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Published on 11/11/2008 at Tue Nov 11 11:21.
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Tatum Bell

The Denver Broncos are desperate for a running back. So desperate, in fact, that they have signed everyone’s favorite klepto, former Bronco Tatum Bell on Tuesday.

Bell, accused of stealing Rudi Johnson‘s bags shortly before his release from the Detroit Lions, hasn’t been able to find work in the NFL and was most recently seen selling cell phones in a Denver-area mall. No, we’re not kidding.

It’s the second running back signing the Broncos have made this week. The club added Alex Haynes on Monday.

Bell spent 2004-2006 with the Broncos before being traded to the Lions.

If I’m a Broncos player, I’m holding onto my luggage a whole lot tighter on a long plane trip to Atlanta this weekend. Am I excited for the possibility, strictly on the field? Sure – Bell tallied nearly 2,000 total rushing yards in 2005 and 2006. I just hope Bell makes the best of what is almost certainly his one last chance in the NFL.

  • T-Money

    We need a ground game. If we were able to run the ball at all last week when everybody went down then I’d so no i don’t like it. But I would like to win games and i think he gives us the best shot.

  • Marv

    come on wake up people hillis cant cut aswell as a runing back and dont have dat break away speed as one. Tatum bell is a great pick

  • MIAbronco

    i really like tatum when he was here. he’s one of the fastest running backs in the game and should break one this weekend

  • Mark in Carolina

    Tatum Bell is a soft runner who cannot convert short yardage plays and has terrible hands. Yes, he has breakaway speed, but he is a liability in the passing game.

    What kind of shape is he in, being out of football for a couple of months? I hope the Broncos aren’t counting on him.

  • Matt

    Good pick up. These are desperate times for the running game. Again i like hillis getting carries and this could workout to be a decent one-two punch. Hillis gets the short yards and bell is the homerun threat. I know this is being pretty optamistic. Im with kyle in the fact that i hope tatum understands this is his last chance in the nfl so he better run hard and hold on to the ball if he doesnt want to memorize t-mobiles holiday specials and family plans.

  • E. Halsey Miles

    I think Bell can combine with Hillis where you use Hillis in the power game and Bell in the speed game, much like we did when Anderson and Bell split carries. Don’t let Bell try to do power plays and everything will be fine. Let Bell shoot for the edge and let him run in stretch plays where you’re trying to give him a hole.

    Use Hillis for power and the fullback in the flat. Run in lots of formations where you keep both in, so that it’s hard for a defense to tell which you intend to do. Of course, that makes it hard to run two tight end sets, but you can always line Hillis up as a second TE as well, depending on what you want to accomplish. Then he can motion into the backfield and make the defense give up how they’re covering him.

  • Ryan M.

    The man was selling cell phones? Oh jeez, I am not expecting much at all from Tatum, its a heck of a lot to ask a guy to go from Park Medows Sprint Kiosk to NFL runningback

  • dee

    I think this could be a good pickup… if Tatum rushes for 130 against the Falcons .. all jokes about his issue will be put on the back burner ..

  • dbroncos

    I think Tatum Bell will do alright for us. He is not a permanent solution but he was pretty good here if i recall.

  • mikebirty

    What are the chances he makes the active roster on sunday? Gotta get down to and I bet him and haynes are two of the inactives.

  • Linmoo

    Maurice Clarett is probably going into Shanny’s speed dial right about now.

  • troyn

    I am frankly shocked that so many support this move. I cannot root for Tatum Bell without holding my nose. After that classless move in Detroit, I feel the same way about him as I did upon learning Travis Henry fathered 9 kids with 9 women. How about Musa Smith or Najeh Davenport? At least they don’t go down when the wind blows. Hillis could’ve shouldered the load until Selvin is full strength, but now another Tatum fumble is just a play away.

  • Jack

    Yeah other backs may be the answer, but time is more important. Denver doesn’t have the time to get a new back integrated into their system. Tatum is a good back who knows the system in the most recent years. What other move could Denver make that is more logical than this?

  • OC Bronco

    Troy I agree and I disagree. Tatum Bell is no where near the low life that Henry is. I don’t recall any off the field issues while he was with the Broncos. While leaving Detroit he made a stupid error that was unlikely premeditated and it didn’t hurt anyone.
    I agree that anyone who thinks he is more than a back who knows our system is overestimating his use. The only reason we signed him is because he knows the plays. I have a very hard time believing they expect many carries or a lot of production out of him. But why not take a chance?

  • Socal Den Fan

    I’ll wait and see before I judge this move.He all the tools to be a good back but he has the ability to fumble when it counts the most.I’m curious to see what alex has to bring to the team all we need is a decent running game that will allow jay to do more play action and with a good decision maybe move down the field more and lead to some scores.I think we should give spencer a shot at MLB we could use his hard hitting maybe even cause a few fumbles.What do you guys think? Well here’s to another bronco victory!! Go Broncos!!!

  • kerry

    what a bum! this is all Shanahan’s fault. if he would have signed Micheal Turner this offseason or drafted a RB who can actually stay healthy, the need for this thief RB wouldnt be neccesary.

  • AKscott

    LOL.. yep, except Turner would’ve gotten injued with us and you wouldve said what a stupid signing by Shanny for overpaying a career back up because any back can produce in our system or some nonsense like that.
    Truth is, no matter what decisions are made Kerry will be there to criticize.

  • Socal Den Fan

    Kerry get a life you negative SOB!! AKscott is right no matter what move shanny makes you will hate it we could get Adrian petersen and he will still think of something wrong with it!

  • MeanMachine

    Do any of you Tatum haters remember his stats, go back and take a
    look. A thief, have someone walk up to you at work and tell you this guy does your job better than you do, when he doesn’t and tell you to go home and find another job. Would you just tuck your tail and walk
    if so maybe you need your luggage stolen.

  • AtwaterFan27

    I hope that the Broncos KEEP Tatum around this time and maybe perhaps pursue EDGE from the Cardinals since he expressed himself in leaving Arizona