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Randy Gradishar, Steve McMichael & Art Powell named Senior Finalists for Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024 (1 Viewer)


Linebacker Randy Gradishar, defensive tackle Steve McMichael and wide receiver Art Powell have moved to the final step in the selection process for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2024.

Hall of Fame President Jim Porter reached Gradishar by phone Tuesday afternoon to tell him about his status as a Finalist. Gradishar immediately asked if his wife, Beth, could be included via conference call, and the couple learned the news together.

“It’s a great, great day to hear your voice,” Randy Gradishar told Porter.

A member of the acclaimed “Orange Crush” defense for the Denver Broncos from 1974 to 1983, Gradishar was named AP Defensive Player of the Year in 1978. That season, he intercepted four passes on a unit that finished in the top six in the NFL in most defensive categories. One year earlier, he helped Denver reach Super Bowl XII. In his 11 seasons, Gradishar never missed a game, playing 151 overall. He totaled 20 interceptions and 13 fumble recoveries. He was a two-time first-team AP All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowler.

McMichael was another player with remarkable durability. A Super Bowl champion with the 1985 Chicago Bears, he played 227 games (including playoffs) over 15 seasons, never missing a start due to injury. His 95 career sacks rank fourth all time for defensive tackles, and he was credited with 13 forced fumbles. He led Bears linemen in tackles seven times in his 13 seasons in Chicago. McMichael twice was named to the AP’s All-Pro first team and was selected to two Pro Bowls.

Powell played in three professional football leagues, starting his career in Canada for two years before joining the Philadelphia Eagles in 1959 for one season, seeing action exclusively as a defensive back. He then joined the New York Titans in the inaugural season of the AFL and made an immediate impact at wide receiver, catching 69 passes for 1,167 yards and a league-best 14 touchdowns. He played two more years with the Titans, again eclipsing 1,000 yards in 1962. Moving to the Oakland Raiders in 1963, Powell turned in his most impressive season statistically: 73 catches for a league-high 1,304 yards and league-leading 16 touchdowns. He finished his career with 479 receptions for 8,046 yards (16.8 average) and 81 touchdowns.

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