Offensive tackle Joe Jacoby, three-time Super Bowl champion, four-time Pro Bowler, as well as former MVP and offensive player of the year Larry Brown have been named among 31 semifinalists in the Seniors category for the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2024, according to a release provided Wednesday.
Jacoby, a former undrafted free agent out of the University of Louisville in 1981, was one of the key players on a Washington offensive line that dominated the 1980s and early 1990s. He started in 148 regular season games over the course of his 13-year career, playing in all four of the team's Super Bowl appearances in that span.
Jacoby was an original member of "The Hogs" offensive line, which also featured Jeff Bostic, Mark May, George Starke and Russ Grimm. Together, the group is considered one of the best offensive lines in NFL history, providing running lanes for backs like John Riggins and protecting quarterbacks Joe Theismann, Doug Williams and Mark Rypien.
Jacoby was named to the Pro Bowl in four consecutive seasons from 1983-86 and received two first team All-Pro honors. He also scored a touchdown off a fumble recovery in a 1984 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings that resulted in a 31-17 win for Washington.
In addition to his Pro Bowls and Super Bowl championships, Jacoby collected a long list of other personal accolades. He was selected to the PFWA All-Rookie team in 1981; he was named to the 1980s All-decade team; his name was placed in the Washington Ring of Fame; and he is one of the organization's 90 greatest players.
Brown (running back, 1969-1976) spent his entire eight-year career with Washington and was voted to four consecutive Pro Bowls and two First Team All-Pro selections. Brown is third on Washington's all-time rushing yards list with 5,875 yards and fifth on the all-time rushing touchdown list with 35 scores.
Brown's best statistical season -- 1,216 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in 1972 -- garnered several distinctions. He was the NFL's Most Valuable Player, the Offensive Player of the Year and the NFC Player of the Year. Brown rushed for at least 100 yards in 21 contests and has the third-most all-time rushing yards in franchise history (5,875).
Brown also led the league in several categories throughout his career. He had the best yards per game average in 1970 and 1972, and his 1,689 scrimmage yards were the most among all skill players in the NFL. Brown also led the league in total total touchdowns in 1973 with 14 scores. Brown is in Washington's Ring of Fame and among the franchise's 90 greatest players.
Henry Ellard (wide receiver, 1983-1998) is also among the list of semifinalists. Ellard played five seasons in Washington and is 13th on the franchise's all-time receiving yards list (3,930). He averaged 18.2 yards per catch during his time in Washington and led the league in the category in 1996 with an average of 19.5.
Despite only spending four full seasons with the franchise (he started the 1998 season with Washington and ended the year with the New England Patriots), Ellard left a lasting impression on the team. He is 12th in receiving yards (3,930), 19th in receptions (216), eighth in targets (429) and 22nd in receiving touchdowns (17).
Two of Washington's former head coaches -- Marty Schottenheimer and Mike Shanahan -- were named as two of 29 semifinalists in the coaches/contributors category. Assistant coach Clark Shaughnessy (1944-47) and Frank "Bucko" Kilroy, who worked in player personnel and scouting, were also named semifinalists.
The selection committees will meet to compile a list of 12 Seniors and 12 Coach/Contributors who will move on to the next stage. The results of that selection will be announced on July 27.
One Coach/Contributor will be selected for final consideration on Aug. 15. The Seniors committee will meet on Aug. 22 to select up to three Seniors for final consideration.
Here's a list of the 31 semifinalists up for consideration in the Seniors category:
- Ken Anderson (quarterback, 1971-1986)
- Ottis Anderson (running back ,1979-1992)
- Carl Banks (linebacker, 1984-1995)
- Maxie Baughan (linebacker, 1960-1970, 1974)
- Larry Brown (running back, 1969-1976)
- Mark Clayton (wide Receiver, 1983-1993)
- Charlie Conerly (quarterback, 1948-1961)
- Roger Craig (running back, 1983-1993)
- Henry Ellard (wide receiver, 1983-1998)
- Randy Gradishar (linebacker, 1974-1983)
- Lester Hayes (cornerback, 1977-1986)
- Chris Hinton (guard/tackle, 1983-1995)
- Cecil Isbell (tailback/defensive back/halfback, 1938-1942)
- Joe Jacoby (tackle, 1981-1993)
- Billy "White Shoes" Johnson (wide receiver/kick returner/punt returner, 1974-1980, 1982-88)
- Mike Kenn (tackle, 1978-1994)
- Bob Kuechenberg (guard/tackle/center, 1970-1983)
- George Kunz (tackle, 1969-1978, 1980)
- Albert Lewis (defensive back, 1983-1998)
- Jim Marshall (defensive end, 1960-1979)
- Clay Matthews Jr. (linebacker, 1978-1996)
- Steve McMichael (defensive tackle, 1980-1994)
- Eddie Meador (cornerback, 1959-1970)
- Stanley Morgan (wide receiver, 1977-1990)
- Tommy Nobis (linebacker, 1966-1976)
- Art Powell (wide receiver, 1959-1968)
- Sterling Sharpe (wide receiver, 1988-1994)
- Steve Tasker (wide receiver/kick returner/punt returner, 1985-1997)
- Otis Taylor (wide receiver, 1965-1975)
- Everson Walls (cornerback, 1981-1993)
- Al Wistert (tackle/defensive tackle, 1943-1951)