Montee Ball: My mentality is that the starting job is mine

AP

Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning said earlier this month that he thought running back Montee Ball was ready to take on a bigger role in his second NFL season.

That would suit Ball just fine. Ball said that he knows that the Broncos aren’t just going to hand him a starting job with Knowshon Moreno now in Miami, but that his “mentality” is that the starting job is his for the taking.

“I don’t want them to bring another running back in,” Ball said, via Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com. “I want it to be my job and that’s how I’m approaching it, in the most humble way possible. Like I said, I understand they’re not going to hand it to me, but I’m going to work really, really hard to contribute.”

Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson are the other backs currently on the roster and Ball has the most to offer the Broncos offense of that trio. The Broncos seem to agree. They boosted Ball’s playing time down the stretch and in the playoffs. Ball responded by running for nearly six yards a carry over his final 65 carries, which Denver certainly hopes is a preview of the kind of production they’ll get when Ball gets the ball more often in 2014.