Tomlinson, Taylor head the list of 15 Hall of Fame finalists

LT, Jason Taylor, Brian Dawkins among first-year eligibles on HOF's 15 finalists. list.

The list of 15 Hall-of-Fame finalists was announced Tuesday and Talk of Fame Network hosts Ron Borges, Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge delved deeply into why those selections were made and who figures to advance to enshrinement in Canton. Together, they have been Hall-of-Fame voters for 40 years, and nobody better understands the process better than Ron, Rick and Clark.

They analyze what it means that former finalist Steve Atwater did not make the cut this time and why only four defensive players were among the final 15.

A year ago, the debate on Terrell Owens lasted nearly an hour before he failed to advance to Canton. Will he make it this time as he battles Isaac Bruce and the other 13 contenders?

The issue of longevity should be hotly debated as well, with Terrell Davis, Tony Boselli and senior nomine Kenny Easley also making the finals. Each had their careers cut short by injury and your Hall of Fame Guys Ron, Rick and Clark discuss how that might impact their candidacies and what history says of their chances.

Is there a lock on this year’s list of 15? Some say first-year eligible LaDainian Tomlinson may be. Our guys discuss that in depth and wonder if he’s the cinch that outsiders think.

In addition to a full rundown of the finalists, the guys also visit with retiring Ravens’ wide receiver Steve Smith, Sr., who announced his retirement after the Ravens’ final game and who told our guys he’s wasted no time filing his paperwork both with the league office and the NFLPA. Ever honest and revealing, Smith said he didn’t want to be a player who decides halfway into a new season that his time is up.

“I’m at peace and comfortable in my own skin,’’ Smith said. “I don’t want to be a player looking in the mirror thinking I should have done it five games ago.’’’

The guys also visit with Hall-of-Fame voter Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News to discuss the turmoil in Buffalo that resulted in the firing of Rex Ryan and the passing of former Bills special-teams coordinator Bruce DeHaven. And they debate the issue of who the league’s MVP should be this year and what the meaning of that award really is.

Talk of Fame Network can be heard on SB Nation radio stations around the country, Sirius Radio, on the TuneIn app or the show’s free podcast at iTunes. You can also hear this show and past ones by going to our website, and clicking on the helmet icon.