By: Tom Schriner | Co-Owner and Senior Writer at the FFLockerRoom.com (@fflockerroom) twitter: @ffootballjunkie
- Much has been written about the Denver Broncos running back situation this preseason. I have seen and read about Ronnie Hillman, Montee Ball and Knowshon Moreno all being bandied about as a possible starter for the high flying Peyton led offense. But the honest truth is if you can avoid the entire situation, you should.
- Last season going into 2012 you knew it was Willis McGahee and that he was going to be the main guy. And he did a great job till he got hurt. Then reports sprinkled out that Ronnie Hillman would take over and at seemingly the last minute, before taking on Kansas City, it was Knowshon Moreno who got the start. Not only did Moreno get the start but he also went on to play pretty well for the remainder of the season before getting hurt himself against the Ravens in the playoffs.
- It was pretty much written on the walls that McGahee would be sent packing after Denver drafted Wisconsin’s Montee Ball in the second round, and so it came to be. And all preseason we hear Hillman this and Hillman that but what does he do in the preseason? Fumble in three straight preseason games. And then we hear Montee Ball this and Montee Ball that and what does he do in the preseason? He blows blitz coverage and lets Manning get clobbered. And then there is Moreno, who had been left out to dry last season before getting the nod after Willis went down. What has he done? In the most important third preseason game he carried the ball 5 times for 33 yards and caught 3 passes for another 42 yards. And almost just as important, he’s picked up blitzes well.
- While I honestly do believe Ball has the skills to be an every down back in the NFL, his lack of pass protection could limit his playing time early on. And to Peyton Manning, pass protection is key. I also believe Ronnie Hillman is better suited for the change-of-pace role, his value should be limited except in the deepest of leagues. And I am still shocked at how high he’s been going in certain drafts. Another thing that should concern Ronnie’s owners is the fact that he was the only one of the three to participate in the almost meaningless fourth preseason game. It could have been a punishment for dropping so many balls during the previous couple of contests or it could be a true sign of things to come.
- That leaves us with Moreno. Still kind of left for dead in the shadows, just like last season, before he went on to help so many owners reach the playoffs with back-to-back 100+ yard performances in weeks 14 and 15.
- So if you thought you had a clear understanding about the Bronco’s backfield, think again. This should serve as warning to not take any of them early. If you get Moreno late in a draft and he starts off hot… trade him! And if somehow Ball fell to you in an early mid-round hang onto him, he may not pan out in the beginning but he’ll get his opportunity.