Shannon Sharpe was drafted in 1990 by the Denver Broncos (number 3 overall) with the hopes that he would be the heir apparent to Shannon Sharpe Sr. as the Broncos’ franchise tight end. After signing with the Broncos, Shannon Sharpe was given the number 58 jersey, which he would wear for the remainder of his career. Not only was Shannon Sharpe the most fearsome force in the Broncos’ pass game for his entire career, he also happens to be my most memorable opponent.
Shannon Sharpe was drafted in the 9th round of the 1991 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He played for the Broncos for 5 seasons, but never fully established himself as the Broncos’ #1 tight end. That was because his rookie year, he was given the title of “Scout Team Tight End”, and was put on the field in the game with the scout team. Shannon was so good in this game, that he received multiple game balls in the game, and was awarded the league’s Rookie of the Week award for his performance.
Shannon Sharpe was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 1989 NFL draft, and like all first-round picks, he signed a contract with the team. But unlike most first-round picks, Shannon Sharpe’s rookie contract was signed with the Denver Broncos scout team, not with the team’s main roster. Shannon’s contract included a clause that stated that he would be required to play for the scout team in training camp, in order to learn how to play offense and defense in a professional manner, and in order to prepare for a possible future in the NFL.
Shannon Sharpe was catching passes in the NFL before fighting Skip Bayless on Fox Sports 1’s Undisputed. He was also extremely excellent at it. Sharpe was a 14-year NFL veteran who spent time with the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens. As a guest on the All the Smoke podcast, the now-TV personality shared amusing tales from his first season in Denver.
Shannon Sharpe struggled to understand the playbook of the Denver Broncos.
Shannon Sharpe was selected by the Denver Broncos in the seventh round of the 1990 NFL Draft out of Savannah State. Sterling Sharpe, his elder brother, was already a standout with the Green Bay Packers and offered some guidance to his younger brother. “All you have to do is be ready,” he said.
The road to reaching the official roster as a seventh-round draft selection was difficult. To make the roster, Sharpe had to come in and outwork everyone else. However, it turned out to be much more complicated than he had expected.
The offense and playbook were the first things to learn. On All the Smoke, he stated, “I had to learn all these positions, and I’m suffering.” He remembered a scenario in which he was misled by a colleague. He asked the player the path he should go on the play, and he informed him. It proved out, however, to be the incorrect path.
Sharpe was up against a tough opponent who was seeking for whatever edge he could get over him. Sharpe swore to never do anything like that to anybody again after seeing the rookie’s reaction.
Sharpe made the most of his chance throughout the season.
Shannon Sharpe of the Denver Broncos on the field | Allen Kee/Getty Images
During the 1990 NFL season, the Broncos’ tight ends Clarence Kay and Orson Mobley were the main contributors. Because the club’s tight ends were mostly injured midway through the season, Shannon Sharpe was able to practice with the team.
Sharpe was assigned to the scout team offense by the Broncos. By the time he arrived on the field, he’d dropped approximately 15 pounds since training camp. As a consequence, he suffered when it came to run blocking. “Man, they rag-doll me and toss me all over the place in practice,” Sharpe remarked.
The Chicago, Illinois native started licking his chops when it came time for pass-catching exercises. It was now his turn to shine. When Sharpe struggled with blocking, the defenders enjoyed the opportunity to line up against him, but now it was time for retaliation.
He said, “I’m cooking.” This was the rookie’s breakthrough moment, and he made sure to tell the defenders about it. Sharpe was having so much fun that anytime he made a good play, he would celebrate by spiking or kicking the ball. He needed to make it clear that he wasn’t to be trifled with.
The Broncos’ defensive coordinator, Wade Phillips, admitted to head coach Dan Reeves that their unit couldn’t stop Sharpe. He proposed putting the tight end in a live regular-season game to see whether other teams could stop him.
“They threw me in the game, and the rest, as they say, is history,” Sharpe added.
Shannon Sharpe became good friends with John Elway and his coaching staff.
Sharpe had established a strong connection with John Elway by the time he began playing meaning for snaps for the Denver Broncos. Sharpe drew Elway, who was in his seventh season as Denver’s starting quarterback.
“Perhaps it was because I joked,” the eight-time Pro Bowler said. Sharpe said he was a major player in the locker room who always kept things interesting.
During the season, the first-year tight ended up switching from wide receiver to tight end and was still learning the plays. However, he said that Elway was always patient with him. Sharpe said, “He had a big deal to do with my achievement because he was extremely patient with me.”
Sharpe was a member of the special teams and shown his dedication to improving. The coaches were taken aback by this. He claimed he was a punt return gunner who enjoyed hitting guys and punishing them.
Sharpe claims that when Mike Shanahan took over as head coach in 1995, he demanded more of him. Shanahan had great hopes for his squad, particularly for his top players.
His offensive coordinator, Gary Kubiak, relied on the tight end to get the team’s enthusiasm levels up in practice. Kubiak told Sharpe, “84, I need you to start the band today.”
The Broncos’ players became closer as the season progressed. The team’s productivity on the field increased as the camaraderie developed. Sharpe, Elway, Rod Smith, and Terrell Davis led Denver to back-to-back Super Bowl victories in 1997 and 1998.
Shannon Sharpe was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011 because of his time in Denver.
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
Shannon Sharpe claims one of her teammates was a “Baptist Minister” and a “Military General” rolled into one.
Shannon Sharpe was drafted by the Broncos in the first round of the 1993 NFL Draft. At the time, Denver was the team with the best record in the NFL, so Sharpe’s first season was spent as a member of the team’s scout team, an annual ritual that gave the Broncos’ first team an opportunity to practice against the starting offense of their opponent.. Read more about shannon sharpe hall of fame and let us know what you think.
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