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Branch, Vermeil selected as Hall of Fame finalists

The former Raiders wideout and Super Bowl-winning coach, respectively, are one step closer to induction into the Canton, Ohio, venue.

A pair of NFL legends on Tuesday got one step closer to Hall of Fame enshrinement in Canton, Ohio.

The Hall of Fame announced earlier in the day that former Super Bowl-winning head coach Dick Vermeil and former All-Pro wideout Cliff Branch were selected as the Coach Finalist and Senior Finalist, respectively, by the Hall's selection panel.

Branch is posthumously on the cusp of being inducted into the Hall; he died in 2019. The fleet-footed wideout, among the first true stretch-the-field deep threats in the modern pro game, played 15 years. He caught 501 passes for 8,685 yards and scored 67 touchdowns.

Vermeil twice took teams to the Super Bowl – the 1980 Philadelphia Eagles and the 1999 St. Louis Rams, who defeated the Tennessee Titans to give Vermeil the elusive championship.

In all, Vermeil won 120 regular-season games as an NFL head coach.