After rushing for 1,000 yards in six games last season, Darrell Bridges wanted to double his output for this season. Said Bridges,"Once our regular season was over last year, I came into the coaches office and sat down personally with Coach Mariakis, and told him 2,000-yards was my goal this year."
Bridges met his lofty goal, although it wasn't easy. Said head coach Mark Mariakis, "When we were about in game eight or nine, he'd been pulled from a lot of games at halftime because we were up so far. And I told him, you may not get your chance to get 2,000. But here we are, going into game 14, and he's over 2,000. He has had five, 200-yard games in-a-row."
Bridges is not only physically tough, but he's mentally tough as well. Said Mariakis, "When we're in a tight situation, and we have a timeout, he's the one over there saying, just give me the football." Added linebacker Daniel Johnson,"I remember one time, I bet him two cheese burgers that he wouldn't score, and I won, so I got two cheese burgers. But it's just his mentality of never going down."
When the Panthers get the ball on the goal line, that's when Bridges appears to be at his best. Said Bridges,"Having the ability to get on the goal line and say I'm going to score a touchdown, and you're not going to do nothing about it." Said Mariakis,"His body lean is so strong and so low that it's hard not to pick up some positive yards."
Despite Bridges numbers and aggressive style, he remains underrated. Said fellow running back Vonn Bell,"He's trying to make a statement that these guys are overlooking him in the state. He should be up there with those guys too. So, he doesn't want to get overlooked."