The Denver Broncos have their 24th Ring of Fame member. Welcome former center Tom Nalen to the club.
Nalen played 14 seasons for the Broncos and anchored an offensive line that was among the best in the NFL. He played in the third-most regular season games (194) in team history, and his 188 starts are second only to John Elway.
Nalen will be honored on September 29 at halftime when the Broncos host the Philadelphia Eagles.
Drafted in the seventh round of the 1994 draft out of Boston College, Nalen made five Pro Bowl appearances, which is the most by an offensive lineman in franchise history. He was part of seven playoff teams, three division champions, and two Super Bowl winners.
Nalen blocked for 1997 NFL MVP Terrell Davis’ memorable 2,000-yard year in 1998 and helped clear holes for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year performances by Mike Anderson (2000) and Clinton Portis (2002).
The only other offensive lineman to be elected to the Ring of Fame is Gary Zimmerman.
“That’s pretty cool,” Nalen said of the honor. “My name’s going to be in the stadium.” -DenverBroncos.com
The team’s Ring of Fame was created by Pat Bowlen in 1984 to recognize former players and administrators who played significant roles in the franchise’s history.
My guess as to who the next Ring of Fame member will be after Nalen? None of than Ed McCaffrey.
Here’s a look at other inductees:
|Name||Pos.||Yrs. w/Broncos|| |
|Tom Nalen||C||1994-2008|| |
|Rod Smith||WR||1994-2007|| |
|Shannon Sharpe||TE||1990-99, 2002-03|| |
|Terrell Davis||RB||1995-2002|| |
|Steve Atwater||S||1989-98|| |
|Gary Zimmerman||T||1993-97|| |
|Karl Mecklenburg||LB||1983-94|| |
|Dennis Smith||S||1981-94|| |
|John Elway||QB||1983-98|| |
|Louis Wright||CB||1975-86|| |
|Tom Jackson||LB||1973-86|| |
|Randy Gradishar||LB||1974-83|| |
|Craig Morton||QB||1977-82|| |
|Haven Moses||WR||1972-81|| |
|Jim Turner||K||1971-79|| |
|Billy Thompson||S||1969-81|| |
|Charley Johnson||QB||1972-75|| |
|Paul Smith||DT||1968-78|| |
|Frank Tripucka||QB||1960-63|| |
|Gerald H. Phipps||Owner||1961-81|| |
|Austin “Goose” Gonsoulin||S||1960-66|| |
|Rich Jackson||DE||1967-72|| |
|Floyd Little||RB||1967-75|| |
|Lionel Taylor||WR||1960-66|| |