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Denver Broncos Greats... By The Numbers: #38

The list of players who wore the #38 jersey as a Denver Bronco is short. Three Running Backs, a Fullback, a Defensive Back and a Safety in the past. There is a Defensive Back who will wear #38 in Training Camp for the Broncos in 2011. That man is Nick Polk, who was added to the practice squad on December 1, 2010. Here are the other six candidates. At first glance, you might think there isn't a clear choice. Let me assure you there is one.

Andrew Pinnock FB 2008
Steve Cargile S 2006-07
Mike Anderson RB 2000-05
Reggie Rivers RB 1991-96
Bruce Plummer DB 1987-88, ‘90
Ben Norman RB 1980

Ben Norman appeared in 3 games as a Running Back for the Broncos in 1980.

Steve Cargile played 14 games at Safety for the Broncos during the 2006 and 2007 seasons. He made 11 Tackles and Forced one Fumble.

Andrew Pinnock was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 7th round (229th overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft. He was mainly used as a Special Teams player and back-up to Lorenzo Neal. The Broncos picked up the Fullback in November of 2008. Andrew never made it on to the field in Denver and was released on April 29, 2009 to make room for LB Nick Greisen. Pinnock currently plays for the Florida Tuskers of the United Football League.

Bruce Plummer was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 9th round (250th overall) of the 1987 NFL Draft. He played 3 years for the Broncos as a Defensive Back, appearing in 26 games and recording 1 interception.

Reggie Rivers played Running Back for the Broncos from 1991 to 1996. In those 6 years, he played in every Broncos game during that span (96), starting 6 of them. Reggie ran for 428 yards and 6 touchdowns on 138 carries and caught 75 passes for 675 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also fumbled 3 times and recovered four. In 1993, Rivers was named the Denver Broncos' special teams Player of the Year. Bronco fans will also know that Rivers is a broadcaster. He graduated from Texas St. with a degree in Journalism and began working for KOA radio in Denver while still playing for the Broncos. Reggie also wrote a sports column in the Rocky Mountain News. After his retirement, Rivers moved to broadcasting full time. He has served as KCNC-TV's weekend sports anchor since 2006.

The Greatest Bronco to wear #38 is...

Mike Anderson RB 2000-05

Mike Anderson was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 6th round (189th overall) of the 2000 NFL Draft. In his 5 years as a Bronco, Mike started 51 of 74 games. He ran for 3,822 yards and 36 touchdowns on 865 carries for a 4.4 average. He caught 79 passes for 647 yards, 5 touchdowns and returned 5 kickoffs for 71 yards. Anderson also fumbled 11 times and recovered two.

Mike rushed for 1,487 yards in his first season. He was plagued by injuries in the following years and didn't even play in 2004 because of tearing both groin muscles in a preseason game. However, the 2005 NFL season was a good one for him. Anderson returned healthy and rushed for 1,014 yards in 15 games. In reaching his 2nd 1,000-yard rushing season, Mike set several modern-day NFL records, including:

  • Longest stretch between seasons leading a team in rushing
  • Longest stretch between a player's 1st and 2nd 1,000-yard rushing seasons
  • Greatest number of seasons passed between 1,000-yard rushing seasons with no intervening seasons rushing for that distance.
  • AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (2000)
  • All-Iron Award (2001)
Anderson was the 3rd different Running Back in 3 consecutive years to rush for over 1,000 yards. That created a reputation that Denver was a Running Back Factory and then Head Coach Mike Shanahan could plug in any back and hit that 1,000 yard mark.

On March 1, 2006, he was waived by the Denver Broncos to avoid exceeding the league-imposed salary cap. Mike finished his career as a member of the Baltimore Ravens and retired in February of 2008.

For continuing the traditional touchdown celebration (no one else was more qualified than a former Marine) and his hard nosed style of play. MHR returns the Mile High Salute to Mike Anderson as the Greatest Bronco to wear #38.

Go Broncos!