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Technique He Mastered On The Field Helps Former Broncos Star Ray Crockett With His Mental Health

(CBS4) -- Winning Super Bowl 32 was a moment no Denver Broncos player would ever forget. Especially their starting cornerback Ray Crockett.

Ray Crockett
(credit: CBS)

"It's something man that will be irreplaceable probably next to having your kids," Crockett said.

Crockett had a unique road to that Super Bowl victory. He didn't make his high school football team his freshman year, but he was able to blossom and become a star at Duncanville High School where he played his college ball with the Baylor Bears. He would be drafted in the 4th round of the 1989 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions and signed with the Broncos as a free agent in 1994.

Ray Crockett
Denver Broncos Ray Crockett intercepts a pass intended for Oakland Raider Tim Brown on Nov. 22, 1998 at Mile High Stadium. (credit: Doug Duran/MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images)

In all, he played 14 seasons in the NFL and won two Super Bowls by mastering the "Bump and Run" technique.

"It's a metaphor for really getting up close and personal to your opposition," Crockett said. "Guiding him or redirecting your opposition to where you want them and need them to be every single play or in a positional down and distance."

After retiring from football after the 2002 season, he continued to flourish. He lived in an 11,000 square foot home with multiple luxury cars in his garage, but there was an issue.

Ray Crockett
(credit: CBS)

"All of the sudden my mental health -- from football, concussion, hitting, things like that -- I started to suffer. And then once I started suffering I got a little nervous ... for the first time in my life in a long time I was nervous," Crockett said.

Crockett began to make bad financial decisions and lost $3 million. He also started to isolate himself and he couldn't figure out why. It wasn't until the deaths of two former football players, Pro Football Hall of Famer Junior Seau and his friend Dave Duerson, that mental health finally caught his attention.

"I literally saw him (Dave Dureson) three weeks before he passed away and he killed himself. I literally saw Junior Seau two and a half weeks before he shot himself. So, that brought it home that I just didn't want it to end like that."

"For me, I just said 'Look man, I'm having headaches, I'm depressed, I'm having anxiety, so how do I fix that?' I go to a counselor." You know? I go get help."

At his counseling session, Crockett got the help he needed. He was encouraged to use the same strategy that made him successful on the football field.

"One of my counselors said, 'Look Ray, what did you do when things went bad on the football field? How did you attack it? How did you? Because there was something you had to do because everyone has a go to move.' And I was like -- Bump and Run. That's exactly what I did. She said, 'Do that with your life,'" he said.

SECTION: Mental Health Is Health

Crockett meets with his counselor and therapist monthly and slowly started to guide his life back in order.

Ray Crockett
(credit: CBS)

Now he is telling his story in a book fittingly titled "Bump and Run. It Made Me. It Saved Me." He's looking to inspire others to see help in order to redirect their lives.


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