Terrell Davis admits he thought Hall of Fame was 'not meant to be' after close calls

Posted at 7:24 PM, Jun 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-14 21:53:52-04

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- No reason to bite his tongue anymore. Terrell Davis admitted Wednesday he wondered if the Hall would ever call. All those winters of pushing his nose up to the windows in Canton exacted a toll.

"Yeah, there was a point. About the sixth or seventh year when I was just constantly making the semifinalist list, but there was no one talking about me, I thought maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. I’d come out and say that if I didn’t make the Hall, I was fine with it and that it wouldn’t change my career," Davis said. "I meant some of that. I didn’t mean all of it."

Davis walked into football immortality in February. His case presented challenges because of his short term -- seven years -- but provided exclamation points to arguments. No running back in NFL history has rushed for 100 yards in seven straight playoff victories. Except for Davis. His average of 142.5 yards rushing per game in the playoffs ranks first. And his yards per attempt for his career sits third. Did I mention he posted a 2,000-yard season (it happened, I covered it) and earned NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP honors? 

What Davis lacked in quantity he made up for in quality. And while he tried to reconcile never reaching his goal when his phone rang he was overcome with emotion. 

"I think when it happened, and the relief that I felt, I realized how much I wanted it," Davis said.

As Davis walked toward the practice field on a sunbleached afternoon, the former star told Denver7 life has changed. There's something unique about signing HOF after autographs.

"And I just meet so many people who are happy for me. It really is special," Davis said. 

Davis spoke with the Broncos running backs, reminding them of the importance of controlling their effort and attitude. Davis brings an inspirational story. He made the Broncos as a sixth-round pick after nearly quitting during the team's preseason game in Japan during his rookie year. He sat seventh on the depth chart, "and if I spoke better Japanese (to call a cab), I wouldn't be here. But I cherish that journey. I love what happened because it made me a better person and a better player. I wouldn’t change that for anything."

McCoy connection to TD

Part of Davis' winding path intersected with Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. McCoy served as the last quarterback at Long Beach State before the program was abolished. The star running back? You guessed it.

"In the freshman game, Harvey Hyde who was the running backs coach, knew what he was doing. We went through the game and every ball was being tossed to ‘T.D.’ (Davis). We finally throw the ball X-number of plays into the scrimmage, and it’s a play design for ‘T.D.’ again," McCoy recalled. "Finally, I looked at Harvey and asked if we could throw the ball or run the ball with somebody else, and he said, ‘Why? He’s the best player on the field.'^"


Broncos coach Vance Joseph reiterated that there will be no decision on the starting quarterback. Training camp will provide a race and, ultimately, a winner. ... Reserve nose tackle Kyle Peko underwent surgery to repair a broken bone in his right foot. The club believes he will be ready the first or second week of training camp. ... Linebacker Brandon Marshall did not participate Wednesday and will rest Thursday because of a sore Achilles. ... Rookie Carlos Henderson is dealing with a sore foot. ... Receiver Kalif Raymond told Denver7 he has been sidelined by a broken knuckle, but will be cleared next week. ... The expectation remains that center Matt Paradis will be ready for training camp following multiple surgeries. But Joseph plans to ease him back into the fold.