Have you ever wondered what the greatest teams of all time would look like? Well look no further because throughout the offseason we will be going team by team, assembling the greatest teams of all time! “This one’s for John!” Those famous words have gone down in history for Broncos fans as a rally cry around John Elway. Much the same, the Denver Broncos have gone down in history as one of the most storied franchises accounting for three Super Bowls and nine Hall Of Famers. Buckle up your seatbelts as we are entering the No Fly Zone!
Quarterbacks: John Elway is of course the obvious choice to lead the way here in today’s article. Here’s an interesting stat for your local trivia night; John Elway played in five Super Bowls and rushed for a touchdown in all, but one of the big games. One aspect of his career that goes unnoticed is the third Super Bowl he brought to Denver as the Vice President of Football Operations. His business savvy helped secure all-time great quarterback Peyton Manning, DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib and several other pivotal free agents. All are notorious for helping achieve the team’s third Super Bowl.
Running Backs: “Woah, Georgia, Georgia
No peace, no peace I find” The University of Georgia Bulldogs have notoriously over the years produced some of the NFL’s great talent at the running back position. Herschel Walker, Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb, and oh course Denver Broncos Hall Of Famer, Terrell Davis. Nicknamed “TD”, Davis went on to score 12 playoff rushing touchdowns in his career, including three in Super Bowl 32. Davis rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of his first four seasons in the league. Don’t forget to check out Floyd Little as well because there was nothing “little” about the running style he brought.
Wide Receivers: Here’s another trivia question for all you enthusiasts out there. Who was the first NFL player in pro football history to record 100 receptions in a single season? Broncos fans will know this to be Lionel Taylor, who was also apart of the Denver Broncos inaugural season. The group here is just filled with some of the hardest working receivers in NFL history, the “Mr Dependable’s” of their respective eras. Talk about a family full of football blood as well with the McCaffrey’s; Ed McCaffrey’s eldest son, Max, plays wide receiver for the 49ers. His next-eldest, Christian, is a running back for the Carolina Panthers. The third-youngest, Dylan, plays quarterback at Michigan. And finally his youngest son, Luke, is a quarterback at Valor Christian High, where Ed is head coach.
Tight Ends: Hands down Shannon Sharpe is a top five tight end in NFL history. Known nowadays for his quotable sayings on FS1’s show “Undisputed”, Sharpe could be called the Rob Gronkowski of his time. In a Denver uniform, Sharpe recorded 675 receptions and 55 touchdowns, appeared in seven Pro Bowls, was a four-time All-Pro and was the starting tight end for the Broncos first two Super Bowl victories. What made him special was his consistent hands, raw strength to block linebackers, and natural athletic ability which run in the families blood.
Defensive Ends: When you have to face a player with the nickname “Tombstone” you know it’s gonna be a long day. Offensive lineman in late 1960’s/early 1970’s quickly learned this with Broncos defensive end Rich Jackson. Jackson became famous for moves such as the “head slap” and the “halo spinner” which he used to elude opposing offensive linemen. Elvis Dumervil though has got to be the greatest defensive lineman for the Broncos. Dumervil topped 10 sacks four times in his career, including two 17-sack seasons.
Linebackers: There have been some very low key prolific linebackers to put on that orange and navy blue jersey for the Denver Broncos. Von Miller, Simon Fletcher, Karl Mecklenburg, Randy Gradishar. Try saying that five times fast! You have the leaders of sacks for the franchise with Miller and Fletcher. Leaders of tackles goes out to Mecklenburg and Gradishar. Amazing athlete and revered football analyst Tom Jackson is a personal honorable mention for me here due to the fact that his commentary made me love the game for what it is now. Very outspoken when it came to social issues and football analysis.
Secondary: When you think of the Denver Broncos in recent years the first thing that should come to mind is defense. Specifically the “No Fly Zone” defense that became popular in 2015. This team has always been known for their hard hitting, ball hawking defensive backs producing the likes of Billy Thompson, Steve Atwater and newest Hall Of Famer Champ Bailey. If you’re looking for a late night YouTube highlight clip to watch, check out the Monday Night Football game in 1990, where Atwater thumped one of the greatest tackles in Broncos history.