Brandon Jacobs and Michael Turner are known to us as great running backs. They will both be key parts of their teams this season.
Another thing both Jacobs and Turner have in common is that nobody really thought they would be anything special before they proved themselves in the NFL, as both were drafted very late.
Michael Turner was drafted 154th by San Diego and was not expected to do much for them.
Who was the starting running back for the Chargers at the time? None other than the great LaDainian Tomlinson. I think that a big part of Turner's success in the NFL is his backing up of Tomlinson.
How does a player drafted in the fifth round become the next Tiki Barber?
I think the short time getting mentored by Tomlinson helped Turner be who he is today.
If Turner would have been drafted by a different team, he may not have been the great running back he is today.
As I wrote in the start of the article, Jacobs was also drafted very late.
He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL draft as the 100th overall pick.
He spent his first year warming the bench and watching the great Barber play his last year as an NFL running back.
Maybe that is why Jacobs is so great today.
Watching one of the game's best running backs play every week is what I think helped Jacobs become the great running back he is today.
This brings up the question, is it really true that watching and learning from a good player can make you a great running back?
Well, you can't do it without talent. If you run like a you have a piano on your back and you can't see without your glasses, then you may not be the right man for the job.
But if you are in good enough shape to be a running back and you really put your mind to it, you may be able to live your dream.
Just look at Derrick Ward, who is now a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Ward was drafted in the seventh round of the 2004 NFL draft by the New York Jets, but is now the starting running back for the Buccaneers.
Last year, as a backup for Jacobs, he rushed for over 1,000 yards. I think he will be great this year for Tampa Bay.
So what does that mean for NFL teams?
Keep your veterans around for your young players and they may learn a thing or two.
Kudos to Jacobs and Turner for learning from the best. Everyone can see the best, but not everyone can learn from them.
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