Taylor, Levy Among Hall Finalists
CANTON, Ohio (AP) _ Lawrence Taylor, who led the New York Giants to wins in two Super Bowls, and Marv Levy, whose Buffalo Bills lost four of them, are among 15 finalists for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Taylor and Levy were among four candidates to make the list in their first year of eligibility, joining running back Eric Dickerson and defensive end Howie Long.
They were joined by seven other modern-era finalists and seniors candidate Billy Shaw.
The hall’s 36 selectors will meet in Miami on Jan. 30 _ the day before the Super Bowl _ to elect the class of 1999. Between four and seven new inductees will be voted on.
The other finalists were coach George Allen (1966-70 Los Angeles Rams, 1971-77 Washington Redskins); defensive end Carl Eller (1964-78 Minnesota Vikings, 1979 Seattle Seahawks); punter Ray Guy (1973-86 Oakland-Los Angeles Raiders); guard Tom Mack (1966-78 Rams); tight end Ozzie Newsome (1978-90 Cleveland Browns); executive Dan Rooney (Pittsburgh Steelers 1955-present); wide receivers John Stallworth (1974-87 Steelers) and Lynn Swann (1974-82 Steelers); tackle Ron Yary (1968-81 Vikings, 1982 Rams); and defensive end Jack Youngblood (1971-84 Rams).
The modern-era finalists were determined by a vote of the selectors. Shaw, a guard for nine years with the Bills (1961-69), was nominated by a seniors committee.
Ten of the finalists spent their entire NFL careers with the same team and two others spent most of their playing time with one team.
Levy coached the Bills for 12 years, becoming the only coach to reach _ and lose _ four straight Super Bowls. He retired in December 1997 with a 143-112 record in 17 years, including five seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.
``Marv not only taught football, but he taught us how to be people,″ Bills wide receiver Andre Reed said. ``He taught us how to conduct ourselves off the field.″
Taylor has insisted he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.
``I know I belong there,″ he said upon learning he was being considered for induction. ``I just figured it as a given. I don’t want to sound cocky, but I expect it.″
Taylor, who will turn 40 one week after the induction announcement, was a quick and athletic linebacker selected for 10 Pro Bowls while with the Giants from 1981 to 1993. Since his retirement, he has been dogged by drug, tax and bankruptcy problems.
Dickerson ran for a record 2,105 yards with the Rams in 1984. He stands third on the career rushing list with 13,259 yards, having rushed for more than 1,000 yards seven times. He also played for the Indianapolis Colts and Raiders.
Long was renowned for rushing the quarterback and leading the Raiders defense from 1981-93.