The Denver Broncos first became a team that was first feared when their defense became the “Orange Crush” in the late ’70s. Many have credited linebacker, Randy Gradishar
with being the heart and soul of that famed defense.
Gradishar was a tackling machine and won the 1978 Defensive Player of the Year. He consistently went to the Pro Bowl and was the leader of Denver’s “Orange Crush” defense. Gradishar was known for his exemplary football instincts and his hallmark ability to block the goal line. Had he been more attention-grabbing, perhaps he would have made a bigger name for himself outside of Colorado.
It is funny to call a Defensive Player of the Year and a seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker underrated, but he was to a certain degree. As John Elway led the Broncos to Super Bowl wins two decades later, the stars of the ’70s that almost got there have become an afterthought. You would think that maybe one member of that team would have got into Canton by now. His recent Finalist appearance on the Centennial Slate does help his future chances, though for his fans it feels so far away.
Should Randy Gradishar be in the Hall of Fame?
Definitely put him in! - 94.6%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 3.4%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 1.2%