|07-06-2006, 11:04 AM||#1|
Join Date: Mar 2004
Cobbs hoping future in Denver will be better than the past
BY RAINER SABIN Northwest Arkansas Times
Posted on Thursday, July 6, 2006
The best years of football are still ahead of him. At least that is what Denver Broncos running back Cedric Cobbs thinks as he tries to inject some life into a professional football career that has been rather unremarkable so far.
“ I have always thought that the first priority to get successful is to get on an active roster, ” he said. “ As soon as that happens, it will open up [opportunities ]. ”
Cobbs, who spent five star-crossed seasons at Arkansas from 1999-2003, will enter NFL training camp as the third running back on Denver’s depth chart behind Ron Dayne and Tatum Bell. Considering that he was cut by the New England Patriots last August and was signed to the Broncos’ practice squad a week later, Cobbs finds himself in a good position. In fact, he sees himself competing for significant playing time when training camp starts July 27.
“[Denver coach Mike ] Shanahan has good scheme going, ” Cobbs said. “ The foremost priority is the running game. He teaches you to understand the game and teaches you how to run. I didn’t get activated [last season ], but I had a chance to learn more than I ever had. The coaching staff here believed in me. ”
If Cobbs seems humble, it is because he is. Two years of sitting on the bench will do that to a player, especially one who was the subject of so much hype early in his college career. After Cobbs set an Arkansas freshman record by accumulating 668 rushing yards in 1999, ESPN The Magazine touted him as a “ 6-0, 217-pound lightning bolt who promises to be the most dynamic running back to hit the SEC since Bo Jackson. ”
Former Arkansas quarterback Clint Stoerner, who handed the ball off to Cobbs that season, believed his backfield mate had unlimited potential.
“ I thought he was going to be a first-round pick, ” he said.
But Cobbs didn’t live up to his billing. He missed 15 games over the next four seasons after he hurt his shoulder, hamstring, toe and leg in successive years. To add insult to injury, he was convicted in 2002 in North Little Rock District Court of driving while intoxicated, speeding and marijuana possession. During his final year at Arkansas in 2003, he rushed for more yards (1, 320 ) than he did the three previous seasons combined (1, 030 ).
“ If he can stay healthy, he can run 4. 4 vertically and 4. 4 sideways, ” Arkansas running backs coach Danny Nutt said. “ He’s just a freak. He’s unbelievable. If he can just stay healthy, that is the key. ”
But after Cobbs was drafted by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2004 NFL Draft, New England soon found out that Cobbs was still brittle. He missed most of New England’s run to a championship during his rookie year, nursing the same leg he hurt his senior season at Arkansas. In the 2005 preseason, he was injured again and New England lost its patience with Cobbs.
“ You have to know your body, ” said Cobbs, who has rushed for only 50 yards in his NFL career. “ Taking care of it and eating the right food is important. ”
Cobbs said that he has learned from all of the setbacks, but is ready to put them behind him. In Denver, Cobbs said he thinks he will be able to thrive, because Shanahan has a history of turning unheralded running backs like Olandis Gary and Reuben Droughns into 1, 000-yard rushers.
“ They have been hyping me up, and I basically want to come in this season and stay healthy, ” he said. “ If so I definitely think I will get the opportunity. They studied me a lot in college. This was a team that always looked at me. ”
|07-06-2006, 11:12 AM||#2|
Join Date: Apr 2006
I just see this kid being the Darkhorse and taking the starting spot. But if it's Dayne, Bell, or Cobbs, I don't really care, just as long as they get the job done.
|07-06-2006, 11:16 AM||#3|
Fan of the home team
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Durango, Colorado
I am hoping Cobbs or Mike Bell stand up and show something.
|07-06-2006, 11:24 AM||#4|
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Hot Springs, Ouachitah
Cobbs is certainly be a darkhorse. He just has to stay healthy. He would of been drafted much higher if he didn't hurt his leg as a senior. He's got franchise back potential, but that doesn't mean dick if your in the training room rehabbing.
|07-06-2006, 11:26 AM||#5|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: The Springs
I say screw oft injured former SEC backs. There's never been a success story with these types of players.