Orange Crush Defense
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The Orange Crush Defense was the 3–4 defense of the Denver Broncos during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The team adopted the 3–4 defense during the 1976 season, and the nickname "Orange Crush" for the team's defense was popularized early in the 1977 season by sportswriter/broadcaster Woody Paige.
It was one of the top defenses of its time with linebackers Randy Gradishar and Tom Jackson, with Gradishar as a potential Hall of Famer. Other key Crushers were defensive linemen Paul Smith (3 time Pro Bowler), Barney Chavous, Lyle Alzado, and Rubin Carter, linebackers Bob Swenson and Joe Rizzo, and defensive backs Billy Thompson and Louis Wright and Steve Foley and Bernard Jackson.
The team's defensive unit derived the nickname from their orange home jerseys and a popular soft drink, Orange Crush.