On being listed first on the team's depth chart
"I'm pretty surprised because Ron Dayne and Tatum Bell are some great running backs and this is a great organization, so just top have the opportunity. I haven't really proven myself, so I still consider it an opportunity. I really appreciate the coaching staff and the players for giving me this opportunity."
On finding out he was on the first-team offense and the backs who are now behind him
"I was spinning yesterday when (the coaches) told me. A lot of people in this situation would get complacent, but like I said earlier, Ron Dayne and Tatum are great backs so they are going to be pushing and pushing and I am going to be pushing and pushing. Ultimately, it is going to be good for the team's success."
On his confidence after being listed first on the depth chart
"This is definitely a dream come true. Coach Shanahan is a great coach and I respect his decision. I still have to go out there in these preseason games and show what I can do because I haven't played in a game yet. Tatum (Bell) and Ron (Dayne) have played, and they have done great things. For Coach to give me the opportunity to be a starter in a great organization like this is a blessing. He called me in his office yesterday and he told me. I was shaking because I did not know what was going to happen. I was inside the training room, and the trainer told me I needed to go to Coach Shanahan's office, and I have heard stories about going into coach's office. I was thinking the worst."
"I think ultimately it is going to come down to me picking up my pass protections, blocking and just staying confident. You have to stay confident and you have to stay hungry. You can't ever become complacent, especially not in the NFL because the guy behind you and the guy behind him are just as good as you and they are going to be pushing me. I just have to stay hungry. I came in here with a chip on my shoulder, and I need to continue with that chip on my shoulder."
On learning from the running backs on the Broncos' roster
"I have been thinking about it as just learning. It was a great learning experience because Tatum Bell and Ron Dayne are great running backs, so I wasn't coming in here with the attitude of starting. I just wanted to make the team. I was observing them. I was pretty much like a sponge back there, and I feel like it has paid off. I feel like I have taken some things from Tatum and some things from Ron, and it has been great."
On not being drafted after finishing his college career at the University of Arizona
"It is a totally different feeling. On draft day, I felt like totally quitting football but this time I feel like I am on cloud nine. This is a great feeling, but I have to stay hungry. "
On whether he was hearing from any other teams leading up to the draft
"(Broncos Running Backs Coach Bobby) Turner was the only coach I was talking to on a weekly basis. I knew they were interested, but I also knew they had other needs. I wasn't 100 percent sure they were going to draft me. I was looking at other teams that were calling me and expressing interest. I was just hoping that maybe it would be the Broncos. My agents Josh and Steve did a great job of getting me here, so I can't really complain."
On his goals
"I have some goals written down, just a step-by-step process, and my number one goal was to eventually get some reps, show what I can do, make the team, and eventually be the starter. Everybody wants to be a starter. Nobody wants to be a backup forever. It is just a blessing for this to happen so fast, especially with two great running backs and a great organization that went to the AFC Championship last year."
On what he was doing in practice that propelled him to the first-team offense
"I was hustling and trying to do everything that they wanted me to. I tried to eliminate as many mistakes as possible and not to give them a reason for me to be in the dog house. I ran hard and tried to do what they wanted me to."
On why he chose to sign with the Broncos as a college free agent
"One of the reasons that I picked them was because I knew that Coach Shanahan and the rest of the coaching staff was fair. They don't look at draft size. They look at skill level and they are going to give everybody equal opportunity, and I really respect this organization for that."
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Mike Bell Press Conference 8/7/06
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