When three-time Pro Bowler Greg Olsen started his TE1 podcast, Shannon Sharpe was one of the first people he lined up for an interview. The series, which focuses on the league's top tight ends through history, most recently features an in-depth interview with the legendary former Broncos tight end.
"Shannon was the first guy that put up these numbers that just blew people away," Olsen said of Sharpe in the podcast introduction. "When Shannon retired in 2003, he was the epitome — he was the benchmark standard for what the tight-end position was."
Included in the podcast is a delightful story about how Sharpe became a tight end as a rookie. As he recalls, the transition came after practically all of the Broncos' tight ends got hurt.
One day during the offseason, a Broncos athletic trainer told Sharpe that head coach Dan Reeves wanted to see him after a meeting.
"I'm like, "Oh my goodness,'" Sharpe said. "I remember there were guys who got to go see Dan after the meeting, and they got cut. So I'm like, 'Oh, man, they're about to cut me.' I was like, 'Damn!' So I remember going to his office and I'm sitting down and I'm nervous. He said, 'What do you think about switching positions?' I was like, 'Phew!'"
First, though, Sharpe wanted to know if he'd get more playing time.
"He was like, 'Yeah, you'll get an opportunity to play. But you're going to have to learn the plays.' Well, hell, Greg, I was struggling to learn the wide receiver plays and now they move me to another position and I've got to try to learn those plays. And I remember when they put me in the game, they put me in motion the entire game. They put me in motion so John could tell me what I had to do as I ran past him."
The interview also features powerful comments from Sharpe on the current fight for equality raging across the country and why it's filled him with optimism for the future.
"I think what we're seeing with the length of the protests [and] the size of the protests is that I really think that this is going to be a changing of the guard," Sharpe said. "I really think this is a moment in history that we're going to look back on and say, 'That was it. That was the moment in which America came together, and what America was supposed to represent started to represent that for all, not just one particular group.' And I think that's what we're seeing right now, and I am very proud that a lot of people that don't look like Shannon Sharpe, that's not the race of Shannon Sharpe, that doesn't come from a background like Shannon Sharpe decided to say, 'You know what? We feel your pain. We feel your empathy.' And that's what it's going to take."
Below the Fold
The Denver Post's Ryan O'Halloran recently spoke with Quarterbacks Coach Mike Shula and got to hear some of his favorite stories about his father, Don Shula, the Pro Football Hall of Fame coach who passed away in May.
One of the NFL's most popular traditions in recent years — that being the post-game jersey swap — will look much different this year. Instead of the usual on-field get-togethers, players will have to exchange jerseys via mail, as NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported.