Denver Broncos Rumors: Montee Ball, CJ Anderson Battle To Start In OTA Camp For Peyton Manning, Gary Kubiak Wants New Offense

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Jun 01, 2015 03:09 PM EDT
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Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman (23) Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson (22) and Denver Broncos running back Montee Ball
Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman (23) Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson (22) and Denver Broncos running back Montee Ball (28) run through drills during the teams mini camp April 28, 2015 at Dove Valley."

The Denver Broncos have Montee Ball and CJ Anderson splitting first team reps in OTA workouts this offseason and those two are battling to start with Ronnie Hillman and this comes as Peyton Manning has been working under center more for Gary Kubiak and his new offense, which will combine with the shotgun formations that Manning likes to use.

The Broncos had another disappointing playoffs loss last season and that prompted a change at the top for John Elway with Kubiak. The team let go of John Fox despite making the playoffs each of the years he was coach and now Kubiak comes in to take over. Kubiak is an offensive coach and he said that while things will mostly stay the same for Manning overall, he wants the quarterback to work under center more over shotgun sets.

Last season the team saw CJ Anderson emerge with Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman dealing with injuries and now he could challenge to start for Manning next season. According to 9 News Denver, Ball and Anderson are currently "splitting" reps as the top running back in OTA workouts and that could set up a positional battle in training camp for the players. Ball dealt with numerous injuries in 2014 and he could not capitalize on a solid rookie season in which he played behind Knowshon Moreno.

Juwan Thompson also got some playing time last season while Ball was injured and Hillman was ineffective and he also could steal some carries this year. The battle is mainly between Ball and Anderson for the starting job and Kubiak likely will give it to whoever is most impressive in training camp. The Broncos are going to be more of a passing team and that could force the team to use a rotation of running backs depending on the situation.

Ball had just 55 carries last season in five games for 172 yards and he will be looking to bounce back after dealing with injuries. Ball said to the Denver Post that he started off the 2014 season with an injury and that limited him early on. Ball had four touchdowns as a rookie and had 558 yards while averaging nearly five yards per carry and if he can do that again, he should get a nice amount of carries for the 2015 season behind Peyton Manning. Anderson is coming in with a leg up and Ball likely will have to prove that he can stay healthy to start.

Anderson comes in after rushing for 849 yards and eight touchdowns in 15 games and he really came on at the end of the season. In March Kubiak named Anderson as the starter in OTA workouts and moving forward he will get the chance to keep the job over Ball and Hillman. Anderson averaged 4.7 yards per carry last season and showed some strong skills out of the backfield as well, making 34 catches for 324 yards. According to the Chicago Tribune, former Broncos OC Adam Gase said that Anderson dealt with some conditioning issues last season and this year he should be more prepared after starting for the second half of the season.

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