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TD: This year's line eases pain

Davis won't skip migraine medication this time

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Posted: Friday January 22, 1999 06:28 PM

  No pain, no gain: Terrell Davis has been plagued by migraines since his teenage years AP

DENVER (AP) -- If, on Super Bowl Sunday, Terrell Davis suddenly sees stars, has blurred vision and experiences a searing pain in his head, he wants it to be from a hard tackle.

It won't be because he neglected to take his migraine headache medication.

With a sheepish grin, Davis on Thursday promised to be good and take his medicine, unlike last year, when he skipped his dosage and suffered a blinding migraine that sidelined him for almost the entire second quarter of the Super Bowl in San Diego.

Thanks to emergency treatment on the sideline, the Denver Broncos running back was able to return for the second half and wound up running for 157 yards and three touchdowns to win Super Bowl MVP honors.

"I will make sure it won't happen again," Davis said. "I already have a reminder. I will have this big sign and put it on my locker. That's the first thing I'm going to do."

Davis, plagued by migraines since he was a teenager, has experienced relief from the debilitating symptoms in recent years, provided he follows his doctors' orders. In fact, he has proved to be much more of a headache for opposing defenses.

During the regular season, the fourth-year pro rushed for 2,008 yards, becoming only the fourth player in NFL history to reach the 2,000-yard plateau, and was named the league's MVP.

He has exceeded 100 yards rushing in six straight postseason games, including 199 and 167 yards this postseason, the latter coming in last week's 23-10 victory over the New York Jets in the AFC championship game to advance the Broncos to the Super Bowl in Miami on Jan. 31 against the Atlanta Falcons.

In four postseason games last season, he rushed for 581 yards, and playoff statistics are numbers he cherishes.

"I'm hoping for a lot of postseason numbers because people tend to measure you by that," he said. "Eric [Dickerson] was the greatest back to play the game, but as far as his postseason numbers, they're not really up there. That's one thing I'm trying to do.

"You look at Emmitt Smith, he's really been put in front of a lot of running backs because of the championships he's won."

Denver's small but mobile offensive line received much of the credit for the Broncos' offensive success in 1997, but Davis believes this year's revamped line -- with two new starters and a third player moving to a different position -- is actually better than last year's.

Since last year, Pro Bowl left tackle Gary Zimmerman retired, and right guard Brian Habib signed a free-agent contract with Seattle. Then, in the preseason, David Diaz-Infante, who was projected to be Habib's replacement, injured his knee.

Right tackle Tony Jones moved to Zimmerman's vacated spot on the left side, second-year pro Dan Neil became the starting right guard, and veteran Harry Swayne became the starter at right tackle.

"I think this line is definitely better," Davis said. "We had some people move in and change positions, but the continuity has been there the entire year. Losing Zim and switching Tony over to left tackle, you would think we would lose something. But I think Tony is a better left tackle than he is a right tackle, and Harry came in and played great."

Jones and center Tom Nalen both are headed to the Pro Bowl.

Davis, like most of his teammates, believes this will be John Elway's last game and that the Broncos will use Elway's departure as motivation in the Super Bowl.

"I think we are going to ride that thing this year," he said. "Last year, a lot of people thought it might be Elway's last season, and we wanted him to go out with a ring. I think he's going to leave this year, and we really want to send him out on a high note."

Related information
Broncos back in the big one, ready to defend title
Falcons know the key to winning is putting clamps on Davis
Broncos back in the big one, ready to defend title
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