News of Tatum Bell's surgery on Sunday for a fractured finger sustained during Saturday's practice at Invesco Field was on everyone's mind. Bell will sit out for a while and nobody (including Coach Shanahan) is saying how long, which should give him ample time to spend some of that 1.72 million dollar singing bonus. Not bad pay for 24 hours work.
Quentin Griffin continues to breathe down Mike Anderson's neck for the starting position of running back. Powerfully built and with good hands, quickness and speed, he helped lead the Broncos to a critical road win last season against Indianapolis.
Griffin was a 3 year starter at Oklahoma where he rushed for 3,756 yards and 44 touchdowns, which ranks third in Sooners history. He also caught 146 passes for 6 touchdowns, second all time at Oklahoma.
During practice today he consistently found the holes; out-maneuvering and too fast for his defenders. Jake Plummer commented " Quentin's fun to play with and watch. He gets past the first man makes a move and passes the second still going strong. He brings everyone's game up a notch."
Mike Anderson in his 5th NFL season continues his march to greatness. Named the NFL Offensive rookie by the Associated Press in 2000, he shattered every Broncos rookie rushing record. Starting just 12 games that season, Anderson rushed for more yards (1,487) than all but five rookie backs in league history.
His 251-yard rushing performance at New Orleans late in the season was the best by any rookie in NFL history. With the off season departure of Clinton Portis and the addition of Questin Griffin and Tatum Bell, the Broncos looked talented and deep in the backfield until Tatum's injury.
Humble and hard-working, Anderson has taken his accomplishments in stride. His leadership on the field was evident today.
Walking along the sidelines, I noticed a handsome young man wearing a # 38 jersey (Mike Anderson's number). He seemed to take more than the usual interest in Anderson's play, watching him intently as he made his moves so I asked him if he was a big fan of Anderson's.
"Oh yeah, I'm a huge fan, he's my uncle," he said.
Soft-spoken and extremely polite, Robert Allen has been visiting his uncle Mike Anderson and attending Broncos training camp daily since last Wednesday. Due to catch a flight home to Phoenix, Arizona in a few hours, he was getting his last glance at the uncle he loves and admires so much.
"He told me that the most important thing for me is to keep my grades up so I have something to fall-back-on in case I don't make it as a pro," Allen said.
A starting running back for Maryville High School since his sophomore year, Allen begins his Junior season with more than a few pointers from his uncle Mike.
"We practice routes and he helps me to find the holes," he said. "He told me I really need to stay in shape during the off-season. I need to build my muscles in the weight room and I hope to get bigger and taller. I want to play in the pros like my Uncle, but if I can't make it as a pro I need to find a career where I can make a lot of money."
No doubt, Robert's exposure to the wealth NFL professionals take home has greatly influenced the young man. We'll have to wait and see if the genes for excellence on the field run in the family.