Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Three Favorites plus one!-Denver Broncos

We return to a feature from last season with three favorites plus one.
The initial post rated three favorites of mine from the pre-1985 era that are in the Hall of Fame and one that I think should be,but isn't.
I'm going to tweak the formula a bit and move it back to pre-1990 and I open it up on non-HOFers when the post decides it.

In this post,we move to the team of my youth,the Denver Broncos.
The Broncos don't really have any favorites of mine in the Hall as many were before my time as a fan (Floyd Little and Willie Brown) and some were after (Shannon Sharpe,Gary Zimmerman) or better known with another club (Tony Dorsett).
Combine that with never been a big John Elway fan (although watching him,I might select him as my 1st pick if starting a franchise with any QB) and this will be a similar,but little different setup from the original idea..

With that in mind-here are my four favorite Denver Broncos that I think have a legitimate argument to be eventually enshrined in Canton...

Steve Atwater was a huge hitter at safety and wasn't a liability as much as some would think.
Many safeties that hit like Atwater can be sometimes weaker in pass coverage and Atwater wasn't one of those types.
Atwater was most famous for his crunching hit on Monday Night Football on the "Nigerian Nightmare" Christian Okoye,but Atwater punished ball carriers in the running game and passing game.
Safety tends to be an underrated position in Canton,but Atwater and our next favorite would get votes from me.

Atwater's partner at safety upon his Denver arrival was a first round selection in 1981 and also has a case for the HOF.
A six time Pro Bowler,Dennis Smith was both a ferocious hitter and a better playmaker than you would think for a player with his body type.
Smith could cover and hit,but was an underrated blitzer and kick blocker off the edge.
Dennis Smith is a deserving player in Canton,but it's going to be tough for him to get there...

Louis Wright was arguably the best corner in the AFC of his era after being Denver's first round pick in 1975 and yes,that's a strong statement,but he belongs in the class of those like Mel Blount,Mike Haynes and Lester Hayes-Wright was that good.
Wright's stats look mundane (26 interceptions in a 12 year career),but he was so smooth that quarterbacks stayed away from challenging him.
If the Broncos were one of the leagues glamour team then as they are now,Wright might already be in Canton...

My all time favorite Bronco's omission from the Hall is a joke and I would rank him above several linebackers that currently are in the Hall.
Former Buckeye Randy Gradishar was a tacking machine that didn't just make the tackles near him,he could run down players in space as well.
I think there is somewhat of a bias against inside linebackers of the 70's,80's and early 90's because they didn't roll up huge sack numbers and get the publicity of the outside linebackers.
Gradishar was my favorite Bronco as a kid and I always had his jersey.
Back in the 70's and 80's,if you were a fan of a team,the only place to get a jersey was either from the Sears or JC Penney's catalog.
Each team was represented by one player and if you didn't care for your player on your team of choice,you were out of luck.
Denver was not exactly filled with offensive players of note,so Gradishar was the choice for the Broncos.
I think Gradishar will eventually get in as a Veterans Committee candidate,but it should not have had to come to that point...

If you would like your team to eventually be a part of this series or even if you want to appear as a guest writer.-Let me know!!

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