Six individuals with connections to the state of Washington are among nominees for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2013. The list includes 127 nominees comprised of 89 players, 14 coaches and 24 contributors. The Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will choose 25 candidates who will advance as semifinalists.
The Washington nominees include a state native, quarterback Drew Bledsoe, who starred at Washington State in the early 1990s, entered the NFL in 1993 as the first overall choice in the draft, and spent a dozen years with the New England Patriots (1993-01), Buffalo Bills (2002-03) and Dallas Cowboys (2005-06).
Bledsoe threw for 44,611 yards and 251 touchdowns during his career, played in a Super Bowl and made four Pro Bowl teams (1994, 1996, 1997, 2002).
RB Ricky Watters spent the last four years of his NFL career (1998-01) with the Seattle Seahawks, rushing for 4,009 yards and 22 touchdowns. Watters began his career with the San Francisco 49ers (1992) and also played for Philadelphia (1995-97).
DT Sam Adams, Seattle’s first-round pick in 1994 (eighth overall pick), played for the Seahawks from 1994 through 1999. He had 23.0 sacks in 89 games, including 66 starts before moving to the Baltimore Ravens in 2000.
Don Coryell, a Washington native and a UW letterman in 1949, is one of three coaches with Washington connections nominated. Coryell, a semifinalist last year, went 195-111 in 14 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Chargers.
Tom Flores had a three-year run as Seahawks head coach from 1992-94. His 1992 team that went 2-14 and scored just 140 points while allowing 213, is considered the worst in franchise history. But Flores won two Super Bowls and four division championships with the Raiders.
Chuck Knox coached the Seahawks from 1983-91, winning 143 games while losing 80. He produced his best team in 1984, when the Seahawks went 12-4 and played in the AFC Championship game.
Knox also coached the Los Angeles Rams (1973-77, ’92-94) and Buffalo Bills (1978-82). He is a member of the Seahawks Ring of Honor.
The semifinal list will be reduced by a mail ballot to 15 modern-era finalists. The Class of 2013 will be selected from the list of the 15 plus two senior nominees, Curley Culp and Dave Robinson, who were selected last month by the hall’s Senior Selection Committee.
The voting for the Class of 2013 will be conducted at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committees annual meeting Feb. 2, 2013, the day before Super Bowl XLVII at the Superdome in New Orleans.