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Underrated Broncos: Trevor Pryce was a dominant trench enforcer

The former defensive lineman spent nine years in the Mile High City and fourteen total years in the NFL. Let’s take a look back and remember one of the Broncos’ best trench enforcers of all-time.

AFC Championship Game: Pittsburgh Steelers v Denver Broncos Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Good Morning, Broncos Country!

A few weeks ago I wrote about former linebacker D.J. Williams and his underrated career in the Mile High City. After seeing the discussion from those who read, I thought that doing some historical dives into player history would be enjoyable content. With that in mind, I’ve chosen to highlight Trevor Pryce for today’s edition of Horse Tracks.

The selection of Pryce probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind during that historically leading up to the 1997 NFL Draft. I bet most would unfortunately reflect on the Broncos’ devastating loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the playoffs a few months earlier.

To this day, I still think there are some fans who can’t get over that one. But fortunately, better days were ahead and everything ended up turning out just fine. The Broncos would go on to win back-to-back Super Bowls and Pryce certainly played a big role in the revival of the franchise’s defensive trenches for years to come.

There is no doubt he helped set a standard for quality play for the defensive front four and helped the Denver Broncos tremendously during his career.

Splitting time between end and tackle and showing his versatility, Pryce played 9 seasons with the Broncos. He played in 121 games with 114 starts during that time frame. He was a four-time Pro-Bowl player and a two-time All-Pro. His stretch of dominance from 1999 to 2003 was one of the brightest moments in a rather dark transitional period post-Elway and Friends for the franchise.

He had 36.5 sacks during those four years and was one of the league’s most prolific pass rushers. But the crazy thing about it was how good he was at stopping the run as well. Some people seem to forget how much of an impact player he was. A consistent force, Pryce became regarded as a top-player and earned multiple extensions with the team.

HIs 2004 season was derailed due to an injured herniated disc, but he stuck with Denver and returned until the 2005 season, where the Broncos eventually lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game. He finished his career with the Broncos totaling 325 tackles, 64 sacks and 9 forced fumbles. That’s production which is hard to match looking back in the record books.

From 2006 to 2010 he played for the Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets. A fourteen year career in the NFL is extremely rare. Especially for a defensive lineman whose body is getting beat up in the trenches on every given play.

Those Broncos defenses had a lot of great talent over the years with Al Wilson, Ian Gold, Champ Bailey, John Lynch, and D.J. Williams—but I will always be fond of Pryce and his contributions to the team. In fact, I wouldn’t mind seeing him honored and enshrined in the team’s Ring of Fame someday. I think he more than deserves it.

What do you think?

As always, thank you for reading. Here are some extra clips to satisfy you daily NFL reading endeavors.

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