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On This Day in Broncos History: December 12

Norris Weese Anyone?

Michael C. Hebert-US PRESSWIRE

December 12, 1976 - on a chilly day in Chicago (23 degrees, windchill 11 degrees), first year Denver QB Norris Weese threw his first ever touchdown pass in the NFL. It cut Chicago's lead to 14-7. Weese went on to lead the Broncos to a 28-14 victory. Although Weese only completed 7 of 22 passes for 98 yards, 1 touchdown and 4 interceptions, he was the team's leading rusher with 120 yards. RB Otis Armstrong added 116 yards as the Broncos gained 356 yards on the ground and 3 rushing touchdowns.

Weese had been the successor to Archie Manning (father of current Denver QB Peyton Manning) as the starting QB of the University of Mississippi. He was drafted in the 4th round of the 1974 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams, but ended up playing the 1974 season for the Hawaiians of the World Football League. He joined the NFL in 1976 when he was picked up by the Broncos. He had seen spot duty in 8 games in 1976 before the Chicago game. Craig Penrose had been named the starter for that game but after Penrose threw a pick-6 on the first offensive play of the game, then went 1 of 2 for 9 yards on Denver's next possession, he was replaced by Weese.

Weese played for Denver from 1976 to 1979. He spent most of that time as a backup. He was to have become Denver's starter in 1979, but a knee injury ended his career. He died on January 20, 1995 of bone cancer.