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Reed again a finalist for Hall of Fame

CANTON, Ohio -- Buffalo Bills all-time great receiver Andre Reed is among the 15 finalists announced Sunday for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's class of 2011.

It is the fifth straight year in which Reed has made the list of finalists.

Running backs Curtis Martin, Jerome Bettis and Marshall Faulk, cornerback Deion Sanders and offensive tackle Willie Roaf are the first-year eligible players who made the final 15 in voting conducted by the Hall of Fame's board of selectors. Martin, Bettis and Faulk each are among the NFL's top 10 leading career rushers.

Reed is among three receivers on the finalist list, along with Tim Brown and Cris Carter. This is Carter's fourth straight year as a finalist. It's the second straight year for Brown.

The other finalists are: center Dermontti Dawson; defensive ends Richard Dent, Charles Haley and Chris Doleman; defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy; and tight end Shannon Sharpe, along with NFL filmmaker Ed Sabol.

The 15 finalists, plus senior nominees Chris Hanburger and Les Richter will be considered for induction Feb. 5, the day before the Super Bowl. The enshrinement will be in August.

Reed, who played from 1985 to 2000, caught 951 passes for 13,198 yards. At the time of his retirement he ranked third in NFL history in catches and fourth in yards. Reed's 87 touchdown catches put him 11th on the all-time list. Reed is third all time in playoff catches and fourth all time in receiving yards in the playoffs.

Other repeat finalists include Dent, who has made the final 15 seven times. This is the third year for Sharpe, Dawson and Kennedy and the second for Haley.

The first-year eligibles include Martin, who retired from the New York Jets as the No. 4 overall rusher with 14,101 yards in 11 seasons. One of the most consistent backs of his era, he ran for 1,000 yards in 10 straight seasons.

Bettis ranks fifth at 13,662 yards in 13 seasons, three for the Rams and a decade with the Steelers, with whom he won the 2006 Super Bowl in his final game.

Faulk is 10th in rushing with 12,279 yards for the Colts and Rams and won the 2000 Super Bowl with St. Louis. A prime receiver out of the backfield, Faulk was the 2000 NFL MVP.

Sanders scored nine times on interceptions, also played offense at times, and is a former major league baseball player. He won the 1995 Super Bowl with San Francisco and the 1996 game with Dallas.

Roaf, the eighth overall draft choice in 1993 by New Orleans, played right tackle as a rookie, then spent the next 12 seasons as a left tackle. He made 11 Pro Bowls as a premier blocker, particularly in pass protection, and was voted the NFL's 1990s All-Decade team.


Mularkey's focus on Falcons

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey doesn't know Cleveland's timeframe for hiring a new coach following his recent interview with the Browns.

That was about all Mularkey would acknowledge publicly about his candidacy in Cleveland. He interviewed with Browns team president Mike Holmgren and general manager Tom Heckert on Saturday.

"I'm going to move on from commenting about that," Mularkey said Sunday. "I'll move on to anything else you want to talk about."

Mularkey, who is helping the Falcons prepare for a home playoff game Saturday, hopes to become an NFL head coach for the second time. He had a 14-18 record with Buffalo from 2004-05.

Mularkey canceled an interview with the Denver Broncos last week. He isn't sure if the Browns will request a second interview, but Mularkey was adamant that his primary focus is Atlanta's next game.

"I just know this has been very important to me," he said. "It's important to our team. I'm not sure when a decision is coming down."

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