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Saturday, November 28, 2009
Hall of Fame list has strong AFC West influence

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its 25 semifinalists for enshrinement in 2010. The vote will be in February. Seven people who spent a significant part of their career in the AFC West are among the 25 finalists.

Here they are:

Cliff Branch, WR: 1972-85 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders

Will he get in? Branch did not get this far last year. He is a favorite of Oakland owner Al Davis. But it is a loaded receiver group this year.

Tim Brown, WR: 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders

Will he get in? Brown should be a first-ballot shoo-in.

Don Coryell, coach: 1978-86 San Diego Chargers

Will he get in? The passing-game genius will have a lot of support. He’s the only coach in the final 25.

Terrell Davis, RB: 1995-2001 Denver Broncos.

Will he get in? Davis will eventually get in, but it may be a while.

Ray Guy, P: 1973-1986 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders.

Will he get in? Guy is the center of much contention. Many believe he shouldn't even be a finalist and many think he should already be in the Hall.

Lester Hayes, CB: 1977-1986 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders

Will he get in? He was a game changer, and you can make a strong argument for him.

Shannon Sharpe, TE: 1990-99, 2002-03 Denver Broncos

Will he get in? The voting committee needs to correct its mistake from last year and get this guy into Canton.

Notable: Former Oakland quarterback Ken Stabler made the final 25 last year, but did not  this year. Receiver Jerry Rice spent four years in Oakland and will waltz into the Hall on his first ballot. Former Denver running back Floyd Little is a senior committee finalist.