The Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced their Class of 2020 Centennial Slate Finalists and two former Denver Broncos have made the cut. Dan Reeves has made the list of former coaches who are up for final vote and Randy Gradishar with the players.
Reeves, 75, coached the Broncos to three Super Bowl appearances in the 1980s and helped lead through a decade of success. He would finish his career in Denver with an impressive 110-73-1 record, but it was the 7-6 record in the playoffs that dogged the team in those years and ultimately led to him leaving the Broncos.
He wasn’t done, though. He would go on to lead the Atlanta Falcons to a Super Bowl as well. Reeves career is one of great success and surely Hall of Fame worthy as a Denver Bronco. Reeves was inducted into the Broncos Ring of Fame in 2014.
Randy Gradishar was the best player on the Orange Crush defense of the 1970s and it is a unit that doesn’t have a single player represented in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1978 and a six-time All-Pro selection.
He finished his career with 2,049 tackles, 19.5 sacks, and 20 interceptions. The Orange Crush defense completely transformed the franchise and the effects of Gradishar and his teammates during those years are still felt in the fan base today. I’d like to see both of these great Broncos enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2020.
I’d be remiss not to also mention Mac Speedie. While he is on the list as a player, he did coach the Broncos for a few years in the turbulent 1960s for the franchise. He was hired after the previous coach had led the team to 14 consecutive losses. In Speedie’s first game as a head coach, he led the team to a win to snap that losing streak over the AFL’s best team that year, the Kansas City Chiefs.