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Ranking the hardest hitters in Broncos history

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  • #46
    You folks have clearly named the hardest hitters in Broncos history. I will not add to the names or who I think hit the hardest, but I have a feeling that.....if the rules keep moving in the same direction (or even stay the same), players of the recent era and into the future will be called for penalties on the exact same hits as we used to love, because of the shear force, and nothing else.

    What was once deemed a clean, but hard hit, has become a concern, and refs are subject to flag throwing when uneasy with what they thought they saw. Therefore the players we talk about in this thread may not be challenged too much in future.

    I see more and more of this, like the "defenseless" calls, when even a strong man looks like a rag doll going down....primarily due to lack of resistance. Now they have the "blindside" type call as well, in which what used to be a big time collision on an unsuspecting lineman for example, may gradually become a more expanded version of the current rule. Who knows?

    What I do know is The NFL and potential liability do not reside well together.

    One more thing (might as well do it all in this post), yesterday on NFL.com they selected a "fair play" award from The SB, and it was for a hit on Jimmy G in which the KC rusher hit him a bit to the side and did not land on top of him on the ground. That would definitely not be what a Steve Atwater would have done. The game has changed.
    Last edited by CanDB; 02-07-2020, 10:04 AM.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Al Wilson 4 Mayor View Post
      He was every bit as good as Ronny Lott but didn’t get the recognition because Denver just didn’t get the exposure. He was probably a better athlete than Lott was.
      Exactly! As a Bronco fan living in 49er-land this used to drive me crazy! I knew Smith was Lott's equal but all you ever heard about in the local papers and tv was Lott was the biggest hitting safety ever. Lott did have more all-pro selections than Smith (10 pro bowls vs 6...1st team all pro 6 times vs 0) but I believe that was influenced by the success of being on 4 SB winners throughout the 80's vs Smith who's Broncos went 0-3 during the 80's. Also interesting to remember is Lott began his career as a CB for the first 4 to 5 seasons before moving to safety so you'd expect him to have more INT's than Smith.

      Anyway, we're talking about hardest hitters and there's no stat to reflect that, just reviewing the highlight reels and memories of seeing them both play and I'd call them equal in that department
      Last edited by Dennis.1960; 02-07-2020, 10:12 AM.
      "There is no plan B. Plan A is to win the Super Bowl" - John Elway
      PLAN A ACCOMPLISHED 2/7/16!!!
      LSU 15-0 2019 BCS Champions...Geaux Tigers :dance:

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Al Wilson 4 Mayor View Post
        I forgot how violent Smith was. His ability to diagnose plays and fly to the ball was pretty impressive. He was pretty fast for a safety.
        He was every bit as good as Ronny Lott but didn’t get the recognition because Denver just didn’t get the exposure. He was probably a better athlete than Lott was. I’ll bet those two were fun to watch together at USC.




        just for fun, I looked up USC records for those years. They won 2 Rose Bowl's and a National Championship. Pretty sweet!
        sigpic

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        • #49
          IMO both Dennis Smith and Karl Mecklenburg should be in the HOF. They were the two best defensive players on a predominately defensive team (+ Elway) that made the Super Bowl 3 out of 4 years.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by lvbronx View Post
            IMO both Dennis Smith and Karl Mecklenburg should be in the HOF. They were the two best defensive players on a predominately defensive team (+ Elway) that made the Super Bowl 3 out of 4 years.
            And Randy!!!!!!

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            • #51
              Originally posted by lvbronx View Post
              IMO both Dennis Smith and Karl Mecklenburg should be in the HOF. They were the two best defensive players on a predominately defensive team (+ Elway) that made the Super Bowl 3 out of 4 years.
              Originally posted by CanDB View Post
              And Randy!!!!!!
              Works for me :thumb:

              Just wondering, how many of the Bill's players from the teams that went 0-4 in the SB have been elected into the HoF? Other than 1991 when we held them to 10 points and almost beat them in Buffalo for the AFC championship (IMO one of the most brilliantly called defensive games in Bronco history), they were untouchable...at least until they reached the SB anyway

              Have any of their excellent players from that run been snubbed by the HoF because of the 0-4 SB record?
              "There is no plan B. Plan A is to win the Super Bowl" - John Elway
              PLAN A ACCOMPLISHED 2/7/16!!!
              LSU 15-0 2019 BCS Champions...Geaux Tigers :dance:

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by Dennis.1960 View Post
                Works for me :thumb:

                Just wondering, how many of the Bill's players from the teams that went 0-4 in the SB have been elected into the HoF? Other than 1991 when we held them to 10 points and almost beat them in Buffalo for the AFC championship (IMO one of the most brilliantly called defensive games in Bronco history), they were untouchable...at least until they reached the SB anyway

                Have any of their excellent players from that run been snubbed by the HoF because of the 0-4 SB record?
                As for The Bills, according to my search, the following players/coaches/gms/owners made it, from the SB teams:

                Jim Kelly
                Marv Levy
                James Lofton
                Bill Polian
                Andre Reed
                Bruce Smith
                Thurman Thomas
                Ralph Wilson

                Now I need to think who may not have.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by Al Wilson 4 Mayor View Post
                  I forgot how violent Smith was. His ability to diagnose plays and fly to the ball was pretty impressive. He was pretty fast for a safety.
                  He was every bit as good as Ronny Lott but didn’t get the recognition because Denver just didn’t get the exposure. He was probably a better athlete than Lott was. I’ll bet those two were fun to watch together at USC.
                  I think Smith is one of the forgotten Broncos and how good he realy was. He was 6'4" 215, high jumped over 7 feet and ran track at USC. He was an amazing athlete. Another reason he didn't get the credit Lott did was because Smith was asked to do more than Lott especially in coverage.

                  One thing I remember about him is how he loaded up so much to deliver a hit, once or twice a season he'd totally whiff on the tackle and give up a big play. But to me, that was just the "cost of doing business".

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by CanDB View Post
                    You folks have clearly named the hardest hitters in Broncos history. I will not add to the names or who I think hit the hardest, but I have a feeling that.....if the rules keep moving in the same direction (or even stay the same), players of the recent era and into the future will be called for penalties on the exact same hits as we used to love, because of the shear force, and nothing else.

                    What was once deemed a clean, but hard hit, has become a concern, and refs are subject to flag throwing when uneasy with what they thought they saw. Therefore the players we talk about in this thread may not be challenged too much in future.

                    I see more and more of this, like the "defenseless" calls, when even a strong man looks like a rag doll going down....primarily due to lack of resistance. Now they have the "blindside" type call as well, in which what used to be a big time collision on an unsuspecting lineman for example, may gradually become a more expanded version of the current rule. Who knows?

                    What I do know is The NFL and potential liability do not reside well together.

                    One more thing (might as well do it all in this post), yesterday on NFL.com they selected a "fair play" award from The SB, and it was for a hit on Jimmy G in which the KC rusher hit him a bit to the side and did not land on top of him on the ground. That would definitely not be what a Steve Atwater would have done. The game has changed.
                    Yep. Part of the reason I posted this was about a past time in football that we'll probably never see again. In today's game Justin Simmons and Von are better fits than guys like Atwater, Smith, Romanowski, etc., although most players could probably adapt their games to both eras.

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by lvbronx View Post
                      Yep. Part of the reason I posted this was about a past time in football that we'll probably never see again. In today's game Justin Simmons and Von are better fits than guys like Atwater, Smith, Romanowski, etc., although most players could probably adapt their games to both eras.
                      Agreed. The game has changed. Big hitters now would be big hitters then, though some will always be "elite" hard hitters, and this group has certainly identified the hardest of them all.

                      I miss the good ole football days, when players all knew the rules, and all trained the same way, to properly execute their craft. I understand the need for safety, but I think the pendulum will swing a little too far....as in, "you hit too hard", or "you fell down on top of a QB, even though it was one continuous and timely act". I actually worry that players will get injured too often, for avoiding their natural instincts.

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                      • #56
                        All great names listed, I know Samparnell mentioned it but the first name that came to my mind was Rich "Tombstone" Jackson although he'd be flagged for many penalties in today's game and rules. He was so huge and would just swallow up and devastate guys, just obliterate them.

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                        • #57
                          4 pages and no mention of Von Miller?

                          Unless you just mean "Non-current" players?

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