The Denver Broncos are a first-class organization that has showcased some of the greatest football players to ever set foot on the gridiron. Without question, they are woefully underrepresented in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and aren’t given the recognition they deserve on a national scale. Broncos fans are used to the disrespect but it is about time that things start to change. That being said, it is hard to pinpoint what position has had the greatest wealth of talent over the years but the safety position certainly is one of them.
Long-time fans will remember historical greats such as Goose Gonsoulin, Bill Thompson and Steve Foley whose production were impeccable at the time of their careers. In fact, their numbers are still great by today’s standards and continue to hold several franchise records. Not only that but those three are credited with being game-changing forces who helped revolutionize the position and should be household names for any fan who truly bleeds orange and blue. Atwater joined the MHR Radio Podcast with Adam Malnati and Ian St. Clair to talk about Foley, who should be in the Broncos’ Ring of Fame (and his Hall of Fame candidacy).
In addition to the aforementioned, many will smile when the names Dennis Smith and Tyrone Braxton are mentioned — two players who hold a special place in the hearts of members all across Broncos Country. While they didn’t spend a lot of time with the Broncos, John Lynch and Brian Dawkins (who was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year) are top-tier players worth mentioning who had success in the final moments of their careers in Denver.
Yet one player shines above all those mentioned above and that is Steve Atwater. His decade of dominance with the Broncos was simply breathtaking. He was an elite player who transformed the franchise’s defense from the moment he was drafted throughout the course of his historic career. Without him the franchise wouldn’t have endured the success it did and may have not embarked on back-to-back Super Bowl victories in the 1990s. Can you write the history of the organization without mentioning Atwater? Absolutely not.
Most players who have the opportunity to play in the National Football League don’t stick around too long. The fact that Atwater was able to play at an incredibly high level for 10 years with the Broncos and earn eight Pro-Bowl selections and three All-Pro accolades in that time frame is truly special. He was a definitive force during his time on the field and the greatest safety to ever put on a Broncos’ uniform.