Legendary ‘Orange Crush’ members talk as Broncos team echoes their success

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DENVER -- After another great performance on Sunday, the Broncos defense is starting to draw comparisons to the legendary “Orange Crush” of the 1970’s.

We went to the experts and watched Sunday's game with Broncos greats Billy Thompson, Steve Foley and Louis Wright. They are three members of the Orange Crush who think this team’s defense could also wind up in the record books.

“Right now they are playing lights out and they have to continue it, but we’ll see,” Thompson said. “I’m pulling for them. I hope they break all of our records. That means we’ll be on our way to the playoffs and hopefully another Super Bowl.”

In 1977, the Orange Crush led the Broncos to the Super Bowl with the NFL’s No. 1-ranked defense against the rush. And Sunday, they loved to watch the Broncos' new style of play.

“I love defense. I love to see the defense play and the defense win so yes this is my kind of football,” Thompson said.

Longtime Denver sports columnist Woody Paige was the first to coin the term “Orange Crush” for the Broncos defense.

“This is probably a more talented team overall than that one. That one had a lot of spirit and camaraderie that hadn’t existed in Denver,” Paige said.

Does this team deserve the comparisons to the dominating years of “Orange Crush” defense in Denver?

“I think they are favorable comparisons but rather than four games you’ve got to do it for 16,” Paige said.

The original members of the Orange Crush say the defense is what will lead the Broncos, once again, to the big game.

“Defense wins championships,” Thompson said. “We’ve got a great one now. I don’t want to put the cart before the horse but if we keep playing this way, I’m looking for great things.”