|08-05-2007, 02:29 PM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2006
Bell Finds Himself Fighting For Playing Time Again
(AP) DENVER A year ago Mike Bell was an undrafted Denver Broncos rookie climbing the depth chart on his way to being the No. 1 running back. This year, he's in a fierce competition to be the No. 2.
Bell was supplanted as the starter by Tatum Bell by the season opener last year but earned enough playing time to rush for 677 yards and eight touchdowns.
The Broncos traded Tatum Bell to Detroit in the Dre' Bly deal but acquired free agent Travis Henry to be their top tailback.
"I understand that this is a business, and I didn't have much experience so they wanted to get an experienced guy," Mike Bell said. "It will be good to learn from him as well, because Travis has done a lot of good things in his career and he's a good back to learn from."
Bell insisted that Henry's arrival didn't change his approach.
"Not really. I always come in with the attitude of trying to be the best, so regardless of who's there, I'm still going to work the same."
The Broncos also moved Cecil Sapp from fullback to tailback to challenge Bell for the job as Henry's primary backup.
Again, Bell insists he doesn't mind the logjam in the backfield.
"I like competition," Bell said. "I think it brings the best out of me."
He said he wasn't at all surprised that he wasn't automatically the No. 2 running back behind Henry.
"No, because like coach said there's nothing set in stone. I'm not too concerned about the depth chart right now, you know. I'm just going out there working hard every day, not really worrying about my circumstances right now, just doing what I know how to do," he said.
At any rate, Bell thinks that one day he'll be the No. 1 ball carrier again.
"I don't like settling," he said. "I'm not going to settle until I'm No. 1. Regardless of who's starting, I'm still going to be pushing the dude until I'm at that spot. Travis is a good guy to learn from, so I'm glad I'm learning from someone like him, as well as Cecil."
One thing Bell wouldn't venture a guess about is whether the Broncos are trying to push Bell by putting him in direct competition for playing time with Sapp.
"I don't know. Cecil is a good back. They put them there to get the job done. But I can't worry about that, the only thing I have to worry about is getting back on the field," Bell said.
WR Brandon Stokley (thigh), G Ben Hamilton, RB Paul Smith (groin) and DT Marcus Thomas (calf) joined the growing list of injured players. WR Javon Walker also pulled up with a tight hamstring after a long pass play, but Shanahan said Walker didn't pull a muscle. Before he pulled up, Walker made a nice catch and turned toward CB Champ Bailey and told him, " I got you. I got you, man." Bailey smiled. "I thought I'd give you one," he replied. ... DT Sam Adams returned to practice Friday after missing one day when his surgically-repaired right knee began bothering him. He said Friday it felt "like a million bucks." But you won't find him doing back flips like rookie DT Marcus Thomas did on Day 1. "I don't back flip. I do the earthquake shake," said Adams, who tips the scales at 350 pounds.
|08-05-2007, 02:45 PM||#2|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Apr 2005
|08-05-2007, 03:17 PM||#4|
Never say Always
Join Date: Jan 2003