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Dungy, Lynch among Hall of Fame finalists

John Lynch, left, and Tony Dungy were part of powerhouse Bucs teams, and Lynch won a Super Bowl with Tampa Bay.

Times file (2000)

John Lynch, left, and Tony Dungy were part of powerhouse Bucs teams, and Lynch won a Super Bowl with Tampa Bay.

Two former Bucs are among 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame named Thursday.

Tony Dungy built the Bucs into a playoff powerhouse that Jon Gruden coached to a Super Bowl title. Dungy went on to coach the Colts, becoming the first black coach to win the Super Bowl. John Lynch was a hard-hitting safety who was a fan favorite and key member of the Super Bowl Bucs, and went on to more success with the Broncos.

The class of 2016 will be decided Feb. 6, the day before the Super Bowl. Inductions are scheduled for August.

The other finalists:

Quarterbacks Brett Favre and Kurt Warner; receivers Terrell Owens and Marvin Harrison; offensive linemen Alan Faneca, Orlando Pace and Joe Jacoby; kicker Morten Andersen; safety Steve Atwater; coach Don Coryell; running backs Edgerrin James and Terrell Davis; and defensive lineman Kevin Greene. Senior finalists who were announced in August: Ken Stabler and Dick Stanfel.

A contributor finalist announced in September was Edward DeBartolo Jr., owner of the 49ers from 1977-2000.

To be elected, a finalist must receive a minimum of 80 percent of votes cast by the selection panel. A maximum of eight inductees are allowed per year.

Peyton to start

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Broncos coach Gary Kubiak named Peyton Manning the playoffs starter even after declaring that Brock Osweiler had done nothing to deserve a demotion.

On Nov. 15, when a hobbled Manning was replaced by Osweiler against the Chiefs, Kubiak said: "If he's healthy and ready to go, Peyton's our quarterback."

On Thursday, Kubiak said he feels "really good about this. I feel good about how far Peyton has come, where he's at physically, mentally. I'm excited for him to get going."

Manning, 39, said his left foot is fine and he's refreshed after taking nearly two months off.

He also suffered no lingering effects from Damion Square's helmet-to-chest hit on Sunday.

"I felt good going into the game Sunday, had no issues coming out," Manning said.

Manning praised his backup, saying the Broncos wouldn't be the AFC's top seed without him, "but I'm looking forward to being back" calling the shots Jan. 17 in the division round.

Osweiler, who was 5-2 (both losses coming down to dropped passes), said he'll be ready if called upon again.

"I stand behind Peyton. I stand behind Coach. I stand behind this team," Osweiler said. "If Coach thinks Peyton gives the team the best chance, then I fully support that."

Browns: Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott and Jaguars offensive assistant Doug Marrone interviewed for Cleveland's head coaching job. McDermott has no head coaching experience. Marrone was Buffalo's coach from 2013-14. In other news, on Saturday quarterback Johnny Manziel was cited by North Olmsted, Ohio, police for driving with a license plate that expired Sept. 20, 2015.

Colts: Associate head coach Rob Chudzinski was named offensive coordinator and Ted Monachino was named defensive coordinator. Monachino has been with the Ravens since 2010, as a linebackers coach.

EAGLES: Giants offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo interviewed for the head coaching job. The Packers quarterback coach from 2012-13 has never been a head coach.

Giants: New York defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin interviewed for the head coaching job. Austin was the Gators' defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach in 2010.

Packers: Offensive tackle David Bakhtiari, who missed the past two games with a left ankle injury, returned to practice on a limited basis and could be ready for Sunday's wild-card game against the Redskins.

RAVENS: Owner Steve Bisciotti said wholesale changes are not needed after a 5-11 season. Bisciotti, a proponent of continuity, said the coaches and players are in place to bounce back.

VIKINGS: Running back Adrian Peterson missed practice Wednesday because of a lower-back injury but coach Mike Zimmer said he will not be limited in Sunday's NFC wild-card game against the Seahawks.

PRO BOWL: Jets center Nick Mangold will replace the Dolphins' Mike Pouncey (foot) and make his seventh Pro Bowl appearance. Mangold is one behind the franchise record by offensive tackle Winston Hill, who played in four AFL All-Star games and four Pro Bowls. … Lions receiver Calvin Johnson dropped out and will be replaced by the Jaguars' Allen Robinson, who will play in his first Pro Bowl.

NFL wild-card weekend

AFC: SATURDAY

• No. 5 Chiefs (11-5) at No. 4 Texans (9-7), 4:35, Ch. 28/ESPN

• No. 6 Steelers (10-6) at No. 3 Bengals (12-4), 8:15, Ch. 10

AFC first-round byes

No. 1 Broncos (12-4) No. 2 Patriots (12-4)

NFC: SUNDAY

• No. 6 Seahawks (10-6) at No. 3 Vikings (11-5), 1, Ch. 8

• No. 5 Packers (10-6) at No. 4 Redskins (9-7), 4:40, Ch. 13

NFC first-round byes

No. 1 Panthers (15-1) No. 2 Cardinals (13-3)

Dungy, Lynch among Hall of Fame finalists 01/07/16 [Last modified: Thursday, January 7, 2016 10:37pm]
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