The Denver Broncos drafted Montee Ball fully expecting him to be the opening day starter versus the Baltimore Ravens on September 5th. While John Fox hasn’t come right out and said that Ball is the starter, it doesn’t take a psychic to read the tea leaves.
Vice-President of Football Operations John Elway has repeatedly said that Ball’s running style reminds him of Terrell Davis and that he is a perfect fit for this offense.
Ball, himself, has done everything right since being drafted by his favorite childhood team. He’s said all the right things, has reached out to the fans via Twitter and has gone to work during the OTAs. Not a day seemingly goes by that you don’t see a story or hear a quote about how hard the rookie is working and how many questions he’s asking of coaches and veterans.
Ball knows that he was drafted to be a big part of what projects to be the best offense in the NFL and he has embraced it, but he also has not taken it for granted either. Perhaps the biggest endorsement of Ball as the projected starter came on Thursday from his quarterback.
When asked about Ball, Peyton Manning said that the Broncos expect a lot of him and are not bringing him along slowly.
Manning talked about how he has taken Ball aside both in practice and after practice to go over everything from blitz pickups to audibles to pass routes. While it’s not unusual for Manning to do these types of things, it’s obvious the quarterback understands that Ball is going to have a huge role and they need him to get up to speed quickly.
With all due respect to the other young running backs in camp, Ball is the one Manning has taken under his wing. It’s a perfect match, a quarterback who loves to talk about offensive football and a rookie running back who is desperate to learn.
Follow me on Twitter @Jemorrone7