Denver Broncos Greats... By The Numbers: #34

 


Ten players wore the #34 jersey in Denver Broncos history. Five Running Backs, four Defensive Backs and one Linebacker. Here are the ten candidates.


Kyle McCarthy S  2010-Present
Joshua Bell CB 2008
Cedric Cobbs RB 2006
Reuben Droughns RB 2002-04
Raymont Harris RB 2000
Tyrone Braxton DB 1987-93, ‘95-99
Nathan Poole RB 1982-83, ‘85, ‘87
Gus Hollomon DB 1968-69
Don Stone FB 1961-64
Hardy Brown LB 1960

Hardy Brown is what you call a throwback player. I don't mean that in a bad way either. A throwback to the old times. An authentic "Old School" guy. He was drafted by the New York Giants in the 12th round (104th overall) of the 1947 NFL Draft. Hardy is one of only two men that have played in the AFL, NFL and the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). In his NFL days, Brown played for the San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins, and the Denver Broncos. Hardy played Middle Linebacker for the Broncos in  1960, but there isn't a listing for any personal stats for that year. He made the Pro Bowl in 1952 as a member of the San Francisco 49ers.

Don Stone was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 21st round (249th overall) of the 1959 NFL Draft. He played 4 years as a Bronco from 1961-64, appearing in 48 games at Halfback. Don ran for 1,273 yards and 10 touchdowns on 329 carries, a 3.9 average. He caught 84 passes for 813 yards and 7 more touchdowns. In 1961, Stone made the Pro Bowl with 505 yards rushing, 344 yards receiving, 8 touchdowns and he he returned 9 kickoffs for a 23.9 average. That was the only year don was used as a returner. In case you're wondering how a Running Back could make it to the Pro Bowl on 505 yards rushing, consider this--that year, Don was ranked 6th in the League in rushing yards and he 36.1 per game average was good for 6th too. The Broncos had a total of 1,104 yards rushing and the schedule was only 14 games back then.                                                                                                        

Gus Hollomon was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 4th round (111th overall) of the 1968 NFL Draft. He played for the Broncos for 2 years and 3 years with the New York Jets in his career. Gus started 9 of 27 games in 1968-69 as the Punter and backup Safety for Denver. He punted 47 times with a 39.7 average and had one blocked. Defensively, Hollomon made 2 interceptions and Recovered 3 Fumbles.


Nathan Poole was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 10th round (250th overall) of the 1979 NFL Draft. He played two seasons with the Bengals before coming to Denver in 1982. Nate played 4 years as a Bronco; 1982, 1983, 1985 and 1987. He started 10 of 30 games at Fullback, with 420 yards and 5 touchdowns on 120 carries and 21 catches for 193 yards. Poole had 1 kick return for no yards in 1982.

Raymont Harris was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 4th round (114th overall) of the 1994 NFL Draft. He played there 4 seasons, spent one year as a Green Bay Packer and played 1 game with the Patriots before a 3 game stint with the Broncos in 2000. Harris had 22 yards rushing and 19 yards receiving in those 3 games.

Cedric Cobbs was drafted by the New England Patriots in the 4th round (128th overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft. He played 3 games in 2004 for the Patriots and earned a Super Bowl Ring (SB XXXIX) with them. Cobbs was acquired by the Broncos in 2006, via free agency. He played in 2 games in Denver, gaining 9 yards on 3  carries. He was released on May 1, 2007 but re-signed in August. Cedric didn't make it past the first round of cuts six days later. He is currently a running back for the Arkansas Twisters of the af2 (arenafootball2) and looking to sign a Free Agent contract with an NFL team.

Joshua Bell was signed by the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2008. He was released on August 30. Bell was signed to the Broncos practice squad on September 24, 2008 and  promoted to the active roster on October 27 after an injury to Champ Bailey. Josh made 5 starts in 9 games,  with 34 tackles and 4 passes defensed. He was waived/injured and placed on  Injured Reserve on September 4, 2009. The next day, Denver reached an injury settlement with Bell and released him.

Kyle McCarthy joined the Broncos as a college free agent on April 30, 2010. He spent the first 5 weeks on the Practice Squad before being promoted to the active roster on Oct. 16, 2010. McCarthy made his NFL debut against the New York Jets in Week 6, seeing action on Special Teams. Kyle made his mark  across the pond in London during Week 8 against San Francisco. McCarthy made his first 2 career Tackles, on Special Teams. In Week 10 against Kansas City, McCarthy made his pro debut on defense and recorded his first 2  tackles (1 solo) in the NFL. He was placed on season-ending Injured Reserve with a knee injury on Dec. 13th.


Reuben Droughns was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the 3rd round (81st overall) of the 2000 NFL Draft. He played on the Lions for one year in 2001 after spending the 2000 season on Injured Reserve. Reuben played on the Broncos for 3 seasons. He was supposed to play fullback, but became the next 1,000-yard rusher in  Denver's Running Back factory, surpassing 1,200 yards in 2004. Even after that performance, Droughns wasn't guaranteed the starter's job in 2005, so he requested a trade. His wish was granted on March 30, 2005. The Broncos traded Reuben to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for Defensive Linemen Ebenezer Ekuban and Michael Myers. Droughns had another 1,200 yard rushing season in 2005 for the Browns.

One could make a case for Don Stone or Reuben Droughns for this accolade, but I think many will agree with the choice I made.

The Greatest Bronco player to wear #34 is...

DB  Tyrone Braxton 




Tyrone Braxton was drafted by the Broncos in the 12th round (334th overall) of the 1987 NFL Draft. He played 12 of his 13 year career for the Denver Broncos with a one year stint with the Miami Dolphins in 1994. To Broncos fans, "Chicken" was the scrawny strong safety who symbolized perseverance, moving from unheralded 12th-round draft pick out of North Dakota State to two-time Super Bowl champion. 

Tyrone was listed as 5'11", 185 and had average speed. Many would say he was too short, too light and too slow...until the game began. In fact, his teammates used to make fun of him because he had chicken legs, but Tyrone Braxton was all player, all the time.

During his years with the Broncos, Denver won two world championships, two other AFC championships, and the Broncos lost an AFC title game at Buffalo in 1991. 

He made key plays in both of the Broncos Super Bowl victories when he made a 1st quarter interception against the Packers in Super Bowl XXXII while recovering a fumble in the 4th quarter of Super Bowl XXXIII against Atlanta. 

 

NFL Accomplishments

 

  • Played in 5 Super Bowls with the Broncos 
  • 2 Super Bowl Rings (SB XXXII, SB XXXIII) 
  • 1 Pro Bowl (1996)
  • Led NFL with 9 interceptions (1996)
  • Made 90+ Tackles twice (1991-92)
  • Made 100+ Tackles twice (1989, 1993)

 

Team Status

 

MOST INTERCEPTIONS
 
  • Career 34 (4th)
  • Season  9 (3rd) Tie

MOST YARDS ON INTERCEPTION RETURNS
  • Career 614 (4th)
  • Season 128 (8th) Tie
  • Game    72 (8th)

HIGHEST INTERCEPTION RETURN AVERAGE
  • Career (min. 10 returns)
  • 18.06

MOST CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH INTERCEPTION
  • 4 (2nd) 1996 (gms. 12-15)

 

MOST INTERCEPTIONS RETURNED FOR TOUCHDOWN
  • Career 4 (1st)

 

LONGEST SCORING INTERCEPTION RETURN
  • 69 (6th)


LONGEST NON-SCORING INTERCEPTION RETURN

  • 72 (2nd)

 

All total, Tyrone started 132 of 165 games at Safety and Cornerback, with 820 Tackles, 3.5 Sacks, 34 interceptions, 4 pick-sixes, 8 Forced Fumbles and 1 Fumble Recovery. He also returned one Kickoff 34 yards.
 
Braxton is currently an assistant coach at Arvada High School under head coach Kevin Clark, another former Denver Bronco.


MHR gives a Mile High Salute to Tyrone "Chicken" Braxton.

Go Broncos!
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