Montee Ball said earlier in the offseason that his mentality is that he’s the starting running back for the Broncos in 2014.
That’s the Broncos’ mentality as well. Offensive coordinator Adam Gase said that the team believes in using multiple running backs every week, but that the main competition in the Denver backfield between now and the rest of the season will be for the spots under Ball on the depth chart.
“We drafted [Ball] to be a guy that was going to be a big contributor for us,” Gase said, via ESPN.com. “But at the running back spot, it’s hard to just have one guy and say, ‘Hey, we’re going with him for 350 carries.’ It’s really not what we’re looking for. We’re looking for a guy that can start those games out, be consistent all year, make sure that he’s great in pass protection, great in route concepts, which he’s shown us that he has the ability to do. We just need to make sure that he continues that through this season.”
It’s worth noting that Ronnie Hillman was the top running back for the Broncos at this time last year, but Ball’s grip looks pretty strong. Hillman’s been put on notice because of fumbles and the other aspiring backs on Denver’s roster are C.J. Anderson and four undrafted free agents. Maybe the Broncos add someone down the road, but their actions thus far have made it clear they want Ball to be the main man in the backfield.