Phillip Lindsay’s got jokes.
The Broncos’ undrafted running back - who was just trying to make the team back in the summer - has a plan for all those people who invite college players to the annual Combine in February.
”I’m going to get them some cute little shorts, some weights, hopefully they get in shape,” he said. “I’m going to give them a couple months and then send invites out.’’
Just like Lindsay did.
“No, they’re not getting into the Pro Bowl,” he said, laughing. “They’ve got to go to the Combine first.”
But as Broncos fans know, it is no joke that Lindsay is the first offensive undrafted rookie in NFL history to be voted into the Pro Bowl.
And he definitely knows it.
He has earned every inch of his 991 yards rushing and 10 total touchdowns along with an impressive 5.4 yards per carry average.
So even if no coaches or GMs thought the “little” running back out of Colorado was good enough to get even a late-round draft pick (despite being faster than even first-round draft pick Saquon Barkley), his peers this season - on the Broncos and across the NFL - respect his ability.
Just ask the Browns’ defense that loaded the box almost the entire 60 minutes to take No. 30 out of the game plan.
“A couple of the linebackers after the Browns game came up to me and said, ‘Our whole linebacker room voted for you for the Pro Bowl.’ That means a lot for people to do that for me,” Lindsay said, adding that it means the world for his teammates and peers to vote for him. “That means that they respect you, and like you said, nobody knew about me about me when I first got here. Other than I was little (laughter). But yeah, it means a lot.”
But more than the Pro Bowl honor, Lindsay is thinking about the upcoming game against hated rival Oakland Raiders. Neither team has offseason plans, so it will be about pride - and Lindsay has plenty of that.
“Honestly, I’m thinking about getting back on track, trying to go 1-0 this game right here,” he said. “This is a big game for us. I’m just thinking about my teammates and just finishing the season out with a bang.”
And hopefully getting more than nine yards over the final two games to run roughshod over the Raiders as well as the 1,000-yard season mark.
“It’s mainly for our whole entire offensive line, our receivers and our quarterback. It’s an accolade that we all get to cherish,” Lindsay said. “Going over 1,000 yards and possibly breaking the record for [an undrafted rookie], it’s just a milestone that the offensive line deserves because they’ve been working.”
Of course, Lindsay will be a target once again of the opposing linebackers - something he knows he’ll have to work around now that the main receiving threat in Emmanuel Sanders is not a factor.
“I think for the past two games, I’ve been kind of pressing things too much. I need to relax and trust everybody and trust myself,” he said, adding that it’s no easy task. “Running away from those dudes that are 240 pounds is not easy. But it’s something that you know, in order for your team to win, you’ve got to do ...If you’re a good running back, if you’re a good team, you can find ways to do that. That’s what I have to do, that’s what the offense has to do. We know that, and we’re going to continue to work on that.”
He has two more games before it’s time to get excited about the Pro Bowl, but in the meantime, he’ll be grateful for the honor.
“I was excited, Coach Vance and Coach Modkins called me, and it was a little emotional,” he said. “At one point, I was just trying to make the team. I was hoping to do some [gunner] reps, some kick return and hopefully catch some balls at punt return. When they gave me the news that I was going to the Pro Bowl, it was just a real emotional moment.”
And he still has jokes. After learning that John Elway said he’d “love to have 53 Phillip Lindsays,” No. 30 had some thoughts.
“It’s an honor to have him say that about me. If you have 53 Phillip Lindsays, then the locker room is going to look good. Like, we’re going to look good. We’re all sexy,” he joked. “I can’t say the same right now looking at some of our players, my teammates.”
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