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Denver Broncos greatest players of all-time: #36, DE Lyle Alzado

Denver Broncos greatest players of all-time: #36, DE Lyle Alzado

Denver Broncos greatest players of all-time: #36, DE Lyle Alzado

No name is more questionable in the history of the Denver Broncos than Lyle Alzado.

No doubt, there are some who believe Alzado must not even smell this list, offered his ties to the Oakland Raiders and steroid use. However, when you hear Tom Jackson and Billy Thompson speak about him, there is no Orange Crush defense without Alzado.

That’s why Alzado is No. 36 on the Broncos’ biggest gamers of perpetuity.

Alzado was a fourth-round select of Yankton College in the 1971 NFL Draft by the Broncos. And when he got his chance when veteran Pete Duranko suffered a season-ending knee injury, Alzado never ever recalled.

The Broncos Legends series on the group site mentions that, by the end of his novice season in these unforeseen situations, Alzado had actually gone beyond expectations. According to informal protective statistics, he tape-recorded 8 sacks and 55 overall takes on.

Alzado would go on to begin every video game over the next 4 seasons in Denver. In truth, he led the group in sacks with 13 in 1974. Even a season-ending injury in 1976 wasn’t enough to decrease Alzado. In the very best season in Broncos history at that point, Alzado had his when he made his very first Pro Bowl choice.

According to the Broncos Legends story, based upon coaches’ movie, Alzado tallied 119 overall takes on, 8 sacks, and 2 fumble healings.

For his profession in Denver from 1971-78, Alzado played in 99 video games and began 98. He was voted an All-Pro when in 1977 and a two-time Pro Bowler (1977 and ‘78). Sacks weren’t a main stat till 1982, however according to Pro Football Reference, Alzado ranks No. 6 on the franchise’s all-time sacks list with 64.5. For context, that’s more than Trevor Pryce, Elvis Dumvervil, Paul Smith and Rich “Tombstone” Jackson.

Alzado tracks Von Miller (110.5), Simon Fletcher (97.5), Karl Mecklenburg (79.0), Barney Chavous (75.0) and Rulon Jones (73.5).

Another factor Alzado is on this list is his work off the field. By all accounts, he worked relentlessly to much better the lives of individuals in the neighborhood.

He was acknowledged for that deal with the Byron “Whizzer” White Award in 1977 (as a member of the Broncos). As the NFL Players Association story states, “The NFL Players Association annually recognizes players who go above and beyond to perform community service in their team cities and hometowns. The Byron ‘Whizzer’ White Award is the highest honor the NFLPA can bestow on a player.” That highlights the man and the enigma that was Alzado.

It’s how Alzado’s time in Denver ended that leaves a sour taste in individuals’s mouths to this day. Not to discuss the steroids that eventually ended his life in 1992.

Alzado was disappointed with agreement talks, and he was traded to the Cleveland Browns in 1979. Three years later on, he was traded to the disliked Raiders, where he played till he retired in 1985.

It’s time for bygones to be bygones.

Alzado has actually been dead for over thirty years; we can acknowledge the effect he had on the Broncos, both excellent and bad. Fewer gamers in the company’s history left the mark that Alzado did.

That’s why he’s on the list of the Broncos’ biggest gamers of perpetuity.


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