From that point on the Mile High team would go through a major drought in reaching the playoffs, more than they realized or expected.
Now was the time for Denver to find a new quarterback. Seems like a very impossible task considering who just led them to 2 Super Bowl victories. An irreplaceable legend but the position needed to be filled. Eventually, all good things come to pass. This was time the Broncos had to face the fact that Elway retired and they have to move on, as difficult as that would be.
The Broncos would go on to challenge two more division rivals, the Raiders and Chiefs and won both games. While the division title was out of reach for Denver, they were able to at least secure a Wild Card berth by getting the win over KC and then later clinched a playoff berth after taking out Cleveland and Indy. However, the fun was short lived, again.
2004 turned out to be a big year for the Broncos at the very beginning, in several ways.
The beginning of the ’08 season actually started off pretty exciting and looked hopeful for some success after a 2-year drought in the playoffs.
Just four years after the best QB on the planet who just happened to be a Bronco for his entire career was inducted into the Hall of Fame, another Bronco got the honor of joining him in Canton. Offensive tackle, Gary Zimmerman, became apart of “the club” after several seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. He then joined the Broncos for 4 seasons and was apart of the 1997 Denver team who went to the Super Bowl and became ’98 World Champs.
Since this is the last part of the 50th anniversary article, I know I have gone on long enough without naming quite a few players this franchise has had don a Bronco uniform – from the brown & mustard yellow with hysterical striped socks to the stunning bright Orange.
Thank you to all the past and present players for making this franchise what it is today. Enjoy the videos, sorry once again this was so freakin’ long and GO BRONCOS!!
Broncos to remember:
Bud McFadin (60-63), Frank Tripucka (60-63), Gene Mingo (60-64), Billy Joe (63-64; ’63 Rookie of the year), Goose Gonsoulin (60-66), Lionel Taylor (60-66), Jerry Strum (61-66), Willie Brown (63-66), Bob Scarpitto (62-67), Cookie Gilchrist (65, 67), Marlin Briscoe (68), Steven Tensi (67-70), Rich Jackson (67-72), Steven Kaminski (66-73), Floyd Little (67-75), Charley Johnson (72-75), Paul Smith (68-78), Lyle Alzado (71-78), Jim Turner (71-79), Otis Armstrong (73-80), Bill Thompson (69-81), Haven Moses (72-81), Craig Morton (77-82)...
Riley Odoms (72-83), Randy Gradishar (74-83; ’78 Defensive player), Rick Upchurch (75-83), Tom Jackson (73-86), Rubin Carter (75-86), Louis Wright (75-86), Rulon Jones (80-88), Rich Karlis (82-88), Sammy Winder (82-90), Bobby Humphrey (89-91), Clarence Kay (84-92), Mark Jackson (86-92), Ricky Nattiel (87-92), Vance Johnson (85-93, 95), Mark Cooper (83-87), Dennis Smith (81-94), Karl Mecklenburg (83-94), Mike Croel (91-94; ’91 Defensive rookie), Simon Fletcher (85-95), Gary Zimmerman (93-97), John Elway (83-98; ’87 NFL MVP; Super Bowl XXXIII MVP)...
Steve Atwater (89-98), Tyrone Braxton (87-93; 95-99), Terrell Davis (95-01; ’96 & ’98 Offensive player; ’98 NFL MVP; Super Bowl XXXII MVP), Bill Romanowski (96-01), Brian Griese (98-02), Shannon Sharpe (90-99; 02-03), Ed McCaffrey (95-03), John Mobley (96-03), Clinton Portis (02-03; ’02 Offensive rookie), Reggie Hayward (98-04), Reuben Droughns (01-04), Trevor Pryce (97-05), Mike Anderson (00-05; ’00 Offensive rookie), Ashley Lelie (02-05), Al Wilson (99-06), Jake Plummer (03-06), Tatum Bell (04-06), Jason Elam (93-07), Rod Smith (95-07), Ian Gold (00-03, 05-07), Nick Ferguson (03-07), John Lynch (04-07), Javon Walker (06-07), Matt Lepsis (97-08), Ebenezer Ekuban (05-08), Jay Cutler (06-08), Tom Nalen (94-08).