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Published on 05/03/2011 at Tue May 03 19:26.
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Thomas, Elway

Former Chief Derrick Thomas gave John Elway fits during his career. Elway hopes Von Miller can do the same to AFC West quarterbacks. (AP file photo)

Legendary former Broncos quarterback John Elway was one of the most elusive players of his time – and arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.

There was one player however that consistently harassed Elway, similarly to how Elway exasperated defensive coordinators week in and week out.  That player was the late Derrick Thomas, a former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker who is now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

A terror to every opposing offense he played, Thomas specialized in sacking Elway, much to the delight of Kansas City fans and dismay of Denver fans.  When it was all said and done, Thomas had brought Elway down twenty-six times behind the line of scrimmage.

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Broncos' Von Miller presented to the media for the first time with vice president of football operations John Elway at Dove Valley on April 29, 2011 in Englewood, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Heading into the 2011 NFL Draft, Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller was considered one of the top defensive prospects after drawing many comparisons to Thomas.  After being chosen second overall by the Denver Broncos, Miller flew to Denver to meet with the club’s top brass.

While at the team’s facility in Dove Valley last week, Miller requested jersey number 58, Thomas’ former number, according to the Associated Press.  Having played Thomas many times throughout his career, Elway — who is now the team’s Vice President of Football Operations — was all for it.

“I liked it. I thought it was great, I thought it was the perfect number for him,” said Elway before telling Miller, “Just don’t walk behind me.”

Although he was a Chief, you gotta give Thomas some respect.  If I could pick any former player for Miller to shape his game after, Thomas would definitely be near the top of the list.

  • CJ

    Not a fan of the number 58 ,but i am sure it will grow on me.

  • JackfnBurton

    I don't think Elway being “one of the greatest” QB's ever to play is “arguable”. That's a fact.

  • NMBronc

    Follow in his foot steps, right up to the point where you go full retard, grab a TE by the face mask and play whirly bird.

  • http://www.broncotalk.net Josh Temple

    I completely mis-read this the first time and almost started arguing with you.

  • Brayden11 Br

    elway is the best of best hopefully broncos picks can be following his footsteps

  • LevonZevon

    Lets hope we can get Gabe Watson or Alan Branch in addition to a 3rd round pick for Orton. Arizona doesn't need both wide-bodied, 335-lb. ex-Michigan nose-tackles (but I'd prefer Branch in case we run some 3-4, since he backed up Calais Campbell there in 2010).

    If we had drafted Earl Thomas instead of squandering the pick– so McBowlen wouldn't have to pay another 1st round salary in the first fifteen– we could probably have traded our highest second-rounder and a third for Fairley at #12 overall (plus maybe another pick late in 2011 or 2012).

    Of course, that could have taken away the chance to draft Kyle “44 stops-for-a-loss” Irving at MLB. But we'd be set with Thomas and Quinton Carter at Safety for years to come and still have Nick Fairley to penetrate the opponent's backfield from the inside (while Von and Doom came around the edges).

    Barry Cofield could be a surprise this year the way Fred Robbins was for the Rams last season (in terms of under-rated Giants Defensive Tackles in new surroundings). But I can't see Bowlen shelling out for a DeAngelo Williams at RB AND a free-agent DT (especially when we also probably need to sign a veteran offensive lineman considering the many question-marks among our all-finesse-except-Franklin offensive front).

    Oh, yeah. Miller looks good as a #58 (now this comment belongs below the above article).

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