Moss: Broncos’ Atwater a big hitter even in retirement |

Moss: Broncos’ Atwater a big hitter even in retirement

Irv Moss
The Denver Post
Denver, CO Colorado

DENVER, Colorado –Could it be that the sharp focus on Steve Atwater’s signature play as a member of the Broncos’ defense has diverted too much attention from his Hall of Fame credentials?

Even today, Atwater can be stopped on the street by strangers and be taken back to Sept. 17, 1990. It was “Monday Night Football” and the Kansas City Chiefs, featuring powerful running back Christian Okoye, were playing the Broncos at Mile High Stadium.

The Broncos won 24-23, but Atwater’s crushing, head-on hit on Okoye is remembered more than the score. The tackle earned Atwater the nickname “The Assassin” and showed that the 6-foot-3, 217-pound safety from Arkansas could meet any NFL running back and hold his own.

“It’s amazing how many people who saw that game still remember me for that play,” said Atwater, who played for the Broncos from 1989-98. “I get a kick out of it. Some would tell me they watched me play when they were in high school. They looked like they were older than me.”

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