LeBeau, Little named 2010 senior nominees

08/25/2009

Cornerback Dick LeBeau and running back Floyd Little have been named by the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee as finalists for election into the Hall of Fame with the Class of 2010.

LeBeau and Little will join 15 still-to-be-named modern-era candidates on the list of finalists from which the Class of 2010 will be selected.  The Hall of Fame selection meeting will be held on February 6, 2010, the day before Super Bowl XLIV in South Florida. To be elected, the former standouts must each receive the same 80 percent voting support that is required of all finalists. The Hall’s Board of Selectors can elect a maximum of two senior candidates and five modern-era candidates for a class no smaller than four or larger than seven during next February’s meeting. 

Senior nominees are selected by the Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee comprised of nine members of the overall selection committee. Through mail vote, the 2010 senior nominees were reduced to final list of candidates that included 17 nominees. Today, five members of the Seniors committee met in Canton to discuss the merits of the finalists. To be considered as a senior nominee, an individual must have completed his active career by at least 25 years.

LeBeau was originally drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the fifth round of the 1959 draft. After being cut by the Browns, he was signed by Detroit where he starred for 14 seasons at cornerback for the Lions. He intercepted 62 passes which he returned for 762 yards and 3 TDs. His interception total ranked third all-time in NFL history at the time of his retirement following the 1972 season. Today, it remains a Lions team record and is tied for 7th among all-time NFL interceptors.

Dick LeBeau: Career stats | Photos
Floyd Little:
Career stats | Photos
His single finest season came in 1970 when he intercepted a NFC-leading nine interceptions for 96 yards. LeBeau currently serves as the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator and is entering his 37th year of coaching. As a player he was voted to three Pro Bowls. He received his Pro Bowl nods in 1965, 1966, and 1967.

Little, the sixth player selected overall in the 1967 draft, made an immediate impact on the football field. A multi-dimensional player Little combined his rushing talents with great hands and also served as a return man for the Denver Broncos.

“I am so pleased,” stated Little during a phone call with Hall of Fame officials moments after the meeting. “This is so great. This is the best news I’ve had since I retired.”

A five-time Pro Bowl pick, Little amassed more than 12,000 all-purpose yards during his career that spanned from 1967 to 1975. In all, he gained 6,323 yards on 1,641 career carries and scored 43 touchdowns. He added 215 receptions for 2,418 yards and 9 TDs. Little, who led the AFL in punt returns as a rookie, totaled 893 yards on 81 career punt returns and returned 104 kickoffs for 2,523 yards in his nine-season career.

In 1971, he became the first player in Broncos history to rush for 1,000 yards when he won the NFL’s rushing crown with 1,133 yards on the ground that season.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2010 will be formally inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame during the enshrinement ceremony on Saturday, August 7 at Canton’s Pro Football Hall of Fame Field at Fawcett Stadium.

 Senior Nominees, 1972-2010


Denver Broncos Detroit Lions
Recent Comments
  • Bert Willis - May 28 2010 01:04 PM

    Floyd single handedly brought the Broncos out the dark ages. And off the field, he has deserved the Hall of Hame for years. Floyd, thanks for the memories!!

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  • william - February 10 2010 07:55 PM

    its time floyd your number 1 here in denver we watch you in your glory beside what you nave givin to denver with your heart.god bless to you number 44 to the biggest hearted player to ever play.

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  • shane murphy - February 07 2010 03:44 PM

    i think bavaro deserves to be in i mean come on he carried about for players on his back during a nfc championship game against the 49ers and he won two superbowls also ottis anderson deserves it he was one of the greatest running backs offensive rookie of the year and a superbowl mvp i mean come on also phil simms i mean he was mvp of superbowl 21 and his numbers were great what killed him is the second superbowl he didnt play in but he basically brought them there i mean come on

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  • Jeff Greene - February 07 2010 09:31 AM

    Floyd Little embodies the type of player that every current NFL player should emulate. Not only was he the type of player that gave 110%, but he played unselfishly and was willing to sacrifice in order to give the fans the type of performance they deserved. He made all of his team members better as a result of his presence. He kept his franchise alive at a time when there was little hope for a pro football team to make it in the city of Denver. Most importantly, he carried himself with pride and dignity both on and off the football field. In nearly forty-five years of being a Bronco's and NFL fan, I've never seen a player whose contribution to the game was greater. Yet, because of the ineptitude of the teams Floyd played on, his contributions went relatively unnoticed to fans of the rest of the NFL. But, the game today is what it is as a result of the example he set for all of the games players and fans. He should have been a lock years ago. I urge voters to enshrine Floyd Little into the NFL Hall of Fame today. Jeff Greene

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  • Maxine Kuykendall - February 06 2010 01:51 PM

    Why so long to include Jim Plunkett? Even the San Francisco airport terminal has a Bronze bust of Plunkett in their United Terminal. I cannot believe he has been passed over so long. He was an outstanding QB under the coaching of Flores.Not until Ben from Pittsburgh has there been a QB who could stay calm and hold onto the ball, until he found an open receiver. I thought Jim had to already be a member of the Hall of Fame. Let him have the honors he deserves, do not wait until it is a post award.Look at Jim Kelly first he played QB in the AFC then the NFL. He just played on lousy teams. Should have won the Superbowl for the Bills, except the Kicker miss the winning field goal.That should not take away Jim Kelleys honor in the Football Hall of Fame.

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  • irighti - February 06 2010 10:45 AM

    I love the Broncos but..Little is not as deserving as Luis Wright, Karl Mecklemberg, or Randy Gradishar. LeBeau is not HOF material either.

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  • don parker - February 05 2010 07:58 AM

    the writers(?) that vote for the hall of fame should have voted Eddie Meador,fs L.A.RAMS into the h.o.f. 30 years ago and need to get off the pot and vote him in NOW!

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  • TERRY - February 02 2010 12:33 PM

    The first game I ever attended was Floyd Little's first game as a Bronco. I became a huge fan of football that day.To me Floyd Little was the greatest Bronco of all time (yes even greater than John Elway).For many years Little was our whole offense.Even though every defense knew this,he was still impossible to stop.Little gave 110% on the field, playing injured more often than not.NO ONE DESERVES THE HALL OF FAME MORE THAN FLOYD LITTLE.

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  • Michael Connelly - February 01 2010 09:24 PM

    Growing up near Denver, we hand nothing to cheer but the hapless Denver Broncos and a man with a mountain of character and monumental talent, Floyd Little. There was no Major League Baseball, no NHL hockey, no Mello and Chauncey-laden NBA gods ... we were in a forgotton time zone, a haven for minor-league sports. Floyd Little was a man among boys and just took a beating every year, bashing his 44 off all oncoming rushers who had nobody else to worry about. He was the pillar of the community, a real hero to look up to, and someone who would stop and talk to you. It is great to hear he could make the HOF. Recently he went broke in the car business. Only the worst economy can stop 44. There would be no Orange Crush or John Elway or filthy rich owners like Pat Bowler if it were not for lunch-pale players like Floyd Little. Now, let's talk about No. 20, Louie Wright!

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  • Bill Duckworth - February 01 2010 12:21 PM

    I strongly urge your committee to select Floyd Little for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I was a young Denver graduate when Floy began playing for the Denver Broncos (I had come to Denver in 1960 and discovered the Broncos in their first season). Floyd Little was the MOST EXCITING RUNNER I had ever seen and to this day I believe he was one of the greatest backfield running stars ever (I have seen many in my 50 years of watching Pro Football). I cheered his every move, even if the Broncos were NOT a very good football team. Floyd Little was the greatest runner of that era and would have easily been selected by now if he had played for the Dallas Cowboys. As it was, he was selected by the Denver Broncos and he initiated the quality of play and the greatest running ability of ALMOST ANY PRO FOOTBALL running back. You would do an honor to the Pro Football Hall of Fame to SELECT him THIS YEAR to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. What he DID ACCOMPLISH was a miracle especially considering the team, the Broncos that he played for. BUT he set a new standard for pro football in Denver that set a HIGH STANDARD that would eventuall lead to the John Elway and Terrell Davis era and Denver's Super Bowl teams. I sincerely believe that Floyd Little set a standard for both Denver and for the NFL in his great efforts and great performance during those 9 seasons as a Bronco. HE TRULY MUST BE ADDED TO THE PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME. I highly recommend that you select this amazing running back for the Pro Football Hall of Fame THIS YEAR. Sincerely, Bill Duckworth,19348 6565 Re, Montrose, Colorado, Phone # 970-240-4197

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  • steven maran - February 01 2010 12:48 AM

    stabler was all 70s QB of the decade the only QB of any decade not to be in the hall? something smells rotten....

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  • steven maran - February 01 2010 12:46 AM

    what about kenny the snake stabler...without him those raider teams go nowhere..mr 2 minute...better stats than griese...before being traded was the highest pct passer of all time

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  • Eric Beyer - January 31 2010 10:14 PM

    I think that Former Redskins Running Back, Larry Brown should be considered for the Hall of Fame. He was MVP, led the NFL in Rushing twice and overcame a hearing problem to become one of the best backs of his era. If injuries wouldn't have slowed him, he would have been in the top 10 lists in most categories. I think this Great Athlete has been overlooked for too long.

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  • JDG - January 31 2010 09:53 PM

    I believe both men should be enrolled; remember that times, attitudes and salaries have changed drastically since their okaying days. Stats speak volumes about his natural abilities when the inept Bronco offensive line of the era is considered. That line was normally totally offensive. If we can't have both men, then Little gets my vote for doing it alone.

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  • Gayle Niemeyer - January 28 2010 07:58 PM

    Dermonti Dawson should definitely be in the hall of fame. He's been nominated before but he's a very low-key type of guy, so he doesn't blow his own horn.

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  • Guinn - January 28 2010 10:37 AM

    There is no reason in the world both these players should not be selected! They played the game for the game not millions like todays players do! If it were not for players like these two guys todays NFL would not be here! If I have to choose one, me beiing an old Bronco fan who watched Floyd play, I would have to choose him. He in alot of ways made the Broncos who they are, he basicly saved the team from moving or disolving! VOTE THESE GUYS IN!!!!

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  • Jim - January 26 2010 07:48 PM

    Both should be in the hall (Little more than LeBeau). He was the best running back at the time when the Broncos had no offensive line to block out the defense.

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  • Budd Pippin - January 25 2010 10:25 AM

    It is an absolute travesty that Floyd Little is not already in the Hall of Fame. His record and stats speak for themselves. Over the years, no team has been disrepected more than the Broncos when it comes to getting into the HOF. They have been in more Super Bowls than any other team except for the Cowboys and the Steelers, but they have less players in the HOF than virtually all teams. How did they accomplish all that? HOF voters, please explain!!

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  • Fred Haddock - January 25 2010 06:33 AM

    If any sports figure was my hero it was Floyd Little. For years Denver Broncos spelled offense F-l-o-y-d. (And defense Smith, Duranco, Jackson, Costa and Thompson). Not only on the field, but off the field in the community, Floyd set the example for character. If the Broncos were less than a touchdown behind with seconds left and Floyd was in the game, you always felt there was a chance to win. Floyd could have asked to be traded to a better team at any time but suffered through multiple 4-9-1 seasons, always seeking that elusive 1000 yard season. As often as not, it seemed, ending up on the IR instead, then back again the next year, and the next. He never gave up. He never quit. When he finally hit the 1000 yd. mark I remember how rather then calling attention to himself, he took the O-line out to dinner.

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  • santa - January 22 2010 11:42 AM

    come now LeBeau belongs in, but per the bio above ... wherein any such description should note that Night Train was on the other side ... lets be honest here

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  • Dylan Standard - January 18 2010 06:22 PM

    I think Floyd Little should win,he was the best running back ever,come on Floyd

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  • Tina Hedrick - January 13 2010 11:15 AM

    I want Dick LeBeau to win. He was A good player. But more than that he IS a GREAT coach. He took us to 2 super bowls.GOOD LUCK. Your the greatest!!!!

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  • Mark A Atnip - January 12 2010 03:12 PM

    While growing up in the 70's I never considered Little to be the flashiest, most versatile, fastest, or most electrifying back in Football, however I remember watching countless games and thinking to myself, "What would Floyd Little do on THIS team?" There is really no way to know, but the answer in the back of my head was always that Little would be the best in the league if he were playing on any of a dozen teams other than Denver. He could run inside, outside and catch the ball as well as many that have made a name for themselves for doing the same thing in the last few years. He was tough to tackle due to his bowlegged condition as well. Perhaps more than any other player in the league at that time (and SINCE for that matter) he was the ONE option the Broncos had. Perhaps no other team in NFL history has been so heavily dependent on ONE GUY. And he still had great numbers for his era. It's difficult today to imagine a team that received NO national coverage, but in the late 60's and early 70's it was the Broncos. I don't know if enough voters saw him play for him to receive the votes necessary, but if he does, it will be well deserved.

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  • ed rodak - January 09 2010 07:08 PM

    It's about time we had some Broncos nominated again to the HALL OF FAME... I think FLOYD LITTLE AND SHANNON SHARPE WERE THE BEST ALL AROUND...... I am sorry RANDY GRADISHAR didn't make it to the hall, but in the hearts of BRONCOS FANS, HE IS ONE OF OUR HEROS... GOOD LUCK TO ALL INDUCTEES.. BRONCOED BELLEVILLE, ILLINOIS

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  • andy - January 08 2010 09:38 PM

    Both candidates are worthy and should get in. And, nothing against either one of these candidates, but can Jerry Kramer get his proper due finally. He is one of the greatest guards to ever suit up. He was All Pro 5 times, which was voted by his peers if I remember correctly, pro bowl 3 times, and was 8 of 11 with field goals in 62, including 3 in a 16-7 championship game. He was also voted to the 50 year team in 69 of which he is the only member not in the Hall of Fame. A movement needs to be made by all the people that feel the way I do and help get this warrior in.

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  • Robert - January 04 2010 12:17 AM

    What about Jack Butler, Defensive Back for the Steelers in the 1950's? He also ran a talent scout called Blest for 44 years. He also had 52 interceptions in 9 season that was second to the most at the time of when he retired from football due to a knee injury.

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  • Dalton Paisley - January 03 2010 09:24 PM

    Do the right thing! Dick LeBeau would been selected years ago, had he not continued his superb coaching.

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  • Awason Sanders - January 02 2010 02:12 PM

    They both Deserve the Hall (LeBeau more than Little)

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