The number "24" has proven to be a popular one over the life of the Broncos' franchise. Worn by thirteen players in thirty-eight of Denver's fifty-one years. It has been worn by a fullback, running backs, and defensive backs. Some of these men have become household names when it comes to the Denver Broncos while others have barely merited a footnote in the Broncos' proud history.
Let's take a jump and meet the men of #24.
Appeared in 10 games with 0 starts. Rushed 30 times for 18 yards and 1 touchdown. Caught 5 passes for 34 yards. Returned 5 kickoffs for 72 yards.
Willie Brown DB 1963-66
Appeared in 50 games with 0 starts. Intercepted 15 passes for 195 yards. Forced 1 safety. Returned 3 punts for 29 yards. Returned 3 kickoffs for 70 yards. 2 time Pro Bowl player (1964, 1965). 1st Team All-Pro (1964). Won All-AFL honors in his 2nd year after a 9 interception/144 yards season. No statistics on tackles available.
Hal Lewis DB 1968
Appeared in 1 game with 0 starts. Recorded no official statistics. No statistics on tackles available.
Phil Brady S 1969
Appeared in 4 games with 0 starts. Recorded no official statistics. No statistics on tackles available.
Booker Edgerson CB 1970
Appeared in 6 games with 0 starts. Recovered 1 fumble. No statistics on tackles available.
Butch Byrd DB 1971
Appeared in 14 games with 0 starts. Recorded no official statistics.
Otis Armstrong RB 1973-80
Appeared in 96 games with 58 starts. Rushed 1023 times for 4453 yards with 25 touchdowns. Had a career 4.4 yards per carry average. Caught 131 passes for 1302 yards with 7 touchdowns. Had only 19 fumbles. Recovered 3 fumbles. Returned 37 kickoffs for 879 yards. Appeared in 2 Pro Bowls (1974 & 1976). Was 1 time 1st Team All-Pro (1974). In 1974, led the NFL in: Rushing Yards (1407), Yards/Rushing Attempt (5.1), Rushing Yards/Game (100.5). In 6 postseason games, rushed 38 times for 141 yards with 1 touchdown and caught 3 passes for 31 yards.
Rick Parros RB 1981-84
Appeared in 46 games with 32 starts. Rushed 329 times for 1330 yards with 6 touchdowns. Caught 80 passes for 626 yards with 5 touchdowns. Fumbled 12 times. Recovered 2 fumbles. Appeared in 1 postseason game and had 1 rush for 0 yards.
Tony Boddie RB 1986-87
Appeared in 6 games with 0 starts. Rushed 4 times for 9 yards with 1 touchdown. Caught 9 passes for 85 yards. Recovered 1 fumble. Did not appear in Denver's 1986 Super Bowl run. Appeared in two games during the 1987 Super Bowl run -- rushed 1 time for 8 yards and caught 1 pass for 15 yards.
Wymon Henderson CB 1989-91
Appeared in 62 games with 57 starts. Intercepted 11 passes for 261 yards and 2 touchdowns. Fumbled 1 time. Recovered 1 fumble. Recorded 300 tackles. No recorded postseason statistics.
Randy Fuller CB 1994
Appeared in 10 games with 1 start. Recorded 15 tackles and 2 assists.
Deltha O’Neal CB 2000-03
Appeared in 61 games with 36 starts. Returned 128 punts for 1325 yards with 2 touchdowns. Returned 55 kickoffs for 1245 yards with 1 touchdown. Intercepted 15 passes for 191 yards with 2 touchdowns. Forced 1 fumble. Recovered 4 fumbles. Recorded 144 tackles and 20 assists. Appeared in 2 Pro Bowls (2001, 2005). Was voted to the 1st Team All Pro one time (2005). Was not particularly effective on defense, made most of his contributions on special teams. Appeared in 1 postseason game and recorded 1 punt return for 13 yards along with 3 kickoff returns for 13 yards.
Champ Bailey CB 2004-Present
Appeared in 101 games with 101 starts. Has 2 sacks. Intercepted 30 passes for 322 yards with 3 touchdowns. Defensed 101 passes. Forced 4 fumbles. Recovered 1 fumble. Recorded 411 tackles and 64 assists. Was named to the Pro Bowl every year with the Broncos except 2008. Was voted 1st Team All-Pro 3 times (2004, 2005, 2006). Led the NFL in: Interceptions (2006), Interception Return Yards (2006) and Interceptions Returned for a Touchdown (2005). Set record for longest non-scoring play in NFL history (Jan 14, 2006 vs New England). Did not give up a touchdown in 2006. In 2009, had 80 passes thrown to his side and allowed only a single touchdown. Was chosen to be part of Denver's 50th Anniversary team.
Several of these players are worthy of consideration for the title "Greatest to Wear #24": 2-time Pro Bowler and 1-time First Team All-Pro DB Willie Brown for leading the NFL in 1964 with 9 interceptions. 2-time Pro Bowler and 1-time First Team All-Pro RB Otis Armstrong for leading the NFL in 1974 in Rushing Yards, Yards/Rushing Attempt, and Rushing Yards/Game, as well as being a part of Denver's first ever Super Bowl appearance. CB Wymon Henderson for starting 57 out of 62 games and recording 300 tackles. 2-time Pro Bowler and 1-time First Team All-Pro CB Deltha O'Neal for three kicks returned for touchdowns along with two interceptions returned for touchdowns. But there is one player who stands head-and-shoulders (impact wise, not literally) above this deserving group: 8-time Pro Bowler, 3-time 1st Team All-Pro, 7-year Bronco with 101 starts, 30 interceptions, 101 passes defensed, holder of 411 tackles and 64 assists and holder of the record for the longest non-scoring play in the history of the NFL --