The running man
Broncos' Davis reflects on amazing season
Posted: Thursday January 28, 1999 09:16 AM
MIAMI (CNN/SI) -- Since dashing to national prominence as the MVP of Super Bowl XXXII, Terrell Davis has strolled down Sesame Street, penned an autobiography and signed a $56 million contract.
This season, Davis paid dividends on that deal with a crowning achievement: joining Eric Dickerson, O.J. Simpson and Barry Sanders in the 2,000-yard club.
In a one-on-one interview with CNN/SI's John Giannone, Davis talked about the challenge of repeating as champions, his relationship with Atlanta's Jamal Anderson and his magical regular season.
JG: Can you put into words the magnitude of rushing for more than 2,000 yards in the regular season?
TD: That meant a lot, especially when you are talking about being a running back, where a lot of things come into play. You have to be healthy the entire year to reach a goal like that. That's 16 games. You have to be healthy to be in there.
You have to have a team that is committed to winning games, because you aren't going to run the ball if you are not winning. You have to have a line that's blocking. The fullback, the receivers downfield. So it wasn't just my goal. It was a team goal. Going down the stretch you could tell that more people on the offense wanted to achieve that goal more than anything else. So I felt real good about that.
JG: You are facing a team that has the second-best rushing defense in the NFL. A lot of people are saying that the game plan is to stop Terrell Davis, believe it or not, to make John Elway beat you. Can you talk about the Falcons defense?
TD: They have a defense that has a lot of players like ours. They don't have particularly big players, but they are fast and have a lot of energy. They are a team that plays in the fourth quarter like they are in the first quarter. They're very disciplined, as far as gap control. They have a lot of linebackers that are veteran players who are never out of position.
So when you face a team like that, you can't count of them to make mistakes. You have to make plays against them. That is a team that you are always leery about. You want teams that make mistakes and are out of position to make those big plays. But this team is very sound in what they do.
JG: You maintain that you are starting to develop a relationship with Jamal Anderson. When did that relationship start to blossom and why Jamal of all the players in the league?
TD: I have actually known Jamal for quite a while. He actually went to college and played with one of my high school buddies. He was a running back at Utah as well, so he played with him. I've known him for longer than a lot of you guys have known about him. We bonded as he started to emerge in the league. We call each other time to time and talk a little bit.
JG: Last week, Davis and Anderson exchanged jerseys by mail. On Sunday, they will exchange pleasantries and then become prime defensive targets in what will become the first meeting in Super Bowl history of the top two regular-season rushers.
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