Denver Broncos fans have grievances with the Professional Football Hall of Fame, and rightfully so.

While the Broncos franchise was formed in 1960, and was merged into the NFL in 1970, John Elway was the first player to be inducted into the Hall, and it took until 2004. Elway famously campaigned for more Broncos players to be included in the Hall that day — I was there, in Canton, OH — and since the Duke of Denver was enshrined, four more men have gone in.

Still, five players from a franchise as historic as the Broncos is a travesty; Denver has eight Super Bowl appearances, three world championships and the fewest losing seasons (7) since 1975. Elway, Terrell Davis, Shannon Sharpe, Gary Zimmerman and Floyd Little represent the best individuals in Broncos history, but there are a whole host of others who have been left out. Steve Atwater, Karl Mecklenburg and Randy Gradishar are the ones Denver die-hards want to see in the Hall the most.

But what about Rick Upchurch?

On Tuesday, the Broncos legend visited Dove Valley to spread some cheer and knowledge to the young players, teaching them the ways of the master returner.

“Catch the ball, get up field, don’t lose yards, don’t fumble,” were Upchurch’s words of sage advice for Denver’s returners.

Upchurch knows a thing or two about returning the football. He’s the Broncos’ record holder in 11 different returning categories. For his career, he’s No. 1 in punt returns (248), yards (3,008) and touchdowns (8). He’s also got the most punt returns (51) and yards (653) in a single season, and his total return yards (5,363) is also the most for any Broncos player.

Upchurch played in Denver from 1975-1983, being named to both the 1970s and 1980s All-Decade Teams, as well as being one of the top 300 players in NFL history in 2000.

During the 70s, he was instrumental in the Broncos’ success. In 1976, he set an NFL record with four punt return touchdowns, and in 1977, the year the Broncos won their first AFC Championship, his 653 punt return yards were the most in the league, too. His Super Bowl-record 67-yard punt return in Super Bowl XII set Denver up with their only touchdown of the game.

In 1979, Upchurch was used not only as a return man, but as a starting receiver as well. That year was his best statistically as a wideout, with 64 receptions for 937 yards and seven scores through the air. All told, Upchurch ended his career with 4,369 receiving yards, 24 receiving touchdowns and he even ran the ball over the goal line three times as well. He finished his nine-year career as a five-time, first-team All-Pro.

Put simply, Upchurch was unique, an all-around threat and one of the greatest return men in the history of the NFL. His 3,008 career punt return yards still rank him No. 11 all-time, and every player ahead of him played many years after Upchurch. When he retired, Upchurch was the all-time leader in punt return yards, and he was the greatest punt return man in the history of the league to that point.

In 2009, Upchurch was named to the Denver Broncos’ prestigious 50th Anniversary team, and in 2014, he was named to the Broncos Ring of Fame.

Now, he deserves a bronze bust in Canton, OH among Elway and the few other Broncos greats that call the Hall of Fame home.