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NFL great benefited from playing variety of positions as a youth
By Greg Bach
During a spectacular four-year stretch in the ’90s Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis put up some of the greatest numbers ever seen in NFL history.
There was his 2,008 yard season, just the fourth back to ever eclipse that magical 2,000 yard rushing mark.
There were the NFL playoff record seven straight 100-yard rushing games he delivered.
And there was the 157 yards and three touchdowns he rushed for in the Broncos Super Bowl XXXII victory over the Green Bay Packers that earned him MVP honors.
Recently I had a chance to ask the 2017 Hall of Fame Inductee about his youth sports experiences and the impact his coaches in those early years had on his development. Here’s what he had to say:
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
“I fell in love with football at a very young age,” Davis said. “I played Pop Warner at the age of 7 and I had five older brothers and they all played, too. I just really liked the sport.”
FROM THE O-LINE TO THE BACKFIELD
“My first year playing I was actually playing on the offensive line,” Davis said. “I told my coaches I wanted to be the running back and they finally let me try and I realized that I loved that position and I was actually pretty good at it. I played that position for a number of years and then it kind of changed when I got to high school.”
MULTIPLE POSITIONS, MULTIPLE BENEFITS
“In high school, I played nose guard and I played fullback so I wasn’t really a running back at that point,” Davis said. “But playing those different positions in high school allowed me to be able to use that to my advantage when I got into college and the pros. Playing nose guard you learn how to do a little arm wrestling, you understand techniques and leverage and stuff like that and understand what the defense is trying to do from that standpoint. So, I think that kind of gave me a different perspective when I became a running back and understanding all that. And playing fullback all the blocking and catching and looking at the defensive formations helped me as a running back as well.”
Davis, a two-time Super Bowl champion who rushed for 7,607 yards and 60 touchdowns in 78 career games, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday in Canton, Ohio.
Oakland A’s bench coach Mark Kotsay, who played 17 Major League seasons and has coached youth baseball, on helping kids embrace playing the game with a great attitude and giving it all they’ve got every time out
LaDainian Tomlinson, one of the NFL’s greatest running backs, fell in love with football watching the Chicago Bears and the legendary Walter Payton shred defenses
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