After the NFL’s roster deadline came and went Saturday, the Denver Broncos’ running backs looked a little different than last year. Denver cut both Lance Ball and Jacob Hester as the two biggest names to go from the backfield, thus leaving the Broncos with a three-headed monster to open the season.
Rookie running back Montee Ball had been running with the first team at times during training camp, but it looks as though Ronnie Hillman will open the year as the starter. However, just because Hillman is starting does not mean Ball will not see time on the field. In fact, even Knowshon Moreno could see time here and there.
The Broncos feel very good about their depth at the position. With Hillman and Moreno having experience as starters at some points during their tenure in Denver, they know they can count on those two to be in the right place at the right time in the midst of such a promising offense.
Ball will definitely have his chances to make an impact, as he was taken in the first round of the draft this year out of Wisconsin. The former Heisman candidate broke the all-time NCAA touchdowns record formerly held by the great Barry Sanders. It’s not every day you get a chance to have that kind of pedigree join an already-explosive offense.
Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase is looking forward to how their running backs are shaking out, saying that they are going to be running more of “by-committee backfield.” He also called this group of backs “about as good of a group as you could want.”
I would have a hard time disagreeing with him especially if they can all stay healthy. The three backs likely won’t be asked to do a heavy amount of work because of how potent the passing attack will be behind Peyton Manning and his arsenal of weapons. But, when they do get the ball, I expect each of them to make an impact in their own way.