Former Super-Bowl Bronco Jackson dies of liver cancer
May. 29, 1997
DENVER (AP) _ Bernard Jackson, the starting free safety on the Denver Broncos' first Super Bowl Team, has died at the age of 46.
Jackson was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer four months ago. He died Monday at his parents' home in his hometown of Lompoc, Calif.
About 50 of his former Broncos teammates and coaches visited him at his Denver home several days ago before his parents took him back to Lompoc.
``When you lose somebody from a team like that, it's like losing a family member,'' said former Broncos wide receiver Haven Moses, one of Jackson's closest friends on the team.
``It was a matter of closure for him,'' Moses said. ``It was an opportunity for everyone to see him in the best way possible, to offer their support and friendship. We all had a chance to say goodbye. It would have been difficult if we hadn't had that day with him.''
Jackson was acquired by the Broncos from Cincinnati before the 1977 season and earned the free safety starting assignment, going to the 1978 Super Bowl against Dallas. The Broncos lost that game 27-10.
``He and Craig (Morton, quarterback) were the two missing parts we had on that team. We traded for both of them before the season. Once they got here, we put everything together,'' Moses recalled.
Other 1978 Super Bowl Bronco members at the reunion for Jackson included former head coach Red Miller, defensive coordinator Joe Collier, Steve Foley, Claudie Minor, Bob Swenson and Randy Gradishar.
Jackson played for the Broncos until 1980, when he wound up his NFL career with the San Diego Chargers.
He is the third member of the Broncos' first Super Bowl team to die. Defensive end Lyle Alzado and backup quarterback Norris Weese are also deceased.