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Mike Bell Article

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  • Mike Bell Article

    Hello everyone.

    New to the boards, but I have been a long time Denver fan. I thought you guys might like this Denver Post article about Mike Bell. Don't know much about the kid, but I am interested in his potential...despite his fumble on Friday.

    Rookie running back has to fix fumbling
    Clinton Portis used to drop the ball, too, so Mike Bell isn't about to be benched this early in his career.
    By Mike Klis
    Denver Post Staff Writer

    Detroit - One fumble, ill-timed as it was, likely will not cost Mike Bell his starting tailback position.

    Call it a depth-chart mulligan.

    Having made the bold decision to anoint Bell his No. 1 running back last week, Broncos coach Mike Shanahan isn't about to give up on his undrafted rookie. This was evident when Shanahan compared Bell's fumble in the Broncos' preseason opener Friday night against the Detroit Lions to the turnover problems a rookie named Clinton Portis had in the preseason of 2002.

    To this point, the similarities are striking. Portis surprisingly was rushed ahead of Olandis Gary on the 2002 preseason depth chart even after the former Miami star fumbled not once, not twice, but three times in an exhibition game against the Arizona Cardinals.

    Bell jumped past veterans Tatum Bell and Ron Dayne last week, only to wipe out the one and only series by the first-team offense with his fumble during the Broncos' 20-13 loss to the Lions at Ford Field.

    By comparing Mike Bell to Portis, who went on to rush for more than 1,500 yards in each of his two seasons with the Broncos, Shanahan was sending a not-so-subtle message: relax.

    "They're not used to getting hit like that," Shanahan said before boarding the team bus Friday night. "Remember Clinton Portis in that Arizona game? That's just the nature of it. Guys have got to get used to holding on to that ball in the National Football League. That's one of the reasons why we gave it to him right away."

    The key for Mike Bell in the next preseason game is not only to avoid fumbling but forget he ever did. Three plays into the Denver offense's first preseason series, Bell had three carries for 15 yards. He went backward from there, slipping on the Ford Field turf and losing yardage on his fourth carry, fumbling on his fifth and seemingly not running with his earlier abandon on carries six and seven.

    "They put me back in there to see how I would react to adversity," said Mike Bell, who finished with 20 yards on seven carries. "I've never been one to shy away from adversity. I've got to move on."

    Tatum Bell came in and caught a pass for 19 yards and ran a draw play for 15.

    The battle of the Bells is on.

    "Just because Mike's No. 1, I'm not giving up," Tatum Bell said. "I'm going to keep competing until the season starts. If he gets the nod then, he'll be the man. Until then, it's still pretty much wide open."

    As Mike Bell begins a new week, he can expect his defensive teammates to take swipes at the ball as he rushes during the controlled scrimmages. The all-out stripping exercise is what Shanahan used for Portis after that Arizona preseason disaster.

    Portis responded favorably, as opposed to Quentin Griffin, who did not rebound well from his game-losing fumble against the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2004.

    Now, it's up to Mike Bell. He knows the Broncos' offense is too dependent on the running game to have an unreliable runner.

    "There's definitely competition," Mike Bell said. "Ron Dayne, Tatum and Cedric Cobbs are all great running backs. It's never going to be one set guy. It's going to be whoever has the hot hand."

  • #2
    Welcome to the boards.

    I still think T.Bell will start for the Broncos though.


    • #3
      Originally posted by DawgFanatic
      Welcome to the boards.

      I still think T.Bell will start for the Broncos though.
      Thanks for the welcome.

      I thought Tatum ran pretty well in the game on Friday. I was pretty impressed with him. If he continues to play with a chip on his shoulder, then I could see him winning the starting spot. I was also impressed with Cobbs too. He was playing against scrubs but he was still better than I thought he'd be. I hope he gets a few more carries against the Titans on Saturday too.


      • #4
        Welcome to the boards.

        Just one thing, M.Bell hasn't solidified his hold on the number one slot. Shanahan indicated that right after he promoted him to number. He said that could change again. In other words, he hasn't named his opening day starter just yet. If M. Bell keeps on doing what he is doing (except for the fumbling) he could very easily be our starting rb.
        John 11: 25-27

        My Adopt-A-Bronco is D.J. Williams

        Thanks Snk16