ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Brison Manor, who helped the Broncos to their first Super Bowl appearance, has passed away. He was 70 years old.
Manor began his career with the Broncos in 1977 and appeared in 16 games across the regular season and postseason as Denver's Orange Crush defense helped the team advance to Super Bowl XII. The Broncos defensive end recorded four sacks during the regular season and added a fumble recovery in Denver's AFC Championship win over the Raiders.
"We're considered one of the best defenses ever in the NFL," Manor said in 2018. "When your defense has a nickname, you know you were good. … Teams couldn't run against us at all. We played reckless. We didn't really care about our bodies. We were flying all over the field. It was a fun time, because people were scared of us."
Manor would play more than six more seasons for the Broncos, as he appeared in 94 more games for Denver until he was traded to Tampa Bay in 1984. Manor's most productive season came in 1979, as he started all 16 of the Broncos' games and recorded 6.5 sacks and a fumble recovery. A year later, he started another 15 games, posting a fumble recovery and two sacks.
During his tenure with the Broncos, Manor appeared in five postseason games across three different trips to the playoffs.
Manor finished his career with 23 sacks, 22 of which came with the Broncos.
Manor began his collegiate career at Pratt Community College in Kansas, where he earned junior college All-American honors before accepting a scholarship to play at the University of Arkansas. In Fayetteville, Manor worked with then-Arkansas defensive line coach and future Hall of Famer Jimmy Johnson. Manor posted 173 total tackles across his junior and senior seasons.
Following his career as a Razorback, Manor was drafted by the Jets in the 15th round.
Though Manor did not make the team, he signed with the Broncos in 1976. An injury sidelined him that season, but he returned in 1977 to begin his NFL career.
Manor was inducted into the University of Arkansas Hall of Honor in 2011 and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.
A Bridgeton, New Jersey native, Manor was born on Aug. 10, 1952.