Long-time Saint great Willie Roaf has advanced to the group of semifinalists in the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 2012 selection process.
In January, the results of the voting will be revealed for the cut down to 15 finalists. The new members of the Hall of Fame will be announced the day before Super Bowl XLVI, on February 4, 2012. The induction ceremony is held annually in August at the kickoff of the league's preseason.
Roaf was one of the 15 finalists last year, before missing the final cut in the 2011 class.
Roaf would join Rickey Jackson, inducted in August 2010, as the only players who earned their way into the Pro Football Hall of Fame based on the merits of a career mostly spent with the Saints.
Roaf, the eighth overall pick by the Saints out of Louisiana Tech in 1993, played nine seasons in New Orleans and four in Kansas City. He was named to the 1990s NFL All-Decade team, and is a member of the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame.
Another player, longtime Seahawk DT Cortez Kennedy, made the semifinalists. Kennedy is a friend of the Saints organization and an advising consultant to Saints GM Mickey Loomis.
Bill Parcells is also in the semifinalist group and is regarded as a lock to be a member of the Hall of Fame. Parcells was Saints head coach Sean Payton's mentor. Of Parcells, Payton has said, "He taught me so much. Just about people and about teaching and about evaluation and about preparation. I'm better having had a chance to work with him."
Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, a crucial factor in endless negotiations which eventually resulted in the Saints' current peace with the state of Louisiana and the renovated Superdome, is also among the semifinalists.
New Orleans native Aeneas Williams, a long-time member of the Cardinals and Rams franchises, is a member of the class. Williams attended Fortier High School and went to college at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.