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Rod Smith elected to Broncos' Ring of Fame

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  • Rod Smith elected to Broncos' Ring of Fame

    Rod Smith elected to Broncos' Ring of Fame; Elway offers praise
    POSTED: 05/17/2012 12:34:32 PM MDT
    UPDATED: 05/17/2012 01:17:36 PM MDTThe Denver Post

    The Ring of Fame induction ceremony for Rod Smith will take place Sept. 23 at halftime of the Texans-Broncos game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

    Former Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith, who set every major receiving record with the club from 1994-2007, has been elected the 23rd member of the team's Ring of Fame.

    "You couldn't ask for a better teammate than Rod Smith," Broncos exeuctive John Elway said in a team statement. "His work ethic, the way he competed and the positive influence he had on others were all qualities that made him one of the best. What a great Bronco who is so deserving of being honored as a member of the Ring of Fame."

    Smith was a three-time Pro Bowl selection (2000-01, '05). He played 183 regular-season games (158 starts) over 12 seasons while setting franchise records in receptions (849), receiving yards (11,389) and receiving touchdowns

    "Although he had plenty of catches and touchdowns in his career, the only things that mattered to Rod were winning and competing for Super Bowls," Elway said. "That's what was most important to him, and it showed in everything he did. Whether it was in the passing game or running game, you always knew Rod would give 100 percent on every play and do whatever it took to help his team win.

    "Rod brought his lunch pail to work each day, took nothing for granted and made himself into an elite player. He's a true pro. In addition to being one of the greatest undrafted players of all time, he's one of the greatest wide receivers to ever play the position.

    "I'm thrilled Rod has been elected to the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame, and I look forward to celebrating his induction this season."

    Broncos owner Pat Bowlen made the announcement after meeting with the selection committee Thursday.

    "Players like Rod don't come through your door very often, but he came through ours every day with a purpose and hunger to be great," Bowlen said. "Rod's production and numbers — as outstanding as they were — paled in comparison to his commitment to winning and the respect he commanded from each and every one of his teammates throughout his career. Emerging from an undrafted player to one of the best to ever play his position, Rod has truly earned his place among the greatest Broncos of all time.
    "I am thankful for everything Rod contributed to this franchise during his time with the Broncos, and I congratulate him on his well-deserved election to the Ring of Fame."

    The induction ceremony will take place on Sept. 23, at halftime of the Broncos' home game against the Houston Texans at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

    Smith was signed by the Broncos as a college free agent from Missouri Southern in 1994 and spent his rookie season on Denver's practice squad.

    After his final game as a Bronco at the end of the 2006 season, Smith ranked 11th in NFL history in career receptions (849), 17th in career receiving yards (11,389) and tied for 30th in career receiving touchdowns (68).

    Smith is the first player elected into the Ring of Fame since tight end Shannon Sharpe in 2009.

    He is the third wide receiver to be elected, joining Lionel Taylor (1984) and Haven Moses (1988) with that honor.

    Denver Broncos Ring of Fame members

    Rod Smith, WR: 1994-2007 (2012, year inducted)

    Shannon Sharpe, TE: 1990-99, 2002-03 (2009)

    Terrell Davis, RB: 1995-2002 (2007)

    Steve Atwater, S: 1989-98 (2005)

    Gary Zimmerman, T: 1993-97 (2003)

    Karl Mecklenburg, LB: 1983-94 (2001)

    Dennis Smith, S: 1981-94 (2001)

    John Elway, QB: 1983-98 (1999)

    Louis Wright, CB: 1975-86 (1993)

    Tom Jackson, LB: 1973-86 (1992)

    Randy Gradishar, LB: 1974-83 (1989)

    Craig Morton, QB: 1977-82 (1988)

    Haven Moses, WR: 1972-81 (1988)

    Jim Turner, K: 1971-79 (1988)

    Billy Thompson, S: 1969-81 (1987)

    Charley Johnson, QB: 1972-75 (1986)

    Paul Smith, DT: 1968-78 (1986)

    Frank Tripucka, QB: 1960-63 (1986)

    Gerald H. Phipps, Owner: 1961-81 (1985)

    Austin "Goose" Gonsoulin, S: 1960-66 (1984)

    Rich Jackson, DE: 1967-72 (1984)

    Floyd Little, RB: 1967-75 (1984)

    Lionel Taylor, WR: 1960-66 (1984)

    Read more: Rod Smith elected to Broncos' Ring of Fame; Elway offers praise - The Denver Post
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    Where is this season going?

  • #2
    CONGRAGULATIONS TO HIM! He's the definition of a CLASS ACT!
    "Happiness is just an illusion, filled with sadness and confusion." Jimmy Ruffin


    • #3
      Yes! Congratulations Rod, one of the best, if not the best, WRs to play on the Broncos.
      RIP Darrent Williams.


      • #4
        Here's another bit to add to the Rod Smith ROF story
        When he watched his quarterback go into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004, Rod Smith wondered if his bust would be bronzed next to John Elway’s some day.

        Now that he's entered the Denver Broncos’ ring of fame, the rag-to-riches receiver still wonders if he will end up in the Canton, Ohio museum.

        [+] Enlarge

        AP Photo/Ed Andrieski
        Will former Broncos star Rod Smith ever hear his name called for the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
        It’s an interesting question. Will Rod Smith be a Pro Football Hall of Famer?

        There’s no doubt the undrafted free agent turned star receiver has a strong resume, however, he played a position which has not been overly valued by hall of fame voters in the recent past. Tim Brown, Cris Carter and Andre Reed are part of a receiver logjam waiting to be elected to the hall.

        Smith may have a long wait, if he makes it at all, even though he has won two Super Bowl rings. He is 11th in NFL history in career receptions (849), 17th in career receiving yards (11,389) and tied for 30th in career receiving touchdowns (68). He caught 70 or more catches for nine straight seasons, which is tied for the second-longest streak in NFL history. His career reception and receiving yardage totals is the best in league history for undrafted players.

        Known as one of the hardest workers in the league while he played, Smith himself thinks he deserves to be inducted, although he knows it won’t be easy.

        “Well what are they basing the Hall of Fame on?” Smith asked reporters Thursday in an interview to discuss his induction into the Broncos’ ring of fame. “What do you base it on? Do you base it on wins? I have some of those. Do you base it on catches? I have a lot of those. Touchdowns … and the unsung stuff to me is the blocking that Eddie [McCaffrey] and myself and the other guys I played with. You look at the running backs in my era and how many yards they rushed for. I take that personally because it was about the team to me. Honestly, there are a ton of guys that my numbers are way better than theirs, so why not be considered for it? When I went into the business I wasn’t looking at that, but once I got in the business and I saw that those things were possible. I went to John Elway’s induction into the hall of fame and I said it’s possible. It’s hard to see it until you see somebody else kind of go through it. When I saw John get inducted, I was very emotional that day, because I knew a piece of me went. But, I said, 'Why not be right beside him? Why not have a bust right beside him?' One thing I can say is this: I don’t get to vote, and if I did, I would vote for me because I gave them everything I had. That’s all I can do. I tried to be the best teammate I could. I tried to represent the game, the NFL shield as best as I could. Those who vote will hopefully see it the same way. That’s all I can do.”

        Smith certainly has a case for Canton. The trouble is he plays a position where many players have a case, so his wait for enshrinement may be a long one.


        • #5
          Big Grats Rod!!



          • #6
            The man really deserved this. Glad to be a fan of yours sir! Congrats
            2013 Adopted Bronco - Duke Ihenacho