Originally created 08/08/06

Broncos place trust in undrafted rookie



DENVER - Broncos rookie running back Mike Bell was told to see Mike Shanahan in his office for a meeting.

As Bell nervously climbed the stairs Sunday night, scenarios raced through his head.

All of them negative.

"I was shaking," Bell said.

Bell was shaking with excitement after Shanahan informed him he is the team's top running back, jumping ahead of Ron Dayne and Tatum Bell - for now. On Monday, Mike Bell was running with the first-team offense. Tatum Bell is second on the depth chart and Dayne third.

Mike Bell's leap to the top of the depth chart is even quicker than Terrell Davis, who came into camp as a sixth-round draft pick in 1995 and won the starting running back job by the first week of the season.

Bell will start Friday in Denver's preseason opener at Detroit.

PANTHERS: Former Pro Bowl linebacker Mark Fields wants to play in the NFL again after missing two of the past three seasons with Hodgkin's disease, but the Carolina Panthers aren't interested in bringing him back.

"I know he was planning on working out and getting ready to play," Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said of Fields. "I don't know where he's at in terms of being ready to go.

"Everyone knows what Mark Fields means to us, it's just one of those things where we're looking at the guys we've got here."

COWBOYS: Terrell Owens said his nagging hamstring injury likely will keep him out of the team's preseason opener Saturday night in Seattle.

Although an MRI taken Saturday showed no damage, Owens isn't taking any chances. He's having his healing-inducing hyperbaric chamber shipped to his training camp hotel room. Two trainers and a doctor from Atlanta are on their way, too.

steelers: Offensive lineman Barrett Brooks apologized to the franchise for his weekend arrest on charges he fled from police on his motorcycle, but said the chase resulted from miscommunication and not any wrongdoing.

The 34-year-old backup lineman was charged with fleeing and eluding, reckless driving, driving at an unsafe speed and other traffic violations Sunday. He was taken to Allegheny County Jail, according to Pittsburgh police Sgt. Dennis Washington.

Police said Brooks drove recklessly around a police car and didn't stop, causing officers to chase him for about five minutes.

PATRIOTS: New England activated five players from the physically unable to perform list, including safety Rodney Harrison, defensive lineman Richard Seymour and center Dan Koppen.

Defensive back Randall Gay and defensive lineman Johnathan Sullivan also came off the PUP list, which kept them from practicing with the team in training camp.

REDSKINS: Safety Sean Taylor was fined four game paychecks by the NFL for violating the league's personal conduct policy.

In June, Taylor reached an agreement with prosecutors to drop felony charges against him and pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors in an assault case, avoiding any jail time that might have derailed his NFL career.

The deal called for Taylor to be placed on 18 months' probation, talk about the importance of education at 10 Miami-Dade County schools and contribute $1,000 for scholarships.

MOVING ON UP: Ray Anderson, vice president of the Atlanta Falcons for the past four years, was appointed Monday as the NFL's senior vice president of football operations.

Anderson replaces Art Shell, who resigned in January to become coach of the Oakland Raiders.

WHO IS MIKE BELL?

The Denver Broncos named the undrafted rookie their starting running back Monday.


BORN: April 23, 1983


HT./WGT.: 6-foot-0/215 lbs.


JERSEY NUMBER: 20


COLLEGE STATS: University of Arizona's fourth leading rusher all-time. Three-year starter. Rushed for 3,163 yards on 678 attempts (4.7 avg). Scored 17 touchdowns in 46 games. Eleven 100-yard rushing games.

Source: www.denverbroncos.com