After putting on over 15 pounds of muscle this off-season, Ronnie Hillman says he plans to take over the starting running back position (Credit: AP Photo)
In his rookie season with the Denver Broncos, Ronnie Hillman had 330 yards and 1 touchdown on 85 carries. Hillman spent most of his rookie season picking up blitzes and giving running back Willis McGahee and Knowshon Moreno a break. After only weighing 180 pounds last season, Hillman is pushing 200 pounds heading into the team’s organized team activities.
Hillman spent his off-season working out at Athletic Gaines in Los Angeles. His working out paid off as Hillman has put on more weight.
“Right now I’m probably about 15 pounds heavier than I was in the last game that I played,” said Hillman, who hopes to play at 195 all season.
Quarterback Peyton Manning was pleased to hear that Hillman put on more muscle during the off-season.
“We’re really counting on him this year to have more of a role in the offense,” Manning said. “Last year they kind of had a rotation and he had a certain amount of snaps that he was going to get. I definitely see that role increasing and (offensive coordinator) Adam (Gase) giving him more responsibility in this offense. It’s not just kind of a limited package like we did last year. We are really expecting him to make that next-level jump. … We’re counting on him to do good things for us this year.”
Hillman says he believes the extra pounds won’t slow him down.
“I’m practicing with it right now, so I’m getting used to it,” he said. “And by the time the season comes, I won’t even notice.”
Offensive coordinator Adam Gase says Hillman just needs to learn to keep the pounds on throughout the season.
He was light last year,” Gase said. “And that happens with a young guy, his first year in the league, his weight decreases. That pounding that you’re going to take running between the tackles — he needs to keep that size. And I think he will.”
For now, Hillman is hoping to step into the number one running back position and stay there for the entire season.
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