Legendary Broncos DC Joe Collier dies at 91

Larry Brown Sports

Former NFL defensive coordinator Joe Collier, best known for his time with the Denver Broncos, has died at the age of 91.

Collier is credited as the architect of the “Orange Crush” defense, which the Broncos utilized during the ’70s and ’80s. The renowned 3-4 defense helped Denver reach the Super Bowl in the 1977, 1986, and 1987 seasons.

On Tuesday, the Broncos released a statement on Collier’s death.

“The architect of the famed Orange Crush defense, Joe Collier is one of the most impactful coaches in the history of the Denver Broncos and regarded among the best defensive coordinators of all-time,” the statement read.

The Broncos also released a heartfelt video commemorating Collier’s time with the team.

Collier served as the head coach of the Buffalo Bills — then in the AFL — from 1966 to 1968 before spending the next 20 years as a member of the Broncos organization.

Collier started as the Broncos’ defensive backs coach in 1969. He was promoted to defensive coordinator in 1972 and held the title until he left the team following the 1988 season.

Three years after his exit from Denver, Collier spent two seasons as the New England Patriots’ defensive coordinator.

Collier continued to reside in Colorado after the end of his coaching career. He was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.

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