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.