Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

HOF (Copy)

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

HOF (Copy)

Article excerpt

For the second year in a row, offensive tackle Orlando Pace and quarterback Kurt Warner are finalists for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

But two other stalwarts of the Rams' Greatest Show on Turf teams fell short of finalist status for the second year in a row: wide receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt.

All four former Rams became eligible for the Hall of Fame last year.

An athletic, gifted pass-blocker, Pace was a seven-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro selection during his career. The No. 1 overall pick in the 1997 draft out of Ohio State, the term "pancake block" came into popularity because of Pace's penchant for flattening opponents.

Pace was attending his son's basketball game Thursday night when he got the news.

"Any time you make it as a finalist, it's always an honor," Pace told the Post-Dispatch. "Just to have an opportunity to be in the Hall of Fame it's really an honor to be recognized that way."

During the height of the Greatest Show, the Rams led the NFL in total yards, passing yards, and points per game for three consecutive years (1999-2001). Overall, the Rams finished in the top 10 in total offense seven times with Pace anchoring the line at his left tackle position.

Warner led the Rams to a pair of Super Bowls, including a Super Bowl 34 championship over Tennessee to cap the 1999 season, and also guided the Arizona Cardinals to a Super Bowl. Warner, Craig Morton, and Peyton Manning are the only quarterbacks in NFL history to start a Super Bowl for two different teams.

He's a two-time league most valuable player, and was named Super Bowl MVP after throwing for a record 414 yards against the Titans.

"To be considered on this stage, and with this group of men, it's special," Warner said.

The list of 15 modern-day finalists included three others with St. Louis ties:

* The late Don Coryell, who coached the "Cardiac Cards" squads of the mid-1970s with the St. Louis Cardinals, is a finalist for the third time. A true innovator in the passing game, Coryell was idolized, studied, and copied by "Mad" Mike Martz the architect of the Greatest Show offenses. …

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