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Just make do with it
In the NFL, overcoming adversity is what life's all about
Posted: Wednesday September 22, 1999 01:27 PM
By John Donovan, CNN/SI
The NFL is all about making do. Moving on. Filling big shoes. Stepping up. Not crying over spilled milk. Taking it to the next level. Giving it everything. Checking guts.
You get the picture.
Overcoming the unforeseeable is what separates the Denver Broncos (who made do without John Elway for a half-dozen games last year) from the San Diego Chargers (who never took their game to another level after Ryan Leaf wigged out).
Early in the '99 season, several teams already are having to make do, with differing success. Rick Mirer has struggled as the replacement for the injured Vinny Testaverde with the Jets. Kurt Warner has shown signs of being a capable starter in St. Louis after Trent Green went down. Neil O'Donnell won his first outing as a replacement for Tennessee QB Steve McNair, out with a back injury. And last week Glenn Foley came in for an injured Jon Kitna and led Seattle to a win over the Lions.
Ron Rivers is filling in admirably for the for-now retired Barry Sanders as Detroit's new featured back, something Byron Hanspard will have to do for the Falcons now that Jamal Anderson has ripped up his knee and is gone, probably for the whole season.
"You are going to have adversity," a somber Dan Reeves said Wednesday in announcing the extent of Anderson's injury. "The teams that handle it best are going to be the teams that are in the playoffs."
Sometimes, it's difficult to see how much is lost when a player goes down or out. The vaunted New York Giants' defense won the opener against Tampa Bay without Pro Bowler Jason Sehorn in the lineup. Last week, with Sehorn still nursing a sore hamstring, the Giants lost and gave up 50 points to the Washington Redskins.
The Broncos hardly missed an injured Elway last year when Bubby Brister filled in. But, boy, could the 0-2 Broncos use the now-retired Elway this season.
On to the Glance, which this week tackles one of life's eternal questions: Are the Tennessee Titans for real?
Luckily, the Glance doesn't answer eternal questions.
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