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Bill Kollar comes full circle at the Senior Bowl with the Broncos

Denver’s website had a great story on the defensive line coach that will only add to his legendary status.

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Broncos Country!

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The legend of Bill Kollar has reached Mt. Evans heights in these parts.

All fans of the Denver Broncos needed to know about the defensive line coach was that he wrestled a bear. When they heard that, it was over. Then you watch him coach his guys up and you want to play for him. The last two years, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing and watching him coach the Broncos defensive linemen at training camp and it’s as awesome as you think it is. You got a sense of his awesomeness earlier this week at the Senior Bowl. On the latest MHR Radio Podcast, Adam Malnati and I talked about the Senior Bowl, the latest rumors and I wondered if the success of Jared Bednar with the Colorado Avalanche may give us an indication of why John Elway gave Vance Joseph a second season.

What you may not know is that Kollar was pretty good on the field as a player too. Denver’s website had a great story on the defensive end from Montana who made a name for himself at the Senior Bowl. In fact, Kollar earned the MVP of the game in 1974.

As the story says:

Two future Hall of Famers — Lynn Swann and John Stallworth — both played in the game.

The reigning Heisman Trophy winner and College Football Hall of Famer John Cappelletti also competed.

Mike Webster, Danny White and Ed “Too Tall” Jones were all on hand for the collegiate all-star game.

Yet none won MVP honors.

The story adds that details of the game remain fuzzy, Kollar isn’t even mentioned in the summary of the game, he told the website he finished with quite a few sacks and had some TFLs.

“I remember (Oklahoma All-American) Lucious Selmon was a guy who was also playing my position, and he had an injury,” Kollar told the website this week as he coached the next crop of Senior Bowl defensive ends. “He was coming off of a hamstring, so he really wasn’t 100 percent. Because usually, when you end up playing, you only get to play so many plays in the game. So I got to play a few extra plays because he was injured. I remember I made a big play and then I made another, and Lucious, as it’s going, he says, ‘You keep going like that, you’ll get MVP.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, sure, right.’ Because I don’t think they had ever had a defensive MVP at that time.

“I just made a couple more later in the second half and he said, ‘You’re going to get it. You’re going to get it.’ It just turned out to be just a great opportunity playing with all those great players. It was really something else.”

Whether it was that performance in the Senior Bowl that made it happen, Kollar was drafted in the first-round by the Cincinnati Bengals a few weeks later. That week in Mobile, Ala., definitely didn’t hurt him.

Kollar’s legend is already in terrain few have traversed before. He wrestled a freaking bear. The story from the Broncos will only make that legend grow.

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