Having been teammates together at the University of Minnesota, Darrell Reid knows what Cowboys running back Marion Barber brings to the table just about better than anyone.
“He definitely prepares hard week in and week out and in the offseason,” Reid said. “If you just look at his physique and the type of runner he is, you’ve got to work hard to pound the ball like he does, to punish defenders like he does. He’s that type or running back. And at the same time he’s got great speed and great vision to go along with it.”
While Reid said the two are close friends, the two former Gophers will wait to reminisce until another time. For instance, they likely won’t be watching Minnesota’s border battle with Wisconsin on ESPN together on Saturday afternoon.
“I’m not big into hanging out with the team we’re playing before the game,” Reid said. “So probably won’t do that.”
How about during the game?
“All business during the game, definitely,” Reid said. “Maybe some in between the whistle joking around type stuff, but it’s definitely mostly serious.”
Recovering from a thigh injury that forced him to sit out Week 3, Barber was a limited participant in Dallas’ practice on Wednesday. Knowing what type of player Barber is, Reid said if he’s available, the Broncos will have their hands full.
“I hope he’s healthy, but part of me hopes he doesn’t play because of the type of player that he is,” Reid said. “He’s a great running back and he brings a lot of explosiveness to the field.”
Regardless of whether Barber plays or not, Reid said he knows the defense has a tough task in containing the league’s No. 1 rushing attack, a stout offensive line and a quarterback who can spread the field to an array of receiving threats.
As a member of the NFL’s No. 1 defense, Reid said he is looking forward to matching up with the league’s top rushing offense. But he isn’t exactly looking forward to the potential matchup with his old college buddy.
“Marion’s one of my guys,” Reid said. “It always gets controversial if I get a good hit on him or if he gets a good hit on me.”
– Zach Eisendrath, DenverBroncos.com
Here are some pictures from the onset of Thursday afternoon’s practice session: