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Hanging on: Bell working hard to keep top spot in backfield

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  • Hanging on: Bell working hard to keep top spot in backfield

    Is everybody making too big a deal out of one fumble? Maybe. But this is an interesting read about how the Broncos are trying to make sure it doesn't become a habit:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?...nfl&id=2550580

    DENVER -- The fumble hasn't stripped any of the confidence in Denver Broncos running back Mike Bell.

    "It's a freak accident," said Bell, who coughed up the football on his first drive in the preseason opener against Detroit last week.

    But he realizes the surest way to lose his grip on the No. 1 running back spot is to keep putting the ball on the ground. Tatum Bell is making a late push for the job and Ron Dayne is a contender, although he's currently sidelined with a banged-up toe.

    "I've got to focus on lowering my pads and protecting the ball," Bell said. "I'm still going to run the way I always do."

    His always-keep-the-legs-churning running style earned him the promotion in the first place. Before Friday's fumble, Bell hadn't put the ball on the ground since his senior year when Arizona played Oregon. He still had 167 yards rushing in that Oct. 22, 2005, contest.

    "It's been a while," Bell said of the time between fumbles.

    Bell wasn't expecting the jarring hit from Detroit linebacker Paris Lenon. It came from the side as he was trying to squeeze out a few more yards. What he has learned is to expect the unexpected.

    Hits came come at any time, from any direction. Bell found that out during Tuesday's practice. He was headed down the sideline, the play all but over, when linebacker Al Wilson smacked him. Bell flew through the air, landed with a thud and then got up and headed up the field. He held on to the football.

    "He got me when I wasn't looking," Bell said. "He's a big-time competitor, I've got to be aware next time."

    Wilson figured to receive an earful from coaches about the hit.

    "We'll see what the coaches say when they see it on film," Wilson said. "Just trying to make a little contact."

    If admonished for a little contact above and beyond the call of training camp, the coaches will also pat Wilson on the shoulder and thank him for putting a lick on the kid.

    While there's been no official edict, the hitting of Bell appears to have been ratcheted up a notch.

    "Our backs have to get used to contact," safety Nick Ferguson said. "We wrap him up and put a hat on him. ... You're not trying to hurt guys because he may be the guy we expect a lot out of."

    Do the Broncos expect a lot out of Bell?

    "Yeah," Ferguson said.

    One fumble won't spell the end of Bell's dreams of being the lead back for Denver. Just look at Clinton Portis for proof. The former Bronco fumbled three times in a preseason game against Arizona in 2002, and still went on to rush for 1,508 yards that year.

    Yet it provides little consolation for Bell. Not with Tatum Bell running with a sense of purpose. Also coming up fast is Cedric Cobbs, who had 42 yards on 11 carries in his preseason opener.

    "The competition is amazing," Mike Bell said. "I've got to work extra hard. They're pushing me every day. Any slight mistake and they can move up."

    Bell won't relax even for a play. It's late in training camp and he's still running every handoff out an extra 30 yards downfield.

    Even if he starts the season opener Sept. 10 at St. Louis, he won't let his guard down.

    "I'm never going to feel relaxed," Bell said. "Not with the competition around."
    I'm looking forward to the next game to see how he responds. I just hope he isn't thinking too much about the fumble. Sometimes that will just make it worse.
    "You can't take the sky from me..."
    ------
    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding"

  • #2
    Originally posted by Javalon
    Is everybody making too big a deal out of one fumble? Maybe. But this is an interesting read about how the Broncos are trying to make sure it doesn't become a habit:

    I'm looking forward to the next game to see how he responds. I just hope he isn't thinking too much about the fumble. Sometimes that will just make it worse.
    one fumble and ur out! basically the system in denver, of course it wasn't regular season.`` mike anderson fumbled against cowboys(turkey day) and tatum bell and dayne played for most of the game after that i think, still think tatum bell will start for denver tho
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    • #3
      i am a firm tatum supporter
      the space that is mine



      We miss 'ya brother dime. We know your up there jamming with Cliff and Chuck. Stay metal :salute: :rockon:

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      • #4
        Originally posted by DawgFanatic
        one fumble and ur out! basically the system in denver, of course it wasn't regular season.`` mike anderson fumbled against cowboys(turkey day) and tatum bell and dayne played for most of the game after that i think, still think tatum bell will start for denver tho
        I dont think Tatum will end up starting, however he has to much talent to just let him ride the pine. Im gussing he gets about the same amount of carries as last year, unless Mike Bell plays really well, then he will only be a change of pace back.
        If thats the case i see him demanding a trade after this year, either that or Shanny just decides to trade him. Besides i think were paying him a good little bit, and change of pace backs are a dime a dozen.

        P.S. Wow the above paragraph had nothing to do with the orignal thread topic, so, i think M. Bells fumble is not that important, bla bla bla, he has three more pre-season games to prove himself.
        Last edited by Hartley; 08-16-2006, 11:53 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by tpryce93
          i am a firm tatum supporter
          and im just firm...

          ...

          firm like mutton...


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          • #6
            Originally posted by DawgFanatic
            one fumble and ur out! basically the system in denver, of course it wasn't regular season.`` mike anderson fumbled against cowboys(turkey day) and tatum bell and dayne played for most of the game after that i think, still think tatum bell will start for denver tho

            No DF that's not exactly true. Portis in his rookie season put the rock on the ground three times in one preseason game, before he became the starter Shanahan wanted him to learn ball security.

            M. Bell put the ball on the ground once, so far that hasn't gotten him demoted. If he has already learned his lesson he'll continue to stay where he's at.
            John 11: 25-27

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



            Thanks Snk16

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            • #7
              Whoever it is that starts at Running Back for us, the guy will probably end up rushing for 1,000 yards. This isn't the best RB situation we have had in recent years, but we will be fine with whoever starts. If the situation was bad enough that the coaches would have been really concerned, than they would have already done something about it. I have a feeling Mike Bell will do great the rest of the pre season and have a good year. As long as the guy who is #1 produces I will be happy.
              Darrent & Damien - Broncos 4ever


              "When you're not practicing, remember that someone somewhere is practicing, and when you meet him he will win" - Ed Macauley

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DenverBuckeye
                Whoever it is that starts at Running Back for us, the guy will probably end up rushing for 1,000 yards. This isn't the best RB situation we have had in recent years, but we will be fine with whoever starts. If the situation was bad enough that the coaches would have been really concerned, than they would have already done something about it. I have a feeling Mike Bell will do great the rest of the pre season and have a good year. As long as the guy who is #1 produces I will be happy.

                Really? At this time I would say our running back situation is actually better than it has been since Portis left. I there is a possibility that we just might have a "stud buffalo" again. I not going to count my chicks before the eggs have hatched but as right now I think one of the Bell's will carry the full load while the other is the change of pace back.
                John 11: 25-27

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



                Thanks Snk16

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by tpryce93
                  i am a firm tatum supporter
                  I don't care what Bell gets the job done as long as it gets done

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TXBRONC
                    Really? At this time I would say our running back situation is actually better than it has been since Portis left. I there is a possibility that we just might have a "stud buffalo" again. I not going to count my chicks before the eggs have hatched but as right now I think one of the Bell's will carry the full load while the other is the change of pace back.
                    Mike Bell would be the first rookie to start the season #1 since Portis. That's a good sign for us. Rookie rb's in our system seem to fit hand in glove.

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                    • #11
                      Tatum, Mike, Ron, or Cedric. I don't care who starts, as long as they preform. All are Broncos so I'm a firm supporter of everyone of them.

                      That said, I'm rooting for Mike.

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                      • #12
                        Another little snippet from ESPN.com that relates to the topic:
                        EXTRA POINTS: Shanahan said he knew rookie RB Mike Bell was going to fumble in his first game at Detroit last week: "The reason we put him in was that I knew that was going to happen. It always happens in preseason, especially with a running back, that is just the nature of the position. Hopefully he can get better and better. The more he carries it, hopefully the more comfortable he feels. We have a lot of competition at that position and if you fumble you cant obviously play."
                        "You can't take the sky from me..."
                        ------
                        "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding"

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                        • #13
                          I have a hard time believing that Shanny would demote him because of 1 fumble in a meaningless preseason game...i mean if he was willing enough to give him the start he must see something in him...that i have been a supporter since we picked him up...loved him at UA and i am glad to see him succeeding...but i watch out for Cobbs he really could be a dark horse

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DenverBuckeye
                            Whoever it is that starts at Running Back for us, the guy will probably end up rushing for 1,000 yards. This isn't the best RB situation we have had in recent years, but we will be fine with whoever starts. If the situation was bad enough that the coaches would have been really concerned, than they would have already done something about it. I have a feeling Mike Bell will do great the rest of the pre season and have a good year. As long as the guy who is #1 produces I will be happy.
                            I could even care less if its the number 1 guy, if we have all three of them palying an producin then we will still be effective, as long as our runnin game is workin i am happy
                            Bronco fan from Packer Land.
                            Lefty Writer on The Sports Show with Woody Paige and Les Shapiro
                            Tweet me @JoRo_5551

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DawgFanatic
                              one fumble and ur out! basically the system in denver, of course it wasn't regular season.`` mike anderson fumbled against cowboys(turkey day) and tatum bell and dayne played for most of the game after that i think, still think tatum bell will start for denver tho
                              Mike did fumble, but Tatum did not come in. He was out that game with an injury.

                              I think MA actually still carried the rock the most in that game, despite that bad play.

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