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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Dungy, Lynch might follow Sapp into Hall

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Published:   |   Updated: August 1, 2013 at 05:02 PM

After 18 years, Lee Roy Selmon finally has Buccaneer company in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It's unlikely Warren Sapp's bust will have to wait that long. The two-time NFL All-Decade defensive tackle soon may be welcoming additional Tampa Bay representatives into the Hall. Linebacker Derrick Brooks and former Bucs coach Tony Dungy are eligible for the Class of 2014, safety John Lynch made the list of 25 semifinalists this year and defensive back Ronde Barber can be considered for the Class of 2018. Each of the four candidates boasts impressive credentials:

Derrick Brooks

This 11-time Pro Bowler defined the weakside linebacker position in the Cover 2 defense and was named to the NFL's All-Decade team of the 2000s. Brooks was a five-time All-Pro who amassed 2,196 tackles during a glittering 14-year career. In 2002, when the Bucs went 15-4 en route to the Super Bowl championship, Brooks was selected as the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year.

Tony Dungy

In six years with the Bucs and seven seasons on the Indianapolis sideline, Dungy compiled a 139-69 record and led his teams to the playoffs 11 times. His .668 career winning percentage ranks 13th in NFL history, ahead of Bill Belichick (.649) and Hall of Fame coaches Joe Gibbs (.621) and Bill Walsh (.609). Dungy led the 2006 Colts to a Super Bowl title and averaged 12 wins per season with Indianapolis. The first African-American coach to win a Super Bowl, Dungy boasts an impressive coaching tree that includes Mike Tomlin, Lovie Smith, Rod Marinelli, Herm Edwards and Monte Kiffin.

John Lynch

One of the hardest-hitting safeties of his era, Lynch earned five Pro Bowl berths with the Bucs and four more with the Broncos. Lynch finished his NFL career with 13 sacks, 26 interceptions and 16 forced fumbles, providing sturdy run support in a suffocating defense that proved so influential across the league. In his first year of eligibility, Lynch was one of 25 semifinalists for the Hall of Fame Class of 2013, but was eliminated in the reduction vote to 15 candidates.

Ronde Barber

An NFL All-Decade cornerback in the 2000s, Barber was switched to safety in his 16th season, padding his reputation as one of the most durable players in NFL history before retiring in March. Barber made five Pro Bowls and ended his career with 215 consecutive starts, the most by an NFL defensive back. He scored 14 touchdowns in his career, showcasing his versatility by posting 47 interceptions, 28 sacks and more than 1,000 tackles. Barber also turned in the biggest defensive play in franchise annals when he clinched a 27-10 NFC title-game victory at Philadelphia in 2003 with a 92-yard interception return for a touchdown against Donovan McNabb.

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