Keary Colbert WR 2008
David Terrell WR 2005
Danny Kanell QB 2003-04
Jack Weil P 1986
Don Horn QB 1971-72
Steve Tensi QB 1967-70
Three quarterbacks, two wide receivers and a punter have worn the #13 for the Denver Broncos. Only three players on this list spent more than one season with the Broncos, so it should be fairly easy to narrow down. Nevertheless, let's take a look at each player that wore the #13 for the Denver Broncos.
Candidate 1: Keary Colbert
Keary Colbert was drafted in the 2nd round (62nd overall) in 2004 by the Carolina Panthers. He underperformed and the Panthers let him enter Unrestricted Free Agency, where the Broncos picked him up in March of 2008. Although, he never played a regular season game for the Broncos. In September of 2008, the Denver Broncos traded Keary Colbert to the wide receiver depleted Seattle Seahawks for a 2009 fifth round draft pick.
Candidate 2: David Terrell
Terrell was a 1st round pick (8th overall) for the Chicago Bears in 2001. After 3 years of terrible play and a 4th year of only mediocre production, the Bears released him on March 5th, 2005. The Patriots signed him and cut him. Then Broncos picked him up during training camp in 2005, just a few days after releasing Jerry Rice and then released Terrell a few days before opening day of the 2005 season. The Broncos signed him again, a few months later, but released him during training camp of 2006. Terrell hasn't been in the NFL since.
He can be considered one of the biggest busts of the decade and the fact that he never accumulated a stat for the Broncos will essentially disqualify him from being considered the best to wear the number 13.
Candidate 3: Danny Kanell
Danny Kanell was drafted by the New York Giants in the fourth round (130th overall) in the 1996 NFL Draft and was released in 1998. In the off season Kanell was picked up by the Atlanta Falcons to be the backup to their starter Chris Chandler. He played in Atlanta for two years, starting two games and seeing playing time in eight. He was released at the end of the 2000 season and signed with the New York Dragons Arena Football League team for the 2002 season. He impressed the Denver Broncos and was brought in as the third string quarterback in 2003.
He was released on the 29th of August and then brought back in week 7 after Jake Plummer (foot) and Steve Beuerlein (hand) suffered injuries. He started for 2 games until Beuerlein and Plummer returned. During that time, he threw 2 TDs and 5 INTs on 103 pass attempts. He stayed with the Broncos through 2004 as the backup for Jake Plummer, but he never saw starting time in the NFL again and was released after the 2004 season ended.
Candidate 4: Jack Weil
Jack Weil was brought to the Broncos as an undrafted rookie free agent out of the University of Wyoming in 1986. He played 6 games for the Broncos and averaged 39.53 yards per punt on 34 attempts. Jack Weil was waived and had a short, 2 game stint with the Washington Redskins in 1987. In the spring of 2010, he was a baseball coach at Stadley Lake High School in Westminster, Colorado.
Candidate 5: Don Horn
In 1967, Don Horn was a first round pick (25th overall) for the Green Bay Packers out of San Diego State University. He threw for 3,369 yards and 20 touchdowns in his 7 seasons of NFL action. He has a Super Bowl ring from Super Bowl II, however, as he was the backup to Hall of Famer Bart Starr. After the 1970 season, the Packers released him and he was brought to the Denver Broncos.
He was the starting quarterback for 9 games in 1971, where he led the Broncos to a record of 2-6-1 and completed 89 of 173 attempts for 3 TDs and 14 INTs. In 1972, he was still retained by the Broncos, but he did not see action on the field. In 1973, he went to the Cleveland Browns for one year and was released after the season.
Vince Lombardi, who drafted him in 1967, reportedly told his players that he was aware "three or four of you are here for the money and are sorry souls". Horn responded that today "only three or four are playing now for the love of the game." He also said that, at the time he was drafted, he was excited to be a first round choice because "that was over $1000 a month, something today's players wouldn't even cross the street for."
Candidate 6: Steve Tensi
Steve Tensi was drafted in the 16th round (224th overall) by the Baltimore Colts in 1965. He was released and signed with the San Diego Chargers. In San Diego, he didn't see any playing time in 1965 but in 1966, he threw 405 yards, 5 TDs and 1 INT.
For some reason, this impressed the Broncos so much that they traded their 1968 first round pick and 1969 first round pick (#4 and #9 overall, respectively). Tensi was supposed to be the QB that cured all woes for the Broncos. He was that quarterback sometimes, but was regarded by defensive players to be gun-shy, wanting to release the ball before pocket pressure was actually apparent. Tensi played for Denver from 1967 to 1970 and was the starting quarterback for the Broncos in 1967 and 1969. 1968 saw Marlin Briscoe as the starting quarterback, a story that Tim Lynch has covered on MHR, already. During his 4 seasons in Denver, he threw 348 completions on 810 attempts (43% completion percentage) for 38 TDs and 45 INTs.
Who is the greatest Bronco to wear #13?
Photo Courtesy of Beckett
A Mile High Salute to you Steve!