October 3, 2009
During the Broncos’ 50th season, The Gazette will take a look back at some of the most memorable moments, players, games and plays over the team’s history, counting down a top 10 list every Sunday during the season.
10. Mac Speedie, 1964-66: The list wasn’t hard to crack – coaches 11 and 12 (Ray Malavasi and Jerry Smith) coached 12 and five games, respectively. So Speedie’s 6-19-1 record makes the list.
9. Jack Faulkner, 1962-64: Faulkner didn’t have it easy in the early years of the franchise, but still turned in a 9-22-1 record.
8. Frank Filchock, 1960-61: The .268 win percentage is miserable, but for a brand-new Broncos franchise, it probably could have been worse.
7. Lou Saban, 1967-71: Saban didn’t have a good run as Broncos coach, never winning more than five games in a season. But at least he was entertaining.
6. Wade Phillips, 1993-94: Phillips comes back to Denver today as Dallas’ coach. He disappointed with the Broncos, turning two John Elway seasons into a 16-16 record.
5. Josh McDaniels, 2009: Too soon? Perhaps, but nobody behind him on the list deserves a bump. All we know is McDaniels has started his Broncos career 3-0.
4. John Ralston, 1972-76: Ralston barely snuck over a .500 career record with Denver, at 34-33-3. He guided the franchise to its first three winning seasons, in 1973, 1974 and 1976,
3. Dan Reeves, 1981-1992: Reeves wasn’t perfect — his holding back of Elway has been well documented — but he won almost 60 percent of his games, including seven playoff games.
2. Red Miller, 1977-1980: Miller had 32 wins his first three years, and led the Broncos to their first Super Bowl. He was surprisingly fired by new owner Edgar Kaiser after the 1980 season.
1. Mike Shanahan, 1995-2008: There really was never any doubt, was there? Two Super Bowl titles, 146 wins and a .616 win percentage says it all.