You name it, Terrell Davis accomplished it as a pro. Drafted by the Denver Broncos in the sixth round of the 1995 NFL Draft, nobody, including his coaches, expected Davis to dominate the NFL right out of the gates, as he did.
It all started as a rookie with an explosive special teams tackle in Tokyo, Japan — in a preseason game. That got the coaches' attention and from there, it didn't take "T.D." long to earn the starting running back job.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1752682-watch-t-d-reacts-to-hall-... In 14 games as a rookie, Davis rushed for 1,147 yards and seven touchdowns, adding a career-high 49 receptions for 357 yards and a touchdown. What followed was three more seasons of absolute domination, culminating in back-to-back World Championships.
Davis has the unique resume of being a Super Bowl champion, Super Bowl MVP, NFL MVP, and a 2,000-yard rusher. Davis is one of just seven running backs in NFL history to eclipse the 2,000-yard rushing mark in a single season.
Where Davis really shined was in the playoffs. In just eight contests, Davis rushed for 1,140 postseason yards and 12 touchdowns. He averaged 5.6 yards per clip and more than 100 yards per game.
His performance in Super Bowl XXXII will go down as one of the gutsiest and most prolific in NFL history. Davis carried the ball 30 times for 157 yards and three touchdowns, all while suffering from a migraine that rendered him sightless for a time.
Were it not for an unfortunate knee injury, Davis may very well have gone on to shatter every NFL rushing record. When he tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee back 1999, the state of sports medicine was a far cry from the art that it is today.
Davis never could recover from it, but in the modern NFL, although there's no guarantee, we see NFL athletes bounce back with relative quickness, and regain their full ability. Such was not the fate for Davis, and that's what kept him out of the Pro Football Hall of Fame for 11 long years.
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Eight years as a semi-finalist. Three as a finalist.
After a nine-hour debate, the Hall of Fame voting committee finally got it right. If Gale Sayers' seven years of production were enough for enshrinement, Davis' seven years put it to shame.
No doubt, different eras. Sayers was an innovator, ahead of his time. And he laid the ground work for the dynamic running backs that would follow in the decades after. I respect Sayres' career and what he did for pro football.
But Sayers doesn't even come close to Davis' production and list of accomplishments. I could grouse about the perceived "Broncos bias" among the Pro Football Hall of Fame voting committee, but it's all water under the bridge.
They finally did the right thing. Terrell Davis will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017. He'll take his rightful place next to the Bronco all-time greats like fellow running back Floyd Little and teammates John Elway, Gary Zimmerman and Shannon Sharpe.
Hats off to Terrell Davis. And a Mile High Salute from Broncos Country.
Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.