Broncos' tailbacks big on confidence
Trio looks to drive Denver
By Lindsay H. Jones
The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 08/21/2008 01:22:43 AM MDT
None of the Broncos' top three healthy tailbacks appears to be a bruiser — none stands taller than 5-foot-11, none weighs more than 215 pounds — but what Selvin Young, Andre Hall and Anthony Alridge lack in sheer size, they make up for in confidence.
It's the confidence that together they can continue Denver's tradition of having one of the league's strongest running games, and, for Young and Hall, especially, the confidence to be the Broncos' every-down running back.
It's big talk for three players who are all trying to go from undrafted rookie to starter in two years or less.
"We all have a chip on our shoulder," said Hall, who went undrafted out of South Florida in 2006 and was cut by Tampa and Chicago before finding a spot on the Broncos' practice squad in November 2006. "We thank Denver for coming to get us, but at the same time, we've got to prove ourselves."
The Broncos have long proven successful at plugging in previously unknown tailbacks and turning them into stars. Of the seven players who have led the team in rushing since the start of the Terrell Davis era in 1995, one was drafted in the fourth round (Olandis Gary), two in the sixth (Davis and Mike Anderson), and one wasn't drafted at all.
That one, of course, is Young, who started his first training camp last July buried on the depth chart, but was the starter by Week 10. He finished his rookie year with 729 rushing yards, and was tabbed by coach Mike Shanahan as the starter for 2008 even before Travis Henry was released in early June.
Questions have remained about whether Young's body can take the pounding of being a No. 1 running back over the course of a full season.
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