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Reason #14: Steve Atwater was a champion from the start

When Steve Atwater joined the NFL, he was an immediate impact player.

If you want to know what really makes Steve Atwater a Hall of Famer, it is his championship drive, which was obvious from day one. Atwater began his Denver Broncos career with a two-interception game against the then Los Angeles Raiders in the third game of his rookie season.

His first interception came early on, and his second was one that helped seal the win for the Broncos. In a career filled with highlights in big moments, and big hits on the brightest stage, Atwater showed early on what he was going to bring to the Broncos. He talked about that and his HOF candidacy on the MHR Radio Podcast.

He showed he would be a great player from the start, but when Ryan Edwards joined the MHR Radio Podcast, he was able to put into words what made Atwater a true champion from the start. Ryan called him a sponge when he came into the league.

Atwater joined a defense that was already pretty good. Players like Karl Mecklenburg, Simon Fletcher, and Dennis Smith had been a big part of the Bronco success in the 1980s.

“He didn’t come in as this hotshot first rounder... the reason it worked is that he filled the needs [of the team], and he soaked up the leadership of those around him.”

Atwater wanted to be great, and was willing to do what it took, on the field and off. He was an immediate impact player, and a true champion from the start.