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Denver Broncos Greats... By The Numbers: #73

Sixteen players wore #73 for the Denver Broncos in franchise history. Guard Chris Kuper is going on his 6th year as the current player to wear the jersey. The fifteen other players are comprised by seven Tackles, five Defensive Ends, a Defensive Tackle, a Guard and a Linebacker. Here is the lineup.

Chris Kuper G 2006-Present
Cyron Brown DE 1998-99
Scott Adams T 1997
Simon Fletcher LB 1985-95
Kevin Belcher T 1987
Shawn Hollingsworth T 1983
Kelvin Clark T 1979-81
Henry Allison T 1977
Martin Imhof DE 1976
Stan Rogers T 1975
Mike Askea T 1973
Walter Barnes DE 1969-71
Pat Matson G 1966-67
Isaac Lassiter DE 1962-64
Robert Konovsky DE 1961
Gordon Holz DT 1960

Gordon "Gordy" Holz was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 23rd round (270th overall) of the 1955 NFL Draft. He started all 14 games at Left Tackle for the Broncos in 1960.

Robert Konovsky was drafted by the Chicago Cardinals in the 7th round (77th overall) of the 1956 NFL Draft. He played 13 games for the Broncos in 1961.

Isaac "Ike" Lassiter was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the 9th round (115th overall) of the 1962 NFL Draft. He arrived in Denver in 1962 and played 3 seasons for the Broncos, appearing in 13 games. He went on to play for 5 years in Oakland and 2 year with the Boston/New England Patriots.

Pat Matson went Undrafted out of Oregon. He joined the Broncos in 1966 and played two seasons and starting 14 of 28 games at Right Guard.

Walter Barnes was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the 2nd round (21st overall) of the 1966 NFL Draft and the Kansas City Chiefs in the 3rd round (23rd overall) of the 1966 AFL Draft. Walt opted to play for the Redskins and stayed 3 seasons. He came to Denver in 1969 and played 3 years for the Broncos. Barnes appeared in 19 games from 1969-71.

Mike Askea was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 7th round (165th overall) of the 1973 NFL Draft. He played 4 games for the Broncos in 1973.

Stan Rogers was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 5th round (107th overall) of the 1975 NFL Draft. He started 2 of the 14 games at Right Tackle for the Broncos in 1975.

Martin Imhof was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 4th round (84th overall) of the 1972 NFL Draft. He jumped around from St.Louis, Washington and New England before making his way to the Mile High City. He played one game for the Broncos in 1976.

Henry Allison was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2nd round (50th overall) of the 1971 NFL Draft. He played 2 seasons in Philly and another 2 and a half in St. Louis before joining the Broncos for 3 games during 1977.

Kelvin Clark was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 1st round (22nd overall) of the 1979 NFL Draft. He spent 3 seasons from 1979-81 as a reserve Right Tackle for the Broncos. Kelvin started 8 of 45 games during his time in Denver. He spent the next 4 seasons with the New Orleans Saints.

Shawn Hollingsworth went Undrafted out of Angelo State (TX) and New Mexico. He signed with the Broncos in 1983 and appeared in 5 games that year.

Kevin Belcher was drafted by the Los Angeles Raiders in the 7th round (186th overall) of the 1985 NFL Draft. He played 4 games in Oakland his rookie year. Belcher was out of football in 1986. He started one game for the Broncos in 1987. During a Week 3 loss against the Houston Oilers, Kevin replaced Ken Lanier at Right Tackle.

Scott Adams was on the Broncos roster in 1997, but never dressed for a game. The Atlanta Falcons picked him up off waivers and he played in 6 games for them that year.

Cyron Brown went Undrafted out of Illinois. He played 2 seasons in Denver during 1998 and 1999. He appeared in 11 games and made 4 Tackles.

Chris Kuper was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 5th round (161st overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft. He was inactive for the first 11 Weeks before playing on Special Teams in one game during his rookie year. In his 2nd year, Kuper played on Special Teams in the first 5 games before starting the final 11 at Left Guard. In 2008, Chris started all 16 games at Right Guard and was the only 16-game starting Guard in the NFL to not allow a sack according to Stats Inc. He helped the Broncos set a franchise record for fewest sacks allowed with 12. In 2009, he started the final 15 games of the year after missing the season opener at with an ankle injury. Last year, "Kupe" again missed the opener and then started the final 15 games. On June 4, 2010, the Broncos announced that they had signed Kuper to a 6 year deal worth $29 million. The team also announced that he had been selected as co-captain of the Broncos offense. Going into his 6th season, Chris has allowed just 11 sacks in 57 career starts (46 at Right Guard, 11 at Left Guard).

This is another easy choice. The Greatest Bronco to wear #73 is...

Simon Fletcher

Simon Fletcher was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 2nd round (54th overall) of the 1985 NFL Draft. He spent his entire 11 year career in Denver, playing both Outside Linebacker and Defensive End. Simon was the premier pass rusher for the Broncos, recording a franchise record 97.5 sacks. His 16 sacks in 1992 were a team record until Elvis Dumervil's 17 in 2009. Fletcher also had a Sack in 10 Straight Games, an NFL Record shared with DeMarcus Ware.

Simon started 143 of 172 games during an 11-year career. He accumulated 828 Tackles, 97.5 Sacks, 2 interceptions, 20 Forced Fumbles, 10 Fumbles Recovered and 1 Safety. During a stretch that spanned from November 15, 1992 through September 20, 1993, Fletcher had 15.5 sacks.

Bronco Achievements

  • Team leader in Sacks 7 consecutive years (1988-1994)
  • 11+ Sacks 5 consecutive seasons (1989-1993)
  • 20 Career Multi-Sack Games
  • 172 Consecutive Games Played
  • 140 Consecutive starts-2nd (Billy Thompson 156)
  • Starter on 3 AFC Championship Teams (1986, 1987, 1989)

Despite these numbers, Simon was never selected to a single Pro Bowl. Even his career year in 1992 when he had 16 sacks, 5 Forced Fumbles and 99 Tackles, he was snubbed for Derrick Thomas (14.5) and Bryan Cox (14 Sacks).

One thing for sure is that Simon Fletcher definitely belongs in the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame.

MHR gives a Mile High Salute to Simon Fletcher as the Greatest Bronco to wear #73.

Go Broncos!