The Denver Broncos announced on Wednesday that Tom Nalen will be inducted to their Ring of Fame in 2013. The induction ceremony will take place at halftime of the home game versus the Philadelphia Eagles on September 29th.
Nalen was a seventh-round pick of the Broncos out of Boston College and played center for 15 seasons. He was never considered the best center in the NFL when he played, but he should have been. It probably would have helped if Nalen and the rest of the Broncos offensive linemen actually talked to the media, but that was never going to happen with that group. In fact, they got fined by their peers if they talked to any media.
Nalen’s career, however, did not go without any notice at all. He was selected to five Pro Bowls and played on two Super Bowl championship teams with the Broncos. Nalen was also the anchor if an offensive line the dominated the league with their running game and was a key to Terrell Davis rushing for 2,008 yards in 1998.
The players who played on those offensive lines in the late 1990s made up the best units the franchise has ever put on the field. In addition to Nalen, the other names include fellow Ring of Famer Gary Zimmerman, Brian Habib, Tony Jones and Dan Neil. The back-to-back championship teams may have been known because of Davis, John Elway and others, but it was the offensive line that made them dominant.
Nalen joins Elway, Zimmerman, Davis, Rod Smith, Shannon Sharpe and Steve Atwater in the Ring of Fame. Those seven players were the core of those championship teams, and now Nalen finds himself in the center of those great players once again.
Follow me on Twitter @Jemorrone7