ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --Rod Smith knows a thing or two about AFC Championship Games. Now, the Ring of Fame former wide receiver will serve as an honorary captain on Sunday before the Broncos take the field against the Patriots to play for their own AFC Championship.
Smith, who played in three AFC Championship Games during his 12-year career with in Denver – including a 24-21 win over the Steelers in the 1997 AFC Championship and a 23-10 victory over the Jets the following season – will accompany Broncos captains out to midfield for the opening coin toss.
Former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer served as an honorary captain in the Broncos' 24-17 win over the Chargers last Sunday.
Smith was also on-hand for that game, helping rile up the crowd by leading a pregame chant over the speakers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Denver's all-time leader in career receptions and receiving yards has also voiced similar words of encouragement for the Broncos for Sunday, as Smith has taken to Twitter to show his support for the team.
Smith played a key role in the 1997 AFC Championship game, helping the Broncos reach Super Bowl XXXII, where they triumphed in the first Super Bowl championship in franchise history. He caught six passes for 87 yards in that game.
The following year, Smith caught three passes for 37 yards in helping the Broncos defeat the Jets in the 1998 AFC Championship Game. Denver advanced to Super Bowl XXXIII, where Smith turned in one of the most memorable performances of his career, catching five passes for 152 yards and a touchdown.
He also recorded four catches for 61 yards in the 2005 AFC Championship Game – the Broncos' most recent appearance in the game prior to Sunday's showdown.