Thursday, October 28, 2021

Denver Broncos

After 9 straight 4th-place finishes (always in a 4 or 5 team division) the Broncos fired their head coach and hired John Ralston for the 1972 season. They also acquired their first legitimate quarterback (Charley Johnson) in their 13-year history. 
The result? They moved all the way up to 3rd place! Denver finished in 3rd or 2nd place in each of Ralston's 5 seasons at the helm, using either Johnson or Steve Ramsey at QB. Not until 1977 would they see 1st place. By then, Red Miller was the coach and Craig Morton was the quarterback. 
But back to 1972:

Steve Ramsey rode the Saints’ bench as a rookie in 1970, then started 5 games for the Broncos in each of ’71 and ’72. He played for Denver from 1971-76, but was the primary starting QB only in ’75 and ’76. 

Don Horn was the Packers’ #1 pick in the 1967 draft. After 4 seasons backing up Bart Starr, he played 9 games for the Broncos in 1971 (all starts). With the 1972 acquisition of Charley Johnson, and with Ramsey already on the roster, Horn was pushed to #3 on the depth chart. The record shows he played 2 games for them that season, but he had no stats. Maybe he was a holder for some field goals? 

Possibly the only bright spot for the Broncos was halfback Floyd Little. He was Denver’s #1 pick in the 1967 draft, and played 9 seasons (1967-75), all for the Broncos. A 5-time Pro Bowler, he led the NFL in rushing in 1971 with 1133 yards. He also returned kicks and punts every season. Little was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010. 

Bob Anderson was the Broncos’ #1 pick in the 1970 draft. He was the starting fullback in 1971 and for most of 1972. After backing up in ’73 and playing in the WFL in ’74, he finished his career in 1975 with the Patriots and Redskins. His brother Dick was a safety for the Dolphins. 

Sam Brunelli played for the Broncos from 1966-71, and was their starting left tackle from 1967-70. 

Jim Turner played 7 seasons for the Jets (1964-70) and 9 for the Broncos (1971-79). He made the Pro Bowl in ’68 and ’69, and led the AFL in field goals both seasons. 

Lyle Alzado was the Broncos’ 4th-round pick in 1971 and played his first 8 seasons with Denver. He followed that with 3 seasons for the Browns and his final 4 seasons with the Raiders. He was a starting defensive end in all but 2 seasons: missing all but one game in 1976, and was a starting D-tackle in 1975. 

Bill Thompson was the Broncos’ 3rd-round pick in 1969, and played 13 seasons (1969-81), all for Denver. He started every game during that time, except for missing 5 games in ’70 and 6 games in ’72 due to injuries. He played right cornerback for his first 4 seasons before moving to strong safety for the remainder of his career. He was a 3-time Pro Bowler, including in his final season.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

RIP - Jake Scott

Jake Scott, the free safety for the early-1970s Miami Dolphins teams, passed away on November 19, 2020 at age 75.
Scott played in the CFL in 1969, then spent the next 6 seasons as the Dolphins' free safety, starting every game. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 5 of those 6 seasons, and was First Team All-Pro twice. He was also the MVP of Super Bowl VII (vs. the Redskins). 
He also played for the Redskins from 1976-78, starting all but 2 games at free safety.