Found September 01, 2013 on
NFL Injury Report:
Denver Broncos running backs must be able to pass protect for quarterback Peyton Manning. As Ronnie Hillman found out being the teams best pass blocker is not enough to keep you on the field. Hillman established himself early in training camp as the best pass blocking running back on the Broncos roster. Rookie Montee Ball struggled early in camp to pass protect and it continued through the second preseason game.
I knew the guy was blitzing, I ran up there aggressively, but (had) poor technique," Ball said. It's the worst feeling as a rookie, seeing a future Hall of Famer getting hit like that. That's not a good thing at all. I most definitely got chewed out about it and I couldn't say a word.
While Ball was struggling with his new assignments that opened the door for Hillman to receive more carries. Hillman fumbled the opportunity (literally) fumbling three times this preseason with two being returned for touchdowns. In that time Ball made the most of his opportunity by leading the team rushing for 80 yards on 25 carries and a touchdown. Ball has shown the coaching staff he has recovered from his mistakes and improved enough in pass blocking to move back with the first team.
Going forward both Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman will need to make the most out of their opportunities. As a Super bowl favorite Broncos Head Coach John Fox will not be patient with lack of ball security or failure to pass block. The one wild card to this story is Knowshon Moreno, who if he can remain healthy will push to split carries.
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Closing another chapter in my book, thanks to the Broncos Organization for the years of great memories and also the fans who supported me!
— Lance Ball (@LanceBall35) August 30, 2013
Ball rushed for 158 yards on 42 carries last season with 1 touchdown.
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