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SEVEN EX-BILLS NOMINATED FOR HALL

Seven former Buffalo Bills players, along with owner Ralph Wilson Jr. and former head coach Chuck Knox, are among 89 nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Quarterbacks Dan Marino and Steve Young and wide receiver Michael Irvin are among nine first-timers on the preliminary ballot.

Former Bills nominated are special teams star Steve Tasker (1986-1997), center Kent Hull (1986-1996), linebacker Darryl Talley (1983-1994), defensive tackle Fred Smerlas (1979-1989), receiver Haven Moses (1968-1972) linebacker Chris Spielman (1996-1997) and cornerback Lemar Parrish (1982).

Wilson, owner of the team since 1959, is nominated in the "contributor" category.

Knox coached the Los Angeles Rams, the Bills and the Seattle Seahawks in a career that lasted from 1973 to '94.

Marino, who holds the career records for yards passing, completions and touchdown passes, spent his entire 16-season career with the Miami Dolphins. Young, who began his career in the USFL, played first in the NFL for Tampa Bay, then starred with San Francisco, setting a record for touchdown passes in a Super Bowl with six in the 1995 game.

Irvin starred for the Dallas teams that won three Super Bowls in four seasons during the 1990s.

Other first-time nominees include Dan Reeves, who coached Denver to three Super Bowls and Atlanta to another; guard Nate Newton, who played with Irvin on the Dallas Super Bowl teams; defensive lineman Charles Haley, who was on Super Bowl winners with both San Francisco and Dallas; the late Derrick Thomas, who starred at linebacker for Kansas City; Kevin Greene, a pass-rushing star with several teams; and safety Steve Atwater, who starred for Denver in the '80s and '90s.

The list of 89 will be narrowed first to 25 semifinalists and then to 13 finalists. The 13 finalists will be joined by Bennie Friedman and Fritz Pollard, who were chosen last summer as the nominees of the old-timers committee.

A maximum of six can be elected in final voting Feb. 5.

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