To honor former Broncos running back and Super Bowl 50 champion Ronnie Hillman, who passed away from cancer on Dec. 21, several of Hillman's former teammates attended his celebration of life on Thursday in Inglewood, California.
The Broncos and former quarterback Peyton Manning organized transportation to the event for a group that included kicker Brandon McManus and former Broncos players Emmanuel Sanders, Derek Wolfe, Joel Dreessen, Ryan Harris, Orlando Franklin, Manning and Vice President of Player Development Ray Jackson, Mike Klis of 9NEWS reported.
"All of us as Broncos, it means something to us to be Denver Broncos and the fact that the ownership group in one year can understand that and go far beyond out of their way to coordinate to allow us to attend Ronnie's funeral, there's no words for our gratitude towards the Walton-Penner family," Harris told 9NEWS.
Hillman was Denver's leading rusher in its Super Bowl 50 championship season, totaling 863 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns in the regular season. And in his four seasons in Denver, Hillman also left a legacy off the field as a beloved friend and teammate.
"One of the better teammates you could ask for," Harris told 9NEWS. "One of the tougher teammates, fastest teammates. With his size, opponents often tried to make an example of him, and they found out otherwise. From when he first came in until we won the Super Bowl, to see how much he had grown as a player and as a pro, that's why he was a champion and that's why [former President] Barack Obama spoke his name at the White House.
"That Super Bowl 50 team was the best set of teammates I've ever had, and Ronnie was at that the top of that list of guys I loved to hang out with. Thankfully, I got to see him at the Los Angeles Super Bowl (last year) and told him I loved him. It will be good to be around Ronnie's family and tell them how much he meant to all of us."
Below the Fold
The Athletic’s NFL staff has compiled its 2022 All-Rookie Team, and tight end Greg Dulcich and wide receiver Montrell Washington were chosen as honorable mentions.
Despite missing seven games, Dulcich totaled 33 receptions for 411 yards and two touchdowns in his rookie season. Washington was Denver's primary dual returner throughout the season, and he returned 34 punts for 271 yards as well as 18 kickoffs for 340 yards.
"Greg Dulcich had fewer catches (33) than [Buccaneers tight end Cade] Otton (42) but more yards (411-391)," The Athletic's Nate Tice wrote. "After an early season injury, he immediately brought an explosive element to a desolate Broncos offense. Russell Wilson loved targeting him down the field, and Dulcich brought a yards-after-catch element, as well."