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Denver Broncos Greats... By The Numbers: #43

Eleven players have worn the #43 for the Denver Broncos in team history. Three Defensive Backs, three Safeties, three Cornerbacks and a Running Back. In my mind there is a clear-cut winner here, but don't worry, you will have your chance to vote. Here are the candidates for the Greatest Bronco to wear #43...

Herana-Daze Jones S 2008
Roderick Rogers S 2007-08
Izell Reese S 2002
Derrick Clark RB 1994
Steve Foley DB 1976-86
Lonnie Hepburn CB 1974
Pete Jaquess DB 1967-70
Bob Richardson DB 1966
Charles Marshall HB 1962
John Nocera CB 1963
Frank Bernardi CB 1960

Frank Bernardi was drafted by the Chicago Cardinals in the 4th round (38th overall) of the 1955 NFL Draft. He appeared in six games at Left Cornerback for the Broncos in 1960 without compiling any stats.

John Nocera was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 16th round (182nd overall) of the 1957 NFL Draft. He appeared in 9 games for the Broncos in 1963 and didn't compile any stats.

Charles Marshall appeared in 5 games for the Broncos in 1962 and didn't have any recordable stats.

Bob Richardson appeared in 9 games for the Broncos in 1966 and didn't compile any stats.

Pete Jaquess was drafted by the Houston Oilers in the 20th round (158th overall) of the 1964 AFL Draft. He played two seasons with the Oilers and went to the Pro Bowl in his rookie year. Jaquess spent a year and a half with the Miami Dolphins before joining the Broncos in 1967. He started 13 of 36 games in Denver from 1967-70, intercepting 5 passes and recovering one Fumble. Pete also returned 6 Punts for 18 yards and one kickoff for no yards.

Lonnie Hepburn was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the 13th round (333rd overall) of the 1971 NFL Draft. He started 4 of the 14 games for the Broncos in 1974, but didn't produce any stats.

Derrick Clark started 4 out of 16 games at Running Back for the Broncos in 1994, his only professional season. He ran fir 168 yards and 3 touchdowns on 56 carries and caught 9 passes for 47 yards. Clark also returned 3 kickoffs for a 11.3 average.

Izell Reese was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 6th round (188th overall) of the 1998 NFL Draft. He played in Dallas for 4 years before coming to Denver in 2002. Izell started all 15 games in his only season as a Bronco, making 51 Tackles and a half Sack. He went on to play in Buffalo for 2 years before returning after the 2004 season.

Roderick Rogers was signed by the Denver Broncos as an undrafted Free Agent in 2007. He spent the first 14 games of the season on the Broncos' practice squad before a promotion to the 53-man roster for the final two games of the season. Rogers also began the 2008 season on the Broncos' practice squad before being promoted to the active roster on November 4. The Broncos waived Roderick on November 25 after his first career start against the Oakland Raiders. In all, Rogers played in 5 games with 1 start for the Broncos and made 7 Tackles. He spent the next two years on the Practice Squads of the Minnesota Vikings and the New England Patriots and is currently a Free Agent.

Herana-Daze Jones signed with the Denver Broncos on December 3, 2008. He was waived a week later when the team re-signed Tight End Jeb Putzier. He was then re-signed by the Broncos 6 days after that when Running Back Cory Boyd was waived. Herana-Daze (pronounced like 'Hernandez') appeared in 2 games and was released for good on June 18, 2009.

That brings us down to one logical choice.

The Greatest Bronco to wear #43 is..

Steve Foley DB 1976-86

Steve Foley was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 8th round (199th overall) of the 1975 NFL Draft. He played his entire 11-year NFL career (1976-1986) with the Denver Broncos after one year (1975) with the Jacksonville Express of the World Football League. As a member of the Broncos, Foley played in 150 games, starting 136. He played at Tight Cornerback for 4 years before transitioning to Free Safety. Steve recovered 4 Fumbles, returned 5 punts an average of 8.4 yards and ran the ball 14 yards.

Foley scored two career touchdowns, both in 1984. A 22-yard Fumble Return on October 15 against the Packers and a 40-yard interception on December 15 against the Seahawks. Both touchdowns were key contributions to Broncos' victories. Steve holds the Broncos Team record of 44 career interceptions. He was an All-Pro selection in 1978 and played in 2 Super Bowls (SB XII and XXI).

MHR gives a Mile High Salute to Steve Foley as the Greatest Bronco to wear #43.

Go Broncos!