Steve Atwater hopes more Broncos get in the Hall of Fame

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There’s a narrative among Broncos fans regarding a dearth of Broncos players in the Hall of Fame, even though the franchise currently is represented by Champ Bailey, Pat Bowlen, Terrell Davis, Brian Dawkins, John Elway, Floyd Little, Shannon Sharpe, Gary Zimmerman, and now Steve Atwater.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Atwater stumped for other Broncos to get in.

“We have a lot of guys that we need to see go in,” Atwater said. “Randy Gradishar, Karl Mecklenburg, Dennis Smith, John Lynch hopefully next year, Peyton Manning hopefully next year, Rod Smith. This franchise has unfortunately been overlooked for many years and fortunately we’ve gotten some players in in the last several years, but we have to keep it going because we still are, I think, very much underrepresented in the Pro Football Hall of Fame with the history that we’ve had here with the organization, with the winning ways we’ve had, that Orange Crush defense. How could they have not one person in the Pro Football Hall of Fame [from the Orange Crush defense]? To this day I just cannot understand that. Hopefully in the coming years that will be taken care of and we can get some guys in there.”

Dennis Smith will have a role in the Hall of Fame this year; Atwater selected Smith to handle a fairly important duty in August.

“I texted him last night and he agreed,” Atwater said. “My good friend and mentor Dennis Smith, he’s going to present me.”

Manning is a lock to get in next year. Some think Lynch’s ship will finally come in, now that other safeties (Troy Polamalu and Atwater) have cleared the bar. For the others, the wait likely will continue, indefinitely.

18 responses to “Steve Atwater hopes more Broncos get in the Hall of Fame

  1. Gradishar next year along with Pearson amongst seniors …

    I thought Dennis Smith was better than Atwater. Louis Wright was a shutdown corner and Bill Thompson, Lyle Alzado and Tom Nalen also have cases.

  2. I don’t want to hear it. The Bengals have one player in and every other team other than the Texans and Jaguars has several more. It is so unfair that the Bengals are so under-represented. They have been a team since 1968 and they have had a few that should be in. Ken Riley, Isaac Curtis, and Ken Anderson should definitely be in.

  3. Broncos fans are ridiculous. They were all good players but not HOF material. They were really perennial losers as teams who were just good or very good.

  4. I don’t usually put much stock in guys stumping for more guys from their team to get into the HoF. But here goes.

    Randy Gradishar was a seven-time Pro Bowler, All-Pro six times and NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1978. In 1983 the Orange Crush defense was third in yards allowed behind only the Steel Curtain and Dallas’ Doomsday defense. In 2008 a panel of former players and coaches voted him to the all-time 3-4 defensive team. This guy was probably underrated. He made it to the final 10 in 2003. There were so many good LBs during the time he played but he was probably every bit as good as Jacks Lambert and Ham.

    Dennis Smith was a six-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro twice. When I hear Dennis Smith I think of a hard-hitter–one of the hardest hitting safeties ever to play in the NFL.

    Kalr Mecklenburg was also a six-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro. He was part of a very good DL when he played.

    Are these guys good enough? There have been so many good players on teams but does that necessarily mean they are HoF-worthy? I don’t know what the requirements are but I put more stock in All-Pro (best player at their position) than Pro Bowler. Because of this I would probably say Gradishar has the strongest case.

  5. The Orange Crush Defense did not lead Denver to any Super Bowl wins. Did that defense even set any defensive records? I don’t know, i remember them having a kool name but not dominating games. Terrell Davis & Elway were dominant players on SB winning teams. I though Tom Jackson should have been the first Bronco into the Hall but i think politics played a big factor. I just don’t think the Broncos have been that dominant. I will do some homework though.

  6. Correction: If Brian Dawkins would represent any team (NFL players don’t go into the hall representing a team) it would be the Eagles. Period.

  7. The Atwater highlights the NFL put out when they announced he was going to the Hall of Fame were brilliantly done. They made sure not to include any of his countless cheap shots.

  8. Going by Pro Bowls is ridiculous nowadays. There are like 7 ‘Pro Bowl’ QB’s every year in EACH conference due to Super Bowl,
    Injuries and guys just not interested in playing in it. It is totally watered down at this point.

  9. Gradishar, Mecklenburg and Mike Shanahan. The latter coached two Super Bowl winners, fathered Kyle, and concocted a college offense that got a good year out of Robert Griffin.

  10. Terrell Davis impact on the game warrants him to be in the HOF. He was a super bowl MVP, Leauge MVP, and rushed for 2,000 yards in a single season despite sitting out 8 quarters of football due to leads in the games that season. He is also one of the most prolific playoff running backs ever.

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