The Denver Broncos are one of the more popular teams in the National Football League. They have experienced ups and downs in terms of success as a team over the years, but their fans have remained fiercely loyal. The most famous player in Broncos history is easily quarterback John Elway who led the team to five Super Bowl appearances, including two Super Bowl victories. Who are the other quarterbacks that the Broncos have had through the years? Here is a look at the primary starting quarterbacks of the Denver Broncos by decade since the team’s first season in the AFL in 1960.
The Broncos had an eratic start as a franchise, essentially not performing well in any season during their first decade in professional football. This is largely due to the instability at the starting quarterback position. The primary starting quarterbacks during the 1960s were Frank Tripucka, Mickey Slaughter, Jacky Lee, John mcCormick, Max Choboian, Steve Tensi, and Marlin Briscoe.
Nothing seemed to change when the 1970s started as the Broncos had a new starting quarterback, this time it was Pete Liske. The mid-1970s would see Steve Ramsey and Charley Johnson go back and forth as the primary quarterback before turning the offense over to Craig Morton for the end of the decade. Morton would lead the Broncos to a Super Bowl appearance in his first season with the team.
When the 1980s began, Morton remained as the starting quarterback for a couple of seasons before the offense was turned over to Steve DeBerg for a season. A new era began in the mid 1980s when a young rookie named John Elway took over as the starting quarterback of the Denver Broncos. Elway would lead the team to three Super Bowl appearances at the end of the decade, unfortunately losing each one.
John Elway continued as the starting quarterback throughout the 1990s, all but the final season of the decade when the torch would be handed to a new highly touted youngster named Brian Griese. Before retiring though, Elway avenged his earlier Super Bowl losses by leading the team to victory in the Super Bowls following the 1997 and 1998 seasons.
The new millenium saw Brian Griese continue as the starting quarterback for a few seasons until Jake Plummer was brought in to take over. Plummer would experience some good seasons, but also some that were below expectations and would eventually not be held onto in favor of rookie quarterback Jay Cutler. After a couple of seasons and a big trade, Kyle Orton would finish out the 2000’s as the team’s starting quarterback.
The Denver Broncos have had a rich history, they started as one of the doormats of the old American Football League and have grown to become one of the regular contending teams in the NFL. Like most football teams, they have experienced most of their success when they have shown stability at the quarterback position. From Frank Tripucka to Craig Morton, to John Elway and now Jay Cutler, the quarterbacks of the Denver Broncos have been responsible for some of the best memories that fans of the team have.