Most rookies, when they enter the NFL, walk on eggshells, regurgitate the company line and spout football platitudes about "team" and "winning". Not rookie running back Devontae Booker, as he told NFL Media.
When the Denver Broncos vets catch wind of this quote, it'll be interesting to see what happens. Rookie hazing is all in good fun, usually metered out in Denver by the shaving of heads and the carrying of pads. It doesn't sound like the former Ute is going to willingly suffer such treatment, however.
Booker was drafted in the fourth round out of Utah. He's coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with double-digit touchdowns. He can do it all. He's coming off a knee injury, but when last we checked in with him during rookie mini-camp, he said he was at "90 percent"—on track for full participation when training camp kicks off.
He possesses the vision, decisiveness and explosion of an NFL running back, but he's also a willing (and able) blocker, has great hands, and a more developed route running ability than most rookies at his position just entering the league.
Booker's not walking into a situation where a job is going to be handed to him. C.J. Anderson was re-signed on a four-year deal, after helping the Broncos win a Super Bowl. He'll enter training camp as the clear starter.
But Anderson was the clear starter in last year's camp, before losing the gig to Ronnie Hillman. Granted, some of that had to do with health reasons, but even once Anderson got healthy during the regular season, the coaching staff kept him as Hillman's backup.
Anderson didn't start a game until Super Bowl 50. So, let's not assume that he's infallible. Booker will push him. And hopefully, the competition will cultivate greatness, because the Broncos are going to need a dominant rushing attack if they're going to repeat as AFC West champs and play deep into January.
But in the meantime, how 'bout that rookie attitude? Frankly, I love it.
Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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