John Elway told Denver Broncos’ season ticket holders in a conference call that second-round pick, Montee Ball reminds him of an all-time great for the Broncos. It might sound like blasphemy to some but the Vice-President of Football Operations compared Ball to Terrell Davis. It was the combination of Elway and Davis that led the Broncos to back-to-back Super Bowl titles in the late 1990’s.
Before anyone goes crazy and says there’s no way you can compare a guy who hasn’t even practiced in the NFL yet with Davis, listen to what Elway is actually saying. He never said he was as good as Davis or even that he can be that good, what he said is that the styles between the two backs are extremely similar.
You know what, Elway is right. Well, before the draft, I remember sitting down to watch the Rose Bowl last January between the University of Wisconsin and Stanford University. I had seen Ball here and there but had never watched him for an entire game. To say I was impressed would be an understatement. In the 20-14 loss to Stanford, Ball had 100 yards on 24 carries which was a off game for him but you could see the talent.
By the second quarter, I thought to myself that Ball would be the perfect running back for the Broncos offense led by Peyton Manning. He is a downhill runner who makes one cut, and gets up field. He doesn’t dance and rarely gets tackled for a loss. That’s where the comparisons to Davis are the most apparent.
Ball, like Davis, is not a burner but once he gets into the open field, he rarely gets caught from behind. Both players also excel the closer they get to the goal line, something that will be a huge asset for the Broncos in 2013. As great as the offense was last season, the Broncos were often unable to run the ball inside the 10-yard line. Ball should help alleviate that issue going forward.
As the second-round unfolded on the second night of the draft, I watched as the picks were made and I also knew Ball was still on the board. I also knew Eddie Lacy was still on the board as well but I wanted Ball. When the Broncos made the pick, no one was happier than yours truly. Ok, maybe the Broncos and Ball were happier.
If Ball plays for the Broncos the way he did for the Badgers, the comparisons will continue. No one is saying Ball is Davis, that would be unfair to both players but the similarities are difficult to ignore.
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