The Pro Football Hall of Fame released the list of 103 modern-era nominees for the Class of 2012 yesterday.
Several former Denver Broncos made the list including Coach Dan Reeves, defensive back Steve Atwater, running back Terrell Davis, linebacker Karl Mecklenburg, and wide receiver Rod Smith.
Rod Smith made the list in his first year of eligibility. He finished his career with 11,389 receiving yards, the best in franchise history, and 71 total touchdowns. Dan Reeves coached in 4 Super Bowls, 3 while with the Broncos and 1 with the Atlanta Falcons when they played Denver after the 1998 season. Dan lost all 4 of those games, but he is one of the few coaches to lead 2 franchises to the Super Bowl, and he also had a decent 8-year playing career with the Dallas Cowboys. Terrell Davis is the career Denver Broncos rushing leader and an all-time NFL playoff great. His list of accomplishments in the playoffs alone requires a separate article, and he is one of only 6 players to ever rush for 2,000 yards in a single season. Steve Atwater is known as one of the fiercest hitters to ever play the game, and he finished his 11-year career with 1,074 tackles and 24 interceptions. And last but not least, Karl Mecklenburg played his entire 12-year career with the Broncos and finished with 79 sacks, 5 interceptions, and 1,104 tackles while being elected to 6 Pro Bowls.
The Hall of Fame will narrow the list down to 25 names in mid-November, and it will be reduced further to 15 names in January. Hopefully, when the enshrinees are announced on February 4th, 2012, a few of these Denver greats make the cut.