CANTON, Ohio — The Pro Football Hall of Fame revealed 54 candidates who are one step closer to being enshrined in Canton as seniors, coaches or contributors, including four members of the Kansas City Chiefs organization.
Two of the candidates have been featured in a FOX4 special series about the close ties between the Chiefs and historically black colleges and universities.
The Hall of Fame announced Thursday that wide receiver Otis Taylor, coach Marty Schottenheimer, general manager Carl Peterson, and scout Lloyd Wells will have their candidacies considered by two different committees.
Taylor is among 25 senior candidates who played their final game no later than 1996. The Seniors Committee will cut that list to 12 by July 27. FOX4’s Harold Kuntz featured Taylor in his most recent installment in a series about the impact HBCU players made on the Chiefs.
The best athlete to come out of Prairie View A&M according to former teammates, Taylor was the Chiefs all-time leading receiver before the likes of Tony Gonzalez and Travis Kelce, racking up over 7,000 receiving yards, 400 receptions and 60 total touchdowns.
Taylor was instrumental in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl IV run, and a wideout who was ahead of his time.
“He was the prototype for the modern day receiver. He had the size, he had the speed, and those great hands,” author Michael Hurd told FOX4.
Revered coach Schottenheimer was the mastermind behind great Chiefs teams of the 1990s, posting a 101-58-1 record in 10 seasons leading Kansas City. He went to the playoffs seven times with the Chiefs, including a run of six consecutive appearances between 1990-1995.
He got as far as the AFC Championship Game in 1993, ultimately losing to the Buffalo Bills after knocking off the Pittsburgh Steelers and Houston Oilers. He had six seasons of double-digit victories, including two seasons where the Chiefs won 13 games, 1995 and 1997.
He’s one of only five coaches to lead three different franchises to the playoffs. Schottenheimer passed away in January 2021.
Peterson was the man who picked Schottenheimer to coach the Chiefs in 1989 and was right alongside for that run of greatness in the ’90s, leading Kansas City as its president and general manager between 1989 and 2008.
He was credited for helping foster a fervent fan experience at Arrowhead Stadium that’s now heralded as one of the best in the NFL and drafted a number of now-famous Chiefs. During Peterson’s tenure, the Chiefs selected Gonzalez, Derrick Thomas, Dale Carter, Will Shields, Brian Waters, Tim Grunhard, Dwayne Bowe and Dante Hall, among many others.
Wells was the first full-time African American scout in the NFL and found talent for the Chiefs between 1963 and 1974. Known as “The Judge,” Wells was responsible for ensuring that Taylor made his way to Kansas City, and was instrumental in stocking Chiefs’ rosters with HBCU talent.
“There were not a lot of Lloyd Wells. Well, there was never anybody like Lloyd Wells. There were no scouts who were consistently promoting those guys at HBCUs,” Hurd said.
“And as the AFL came along, he started making connections with Lamar Hunt and the Dallas Texans. And so, he started to funnel a lot of that Black talent to the AFL, and of course, a lot of those guys ended up with the Chiefs.”
Like the Seniors list, the candidates for coaches and contributors will be whittled down to 12 by July 27.