Sports

May 22, 2013 6:47 PM by Jordan Mason

Tom Nalen elected to Denver Broncos Ring of Fame

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - Former center Tom Nalen, who played 14 seasons (1994-2007) for the club, has been elected as the 24th member of the Denver Broncos' Ring of Fame. Owner & CEO Pat Bowlen made the announcement on Wednesday after meeting with the selection committee.

The induction ceremony will take place on Sunday, Sept. 29, at halftime of the Broncos' home game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Sports Authority Field at Mile High (2:25 p.m. MDT kickoff).

Anchoring a Broncos offensive line that was the standard among NFL units during his playing career, Nalen saw action in the third-most regular-season games (194) in franchise history, and his 188 starts are second only to quarterback John Elway in Denver's record books.

The 11 single-season 1,000-yard rushers and 93 single-game 100-yard rushers Nalen blocked for as the team's starting center (1995-2007) represented the most by an NFL club during that time and the Broncos' 395 sacks allowed in that span were the third fewest in the league.

Drafted by Denver in the seventh round (218th overall) in 1994, Nalen went on to make five Pro Bowls (1997-2000, ‘03)-the most by an offensive lineman in Broncos history-in addition to being named an All-Pro selection three times (First Team - 2000 '03; Second Team - 1999) and the NFL's Offensive Lineman of the Year following the 2003 season.

He was a member of Denver's back-to-back Super Bowl champion teams from 1997-98 and his 13 career postseason starts are tied for the third-highest total in team history. In addition to being a part of seven playoff teams, three division champions and two Super Bowl winners, Nalen's offenses finished ranked in the Top 5 in total yards on eight occasions.

Nalen blocked for 1997 MFL MVP Terrell Davis' memorable 2,000-yard campaign in 1998 and helped pave the way for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year performances by running backs Mike Anderson (2000) and Clinton Portis (2002).

A three-year starter at Boston College, where he earned numerous honors, including third-team Associated Press All-America, second-team All-Big East Conference and first-team ECAC recognition, Nalen was born on May 13, 1971, in Foxborough, Mass.

Nalen is the first former Bronco elected into the franchise's Ring of Fame since wide receiver Rod Smith (1994-2007) joined the distinguished membership last year. He is the second offensive lineman to be elected to the Ring of Fame, joining Gary Zimmerman (2003) with that honor.

The Broncos' Ring of Fame was created in 1984 by team owner Pat Bowlen to recognize former players and administrators who played significant roles in the franchise's history. The Ring of Fame is displayed on the Level 5 façade of Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

 

DENVER BRONCOS RING OF FAME

Name

Pos.

Yrs. w/Broncos

Year Inducted

Tom Nalen

C

1994-2008

2013

Rod Smith

WR

1994-2007

2012

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

 

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