Gary Kubiak shows Broncos rookies how Terrell Davis made it


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Around the Denver Broncos’ facility, the video clip is the stuff of football legend.

And Gary Kubiak, in his first season as Broncos coach, broke out a short Terrell Davis montage Friday morning to introduce the team’s rookies, undrafted signees and tryout players for this weekend’s rookie minicamp to the various paths leading to a roster spot.

“I told them ‘there’s going to be a story come out of this room,’ somebody’s going to jump up and become a player maybe not many people know about," Kubiak said. “I actually told them a little about [Davis] this morning, told them how he got going, told them the story of Arian Foster being a free agent with me."

Kubiak’s presentation included the cherished video nugget from the summer of 1995, the same one former Broncos coach Mike Shanahan would often remember with some fondness. In a preseason game in Tokyo that year, Davis went from a maybe for the team’s decision-makers to a keeper. The Broncos Ring of Famer blasted San Francisco 49ers kickoff returner Tyronne Drakeford, knocking Drakeford three yards back before planting him on the turf.

From that point, Davis went from being a sixth-round pick to having a roster spot. Davis retired as the franchise’s all-time leading rusher who helped power the team to two Super Bowl wins. As the Broncos get their first-year players acclimated to how the Broncos do business, Kubiak said he wanted them to see that anything can happen “with some effort in there."

“I showed them a little thing on T.D. going back to when he covered the kick against San Francisco, the story of how he got noticed as a player," Kubiak said. "... You are just trying to kind of prove who you are, how you take the thing from the meeting room to the practice field, that’s important."

Kubiak said he threw all of the players participating this weekend, 36 in all, into the deep end of the proverbial football pool to see who would swim their way out.

The Broncos coach has thrown plenty of the team's new playbook at the first-year players in attempt to get the group ready for Monday’s work, when the team’s veteran players will return for the offseason workouts.

"It’s almost like an ove-load, you almost try to give them a little too much," Kubiak said. “You want to see who goes out there and who blows up and who gets acclimated. I learned from Bill Walsh years ago you can give players all you want, but it’s up to you to decide what they do best. I think it’s an important part of the evaluation process."

The rookies will attend meetings as well as go through two practices Friday and Saturday. The group will then formally join the Broncos' full offseason program Monday, when the team’s veteran players continue through Phase 2 of the program.

For some of the Broncos’ first-year players the transition to an NFL playbook also includes some of the more, shall we say, basic football items.

"I’ve never been in a huddle before, getting a huddle call, so I guess start there," said tight end Jeff Heuerman, the Broncos’ third-round pick in the draft. "Stuff like that. We were all signals in college and in high school, so getting the huddle calls and stuff like that, just learning the pro-style offense, it’s a little different than what we ran in college, so (there is) a lot of learning ahead."

"Coach Kubiak actually said, 'You got here for a reason, and it’s because you do something well, so stick to that,'" said guard/center Max Garcia, who was the Broncos’ fourth-round pick. “So I think that’s a pretty good piece of advice. I came here because I’m a football player. I don’t have to reach for anything else. Just stick to what I do and keep on perfecting that."