|9/11||san diego chargers||34-3|
|9/18||at kansas city chiefs||13-20|
|9/26||los angeles raiders (OT)||27-30|
|10/2||at san diego chargers||12-0|
|10/9||at san francisco 49ers (OT)||16-13|
|10/23||at pittsburgh steelers||21-39|
|10/31||at indianapolis colts||23-55|
|11/6||kansas city chiefs||17-11|
|11/20||at new orleans saints||0-42|
|11/27||los angeles rams||35-24|
|12/4||at los angeles raiders||20-21|
|12/11||at seattle seahawks||14-42|
|12/17||new england patriots||21-10|
The sunset of the original Orange Crush
Even after John Elway’s arrival in 1983, defense had continued to help define the Broncos. But one by one, the components of their dominant defenses retired.
Linebacker Randy Gradishar walked away after the 1983 season. Barney Chavous followed two years later. Nose tackle Rubin Carter injured his knee in 1986 and retired. Linebacker Tom Jackson, safety Steve Foley and cornerback Louis Wright all called it a career in the months after the Broncos’ Super Bowl XXI loss. Even second-wave Orange Crush standouts like Rulon Jones were on the downside of their careers.
By 1988, the Broncos were leaking points.
The manner in which the Broncos were gashed by the Redskins in Super Bowl XXII still stung, too.
So a day after the Broncos concluded their disappointing 8-8 1988 season, Collier and four defensive assistants were dismissed, including linebacker coach Myrel Moore and defensive line coach Stan Jones, both of whom had been with the team since the John Ralston era.
Collier served 20 years as a Broncos assistant and Jones was on the staff for 18 seasons, including a five-year stint under Lou Saban. They remain the longest-serving assistant coaches in Broncos history, and with the pressure and instability of coaching in the NFL today, their records appear unlikely to be approached. Collier remains one of the most accomplished coordinators in NFL history, and if the Pro Football Hall of Fame ever decided to open its doors to coaches based on their accomplishments as assistants, he would undoubtedly be on the short list for induction.