Receiver Jerry Rice and running back Emmitt Smith head the list of the seven people who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame next August.

Rice is the ranking receiver in NFL history with 1,549 career receptions and Smith is the NFL’s all-time leading rusher with 18,355 career yards. Rice had his best seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and Smith spent most of his career with the Dallas Cowboys.

Also elected to the Hall of Fame on Saturday were offensive lineman Russ Grimm (Washington Redskins), defensive tackle John Randle (spent most of his career with the Minnesota Vikings), linebacker Rickey Jackson (most of his career was spent with the New Orleans Saints), running back Floyd Little (Denver Broncos) and cornerback/assistant coach Dick LeBeau, a former star with the Detroit Lions who has also earned famed as a defensive coordinator, primarily with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Among the eight people up for induction who didn’t get in includes former San Diego Chargers coach Don Coryell, the man who was ahead of his time with the progressive passing offensive systems used by many of today’s NFL teams.

Since this was the first time Coryell was among the final 15 people considered, it’s not a surprise he didn’t make it in this year. But he should be a prime candidate to earn induction next year or in 2012.

Hopefully the 85-year-old Coryell gets enshrined while he’s still alive.

I predicted a few weeks back that there was a good possibility of the maximum number of seven inductees being reached because of the strength of this class. But I figured if seven were inducted that the list would include one of the defensive linemen up for induction – former Chicago Bears great Richard Dent or pass rusher supreme Charles Haley (San Francisco and Dallas). I’m mildly surprise that neither one of them was inducted.

But I’m also sure there are a lot of people surprised that receiver Cris Carter (primarily of the Vikings) wasn’t one of the seven either.

It will certainly be another tough vote next season with the leftovers of this class and first-time eligible players like former San Diego State standout Marshall Faulk and cornerback Deion Sanders up for consideration.

Freeney doesn’t appear game ready

It’s still a well-guarded secret what Dwight Freeney’s status is for Sunday’s Super Bowl but it would be surprise if he’s much of a factor even if he does attempt to play.

The Indianapolis defensive end didn’t participate in the Colts’ walkthrough on Saturday, making it appear even more likely that he’ll be sitting out the game against the New Orleans Saints.

Colts coach Jim Caldwell was coy about Freeney’s status, which hardly ranks as a surprise as kickoff nears.

Meanwhile, receiver Reggie Wayne did participate one day after tweaking a knee injury that has bothered him all season. Caldwell expects Wayne to be fine on Sunday.

Saints’ Hamilton might miss Super Bowl

Former San Diego State running back Lynell Hamilton (ankle) missed the entire week of practices and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see New Orleans identify him as one of the team’s inactives on Super Bowl Sunday.

Cornerback Randall Gay remains ill but Saints coach Sean Payton expects Gay to be able to play.

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