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Ronnie Hillman believes he can carry load in Broncos’ backfield

Ronnie Hillman AP

With the release of Willis McGahee last week, the Denver Broncos are firmly pinning their rushing game hopes on a young triumvirate of Ronnie Hillman, Knowshon Moreno and second-round pick Montee Ball.

If Hillman has a say in the matter, he’ll be the one responsible for picking up the lion’s share of the additional workload.

Hillman was a third-round selection of the Broncos last year and saw mainly spot duty in relief of McGahee. At only 5-foot-9 and 185 pounds, Hillman knows there are doubts he can take the pounding of a starting running back on a weekly basis. But Hillman says he’s up for the challenge.

You get that when you’re a smaller guy,” Hillman said, via Dan Hanzus of NFL.com. “You can’t take the pounding, but I just brush it off. Of course you hear things, I’m not going to sit hear and say I don’t hear what they say, but you just got to let it go.”

Hillman points to the 22 carries he received in the Broncos loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the playoffs last season as proof he can stand up to the beating.

“Obviously, getting 22 carries in negative 13-degree-weather against the Ravens (in the divisional playoffs), they shouldn’t have much else to say about that if they’re paying attention,” Hillman said.

The skeptics would say that Hillman only ran for 83 yards in the game despite the 22 carries (a 3.8 yards per carry average). Regardless of whether it’s Hillman, Ball or a resurgent Moreno, the Broncos will need to find someone to add a second dimension to their offense.

Hillman finished the 2012 season with 85 carries for 330 yards and one touchdown.

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9 Responses to “Ronnie Hillman believes he can carry load in Broncos’ backfield”
  1. fourthandafoot says: Jun 17, 2013 11:02 PM

    Hillman is the most talented back but he’s not build to carry the load like Ball is.

  2. trevor123698 says: Jun 17, 2013 11:09 PM

    3.8 in the playoffs against a very good super bowl caliber defense is good enough to get it done almost all the time. Would have been nice to break off a few more yards but he was pretty young at the time

  3. mrpresident2 says: Jun 17, 2013 11:24 PM

    Was I the only one impressed with Moreno in McGahee’s absence last year?

  4. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 18, 2013 12:30 AM

    Oh well, if he has to drop the load in Denver, it’ll end up clogging a pipe in Oakland. Worse things could happen.

  5. gloryfromheaven says: Jun 18, 2013 12:56 AM

    Moreno is an injury prone player. Yes, he showed improvement on ball handling and tough running, but Denver wants someone who could actually gain a 15+ yard run every now and then. Sorry to disappoint Moreno supporters but he isn’t a guy who can carry the ball 20 times for 100 yards and stay healthy for at least 10 games.

  6. huthuthut says: Jun 18, 2013 1:00 AM

    I dont get it either. What’s so bad about a 3.8 average against the Super Bowl champs in subzero temperatures?

  7. malachiofcourse says: Jun 18, 2013 2:13 AM

    He’s 200+ lbs now actually

  8. beckzhere says: Jun 18, 2013 7:43 AM

    Could be a solid backfield if healthy. If I were a Broncos fan, I’d like that trifecta.

  9. ewoods6 says: Jun 18, 2013 8:21 AM

    Just because you carried 22 times doesn’t mean you can hold up. If you are too tired to gain more than 3 yards a carry with your speed them hey, the pounding took its toll on you.

    And we cut McGahee instead of Moreno over health concerns….laughable.

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