What’s in a number? If you’re Mike Bell and you’re about to take on the jersey of one of your childhood football heroes, it means asking for permission before you don it — even if that request ends up being via proxy.
After yielding his No. 20 to new acquisition Travis Henry, Bell didn’t have many options for his new number, but No. 30 — which has not been worn in the regular season since Terrell Davis’ retirement — was available. (Santonio Beard wore it in the offseason and training camp in 2004.)
Jersey No. 30 in Denver doesn’t quite possess the lineage of, say, No. 44 at Syracuse, which has belonged to Jim Brown, Ernie Davis and Broncos Ring of Famer Floyd Little, among others. It is, however, important to Bell, even though it is still merely stitching on a shirt.
“It means a lot,” Bell said, adding, “I think people place too much significance on it because a number is not going to make me play any better, but I did grow up watching him, and it basically completes what I wanted to do. It is special to me, but it’s not going to mean anything if I don’t go out there and perform.”
ON THE SCHEDULE: Don’t look for the schedule to be released this week. The NFL Network programming schedule once had the show penciled in for Thursday, but now the channel plans to air NFL Films programming in that afternoon time slot. If previous years’ trends hold true, the schedule will be released sometime this month before the draft.