Both the Broncos and Raiders have won three Lombardi Trophies and the Broncos went to three more Super Bowls than the Raiders. Yet the Raiders have nine more players (14) in the Hall of Fame than the Broncos.
Despite playing on three Super Bowl champions, Darren Woodson was a glaring omission from the NFL’s all-decade team for the 1990s. Selected ahead of him were Steve Atwater, LeRoy Butler, Carnell Lake and Ronnie Lott.
LeRoy Butler intercepted 38 career passes and won a Super Bowl with the 1996 Packers. He became the first defensive back in NFL history to join the 20/20 club with 20-plus interceptions and 20-plus sacks (20 ½).
Former Denver safety Steve Atwater is most often associated with a jarring stop of running back Christian Okoye on Monday Night Football. But it wasn’t Okoye who was the toughest for him to tackle. It was another AFC West running back you should remember.
Former Denver safety Steve Atwater has a complete resume that’s missing only one line: Hall of Fame. He’s a semifinalist for the Class of 2016, but he’s been down this road before — nominated five times, but never breaking through to the final 15. It’s time to change that.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame has only seven pure safeties, with Kenny Houston the last one to play … and that was 1980. That will change soon, and it should said former Dallas star Darren Woodson. And the next safety he’d put in? Steve Atwater, come on down.