You Can’t Measure Heart
You Heard It Here Last
One of the most surprising stories of the NFL so far this season is Broncos’ running back, Phillip Lindsay.
Lindsay, who played a starring role in the Broncos’ Week 1 victory over the Seahawks, has perhaps one of the most unlikely stories of anyone in football. Born in Aurora, Colorado, Lindsay grew up playing football in and around the Denver area.
While he had quite a career at the University of Colorado, Lindsay never did quite enough to impress the likes of NFL coaches and scouts. He didn’t receive an invite to the Combine or the Senior Bowl.
As is often the case with players who don’t make these events, Lindsay went undrafted, likely due to concerns about his size and durability. He did however manage to land on the Broncos’ radar and after the draft was over the Broncos signed him to a contract, making him one of their eight college free agent signings this offseason.
Normally, undrafted free agents are considered lucky if they can even work their way to a practice squad spot, let alone make the final roster before the regular season begins.
Lindsay was anything but normal and skyrocketed up the depth chart early on in training camp. By the time the third preseason game came around, he’d made enough of an impression on the staff to make the roster. Heading into Week 1, Lindsay was listed as the third string running back but it was clear he’d get plenty of playing time.
On his first drive, he caught a screen pass and took it in for a touchdown. He was solid the rest of the day as well and finished the game with 102 total yards and the touchdown. Week 2 was a similar story, as Lindsay finished the game with 111 total yards and played a crucial role in the Broncos’ narrow victory.
Through two weeks he leads all rookies in rushing yards. Yet every NFL team passed on Lindsay at least seven times in the draft process, primarily because of his size. It’s impossible to put a number on how hard someone works or how much “heart” they have. But year in and year out, in every sport there’s a surprise story of a longshot who outworks everyone else on their way to success.
If there’s one thing that will scare just about anyone, it’s having to line up against someone they know has worked harder than they have.
Tyler Dean is a senior studying finance and math.