Denver Broncos Greats... By The Numbers: #57

Denver Broncos Linebacker Mario Haggan sacks Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel during the 1st quarter at Mile High in Week10. Haggan sacked Cassel again in the 2nd quarter, forcing a fumble that Jason Hunter ran back for a touchdown.(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

In the history of the Denver Broncos, twelve players have worn #57. One Center and eleven Linebackers. This should be easy right? We all know who the #57 evokes. Okay, but there are a few more players here that maintained a respectable standard for this jersey. Here they are for your perusal. Let's get it started.

Mario Haggan LB 2008-Present
Jordan Beck LB 2007
Jashon Sykes LB 2003-04
Allen Aldridge LB 1994-97
Dave Wyman LB 1993
Mark Murray LB 1991
Ty Allert LB 1990
Mike Ruether C 1988-89
Matt Smith LB 1987
  Tom Jackson LB 1973-86
Bob Geddes LB 1972
John Huard LB 1967-69

John Huard was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 5th round (113th overall) of the 1967 NFL Draft. He started all 42 games in his 3 years with the Broncos at Middle Linebacker. Huard had 6 interceptions, one Fumble Recovery and a 19-yard punt return as a Bronco.

Bob Geddes was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the 14th round (360th overall) of the 1970 NFL Draft. There is a gap in his history, since he doesn't appear until 1972 with the Broncos. Geddes played one year in Denver and started 3 of 14 games.

Matt Smith played in 3 games for the Broncos in 1987.

Mike Ruether was drafted by the Cardinals in the 1st round (17th overall) of the 1984 NFL Supplemental Draft. Ruether played for the Los Angeles Express of the USFL in 1984 and 1985. He joined St. Louis in 1986 and played there for 2 seasons before coming to Denver in 1988. Mike played Center for the Broncos in 1988 and 1989, appearing in 17 games.

Ty Allert was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 4th round (95th overall) of the 1986 NFL Draft. He split time playing for the San Diego Chargers and the Philadelphia Eagles until 1990. That year, Ty played one game with the Seattle Seahawks and 7 with the Broncos. Allert became a volunteer assistant for coach David McWilliams at Texas in 1991.

Mark Murray appeared in 6 games for the Broncos in 1991.

Dave Wyman was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2nd round (45th overall) of the 1987 NFL Draft. He spent 6 years in Seattle before joining the Broncos in 1993. Dave started all 16 games that year at Right Inside Linebacker, making 133 Tackles, 2 Sacks, 1 interception and recovered 2 Fumbles. He stayed with the Broncos for two more years, but switched to #92 and didn't have near the impact as he did in 1993.

Jordan Beck was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the 3rd round (90th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft. After his rookie campaign, Jordan came to Denver and played 11 games in 2007. He made 10 total Tackles that year.

Jashon Sykes was on the Denver practice squad for the 2002 season. He made the team in 2003 and played the next two years, starting 11 of 19 games at Linebacker (including a playoff game at Indianapolis in 2003). Jashon had 65 Tackles, two fumble recoveries and a blocked punt for the NFL's 4th-ranked defense. He ended his career with the Washington Redskins. Sykes did a coaching internship with the Broncos during the 2007 and 2008 training camps. In 2007, he worked with the Linebackers as and worked with the operations department in 2008, helping out primarily with the defensive line. After his retirement from Pro football, Jashon returned to his Alma Mater (Colorado) as an administrative assistant, working in recruiting and operations. He is currently Director of Football Operations for CU.

Allen Aldridge was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 2nd round (51st overall) of the 1994 NFL Draft. He played for them from 1994 to 1997. During those 4 years Allen started 45 of 64 games, recording 227 Tackles, 1.5 Sacks, 2 Forced Fumbles and one Fumble Recovery. He also got the starting nod at Middle Linebacker during the Broncos Super Bowl XXXII win against the Green Bay Packers.

Mario Haggan was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 7th round (228th overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft. He spent 5 years in Buffalo making 61 Tackles on Special Teams before joining the Broncos as a free agent on Nov. 4, 2008. That season Haggan totaled 20 tackles, 1 Sack and 4 Special Teams stops in 8 games. He was named starting Outside Linebacker and defensive captain in 2009  and started all 16 games for the first time in his career. Mario registered a personal-best 55 Tackles, 1 Sack and 3 Forced Fumbles. Last season, he set career highs with 5 Sacks and 87 Tackles. Haggan tied for the team lead with 10 Tackles For a Loss. He was one of 6 players in the NFL with 80+ Tackles and 5+ Sacks and also finished 2nd on the team in Tackles for the 2010 season.
 
Haggan started his 2nd consecutive game at Outside Linebacker in Week 10 and turned in one of the best performances of his career -- 3 Sacks, 6 solo Tackles and one Forced Fumble against Kansas City. The highlight play was a Sack-Fumble that LB Jason Hunter returned 75 yards for a touchdown. In the season finale against San Diego, Haggan recorded a season-high 9 Tackles. All told, Haggan made 32 starts in 40 games, recording 159 Tackles, 7 Sacks, 2 pass deflections, 5 Forced Fumbles and one Fumble Recovery.

I guess you could put up an argument for Mario Haggan, but in my mind, the Greatest Bronco to wear #57 is...

Tom Jackson

Tom Jackson was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 4th round (88th overall) of the 1973 NFL Draft. He played 14 seasons for the Broncos (13 seasons wearing #57) and started every possible game in a season 7 times for his career.

TJ played in Super Bowls XII and XXI for the Broncos and held Denver team records for most seasons (14) and games played (191) for many years after his retirement until both marks were broken by Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway. 

He helped the Broncos to 6 playoff berths (1977-79,‘83-84, ‘86), 4 division titles (1977-78, ‘84, ‘86) and 2 Super Bowls (XII in 1977, XXI in 1986). Jackson was one of only 4 players to play for the Broncos in both of the aforementioned Super Bowls, played 9 years apart. 

He finished his career with 20 interceptions (returned for 340 yards and 3 touchdowns), 8 Fumble Recoveries (returned for 104 yards), 13 Sacks (his season high was 5.5) as a weak-side blitzer in Denver's 3-4 defense. 

Upon his retirement in 1987, Tommy immediately joined ESPN as its NFL studio analyst for the launch of the network’s NFL game coverage. 24 years later, he remains one of sports television’s foremost pro football analysts. 

  • 3-time Pro Bowler (1977, 1978, 1979)
  • 1-time 1st-Team All-Pro (1977)
  • Broncos Most Inspirational Player 6 consecutive seasons (1981-86)
  • Team Defensive MVP (1974, 1976, 1977) 
  • 2nd (Tie) Most games started by a Bronco (177) 
  • 1 of 5 Broncos to wear a Denver uniform for at least 14 seasons.
  • Denver Broncos Ring of Fame (1992)

That last bullet point just caps the reasons why Thomas Louie Jackson III gets MHR's Mile High Salute as the Greatest Bronco to wear #57.

Go Broncos!




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