|08-28-2005, 01:56 AM||#1|
Lights Out B***h!
Join Date: Mar 2003
Burger Bill article on the Sarge
Not that I'm rubbing it in or anything
Anderson takes hold of No. 1 tailback job
By Bill Williamson
Denver Post Staff Writer
On Aug. 27, 2004, Mike Anderson was taken into the Broncos' locker room on a cart. Tests revealed the worst; Anderson received news that could end a nearly 31-year-old running back's NFL career.
His season was over after he tore two groin muscles.
Saturday night, Anderson spent the anniversary of that potentially career-ending night by essentially securing the No. 1 tailback job with the Broncos.
Anderson, who will turn 32 on Sept. 21, was the offensive story of the game for the Broncos as he ran for 159 yards on 13 carries in Denver's 37-24 victory over the Indianapolis Colts at Invesco Field at Mile High.
After the game, he didn't have to be reminded of the date.
"I've thought about it," Anderson said. "It puts it all in perspective. I knew I was going to come back, even when I was carried off the field. But for this to happen tonight, it's a nice feeling. It really is. It all could have been over, but it's not."
The highlight of the night was a 93-yard run on which Anderson more than proved he has the breakaway speed to be a No. 1 tailback in the NFL.
"It was real nice to see Mike make a big play like that," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. "It's very seldom you see a back in the National Football League break for 93 yards, and to see Mike do that was pretty impressive."
Anderson's regular-season career- best carry of 80 yards took place as a rookie, when he came out of nowhere to gain 1,487 yards and win the NFL's offensive rookie of the year award.
The former Marine is coming out of nowhere again, five years later.
Anderson emerged as the No. 1 tailback going into training camp after an impressive offseason workout program. Still, the general consensus was second-year pro Tatum Bell would emerge as the top tailback.
However, Anderson's performance Saturday night probably will all but sew up the job for him. It's highly likely he will be the starting tailback when the Broncos open the season at Miami on Sept. 11.
He'll likely sit out with the majority of the Broncos' starters in the preseason finale Friday at Arizona.
"Mike was awesome tonight," said Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer, who has been supportive of Anderson throughout training camp. "He's done a great job all camp."
Anderson has outplayed Bell in the training camp and in the preseason games.
Still, Anderson is not allowing himself to celebrate a job won.
"I can't think about it," Anderson said.
Shanahan said Anderson's play Saturday night was a payoff from a long rehabilitation process.
"I really had a chance to watch Mike in the offseason program, so you get a chance to evaluate a guy on a day-to-day basis," Shanahan said. "We really felt that Mike was in great shape, and we had no question in our minds that he was completely healthy."
Saturday night was celebration of his health.
"Tonight was a lot better than this time last year," Anderson said. "A lot better."
Bill Williamson can be reached at 303-820-5450 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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