Kent Cooke, Otho Davis, Ed DeBartolo, Jr., Ron Gibbs, Jim Kensil, Eddie Kotal, Art McNally, Art Modell, Steve Sabol, Paul Tagliabue, Burl Toler, Sr., Jim Tunney, Ron Wolf, George Young
*On 2011 finalists list
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