The Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced the list of preliminary candidates for the class of 2012. Drew Bledsoe, Tiki Barber, Rod Smith, Bill Cowher and Bill Parcells are among the 11 candidates eligible for the first time this year. They join a total of 71 players, 14 coaches and 18 contributors on the list of preliminary nominees.
This list of 103 candidates will be winnowed down to just 25 individuals by the Hall of Fame selection committee. Those 25 semifinalists will be announced in November. Voters will then choose 15 finalists. That group of 15 finalists will be announced in January. The Hall of Fame's Senior Selection Committee chose two senior nominees that will join the 15 finalists from the modern era. This year's senior committee selections are former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Jack Butler and former Detroit Lions guard Dick Stanfel.
From that list of 17 total finalists, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will vote at its annual meeting the day before the Super Bowl, February 4, on the 2012 inductees. The organization's bylaws stipulate that between four and seven players must be chosen. The Call of 2012 will be announced the night before the Super Bowl.
The 11 candidates eligible for the first time this year are: QB Drew Bledsoe; RBs Tiki Barber and Stephen Davis, WRs Keyshawn Johnson and Rod Smith; OL Will Shields; DB Troy Vincent; K Mike Vanderjagt; and coaches Bill Cowher, Bill Parcells and Marty Schottenheimer.