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Lynch, Barber and Rice played a combined 33 seasons for the Buccaneers and were teammates from 2001 through 2003, a span during which Tampa Bay ranked first in net passing yards allowed per game (169.8), interceptions (79) and opponent passer rating (60.9). Owens is fifth all-time in touchdown catches (153) and eighth in career receptions (1,078).

Of course, 7 of those seasons were with the Colts where James rushed for 9,226 rushing yards on 2,188 carries and 64 rushing touchdowns. He was at his best in the postseason, with seven sacks in five playoff games with the Bucs, including two in the Super Bowl win against Oakland.

While legendary quarterback Peyton Manning provided the "brains" and Hall of Fame wide receiver Marvin Harrison the ridiculous quiet consistency, it was James who gave the Colts first set of "triplets" much needed "swagger". Rice was selected to three Pro Bowl squads and was an All-Pro four times, as well as the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1996.

Two former Dolphins - linebacker Zach Thomas and offensive tackle Richmond Webb - did not make Tuesday's cut from 108 to 27. He was a nine-time Pro Bowl player and six-time All-Pro (including four times on the first team). "He doesn't so much cut as he stops on a dime and then takes off again at full speed". "He was a guy that was elusive".

Atwater, Lynch and Mecklenburg are all members of the Broncos' Ring of Fame, and all five who were named semifinalists this year were also semifinalists last year, along with Terrell Davis, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame this year.

The Hall of Fame will whittle the list of modern-era candidates to 15 finalists in January, and nominees must receive 80 percent of the vote to guarantee enshrinement.

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