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Parcells heads Pro Football Hall of Fame hopefuls

Bill Parcells moved one step closer to Canton on Saturday when the Pro Football Hall of Fame released a list of 15 modern-era finalists for enshrinement that included the Super Bowl-winning coach.

Wide receivers Tim Brown, Cris Carter and Andre Reed, running backs Jerome Bettis and Curtis Martin and former Kansas City Chiefs guard Will Shields also made the cut when the 26 semifinalists were pared down through a mail ballot. The final list of candidates also includes two senior nominees: former Steelers defensive back Jack Butler and former Lions guard Dick Stanfel.

The Hall’s selection committee meets in Indianapolis next month. A finalist must receive 80 percent of the vote to be selected.

Between four and seven enshrinees will be announced the day before the Super Bowl on Feb. 5, and inducted in August in the Hall’s 50th class.

Parcells and Shields were the only two candidates to make the list of finalists in their first year of eligibility. The notable exclusions from the semifinal list include former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, ex-Chargers coach Don Coryell and running backs Roger Craig and Terrell Davis.

Other finalists include DB Aeneas Williams, DEs/LBs Chris Doleman, Kevin Greene and Charles Haley, DT Cortez Kennedy, C Dermontti Dawson, offensive tackle Willie Roaf and former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo, Jr.

Around the league

Josh McDaniels is returning to the New England Patriots to take over as offensive coordinator next season for Bill O’Brien, who was introduced as Penn State’s new coach. A person familiar with the situation told the AP that McDaniels is expected to serve as an offensive assistant under O’Brien for the rest of this season. O’Brien said at his news conference he intends to remain the Patriots’ offensive coordinator for as long as they stay in the playoffs. … Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin completed an interview for the Miami Dolphins coaching job. Former Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher remains the Dolphins’ top choice, but they may lose out to the St. Louis Rams. … Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, posting on Twitter, says that by Monday night, the Colts will have interviewed seven candidates for their open general manager’s job. The only name Irsay confirmed in the post was Montreal Alouettes GM Jim Popp.

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