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CANTON, Ohio (AP/CBS) — Retired coaches Bill Cowher, Bill Parcells and Marty Schottenheimer are among the modern-era candidates for the 2012 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Cowher is eligible for the first time, as are Keyshawn Johnson, Tiki Barber, Drew Bledsoe, Stephen Davis, Rod Smith, Will Shields, Troy Vincent and Mike Vanderjagt.
The two former Patriots on the list played a giant roll in how the New England franchise became what they are today. In his four seasons in New England, Parcells coached the team to a 32-32 record, but his reach goes far beyond that. He instilled a winning mentality and generated interest to a perennial loser. While the current team enjoys success with his former cordinator, Bill Belichick, Parcells brought the Patriots to their second Super Bowl in franchise history in 1996.
Parcells was also the one that drafted quarterback Drew Bledsoe.
Bledsoe spent nine seasons as a Patriot, throwing 166 touchdowns and passing for nearly 30,000 yards. Over his 14-year NFL career, he threw 251 touchdowns and passed for over 44,000 yards.
The complete list of nominees consists of 103 candidates. From that list, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will choose 25 candidates who will advance as semifinalist nominees, announced in November.
The list of 25 semifinalists will be further reduced by a mail ballot to 15 modern-era finalists and announced in early January. 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.
(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)