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Ronnie Hillman: I can be Broncos feature back

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  • #46
    Originally posted by bronx_2003 View Post

    Going back to the main question its pretty obvious Hillman is not a feature back. He doesn't have the power or ability to run through tackles consistently to be a feature back, but we don't need him to be. Thats why we spent a second on Montee and why Manning has worked so closely with him at OTA's.

    Montee will be the starter, Moreno will be the third down back and will spell Montee.

    Hillman will probably have 10-12 touches a game on the ground or through the air. We just need him to show speed, ability to make defenders miss in space and be dangerous on screens. The OC needs to find ways to get him the ball.

    I am still concerned with the run game as it looks a little fragile, but hopefully it goes well.
    My only concern with the run game is with the blocking up front, not the RB's. The jury is still out on Hillman between the tackles but I believe he can have success there but obviously he will have more success off tackle just like Montee will have more success running between the tackles than off tackle. Does that make him less of an every down RB or does it really just come down to pass protection?


    • #47
      Off Tackle is a great play and the Broncos have the linemen to run it. The presence of Alex Gibbs points to refinement in the run plays that use zone steps, and maybe a slightly expanded Zone Series.

      Trap is a great play, but must be run from the I. Haven't seen much Trap since Noll was HC of the Steelers. The Broncos ran some Trap in 2011.

      Any kind of Counter is awesome. Joe Gibbs' Counter series from Single Back 11 personnel was very effective. I expect some of that. Wing Counter from Trey using Holliday might go all the way.
      "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus


      • #48
        I really hope Hillman improves. For now I'm inclined to think Moreno and Ball will carry the bulk of the load. The reality is, both of those guys have a lot to prove before they can be considered as valuable as Moreno in the 3rd down role.
        Thank you to my grandfather jetrazor for being a veteran of the armed forces!


        • #49
          Originally posted by Al Wilson 4 Mayor View Post
          I really hope Hillman improves. For now I'm inclined to think Moreno and Ball will carry the bulk of the load. The reality is, both of those guys have a lot to prove before they can be considered as valuable as Moreno in the 3rd down role.
          I personally think that Hillman will be given every chance to start as will Ball. I think Hillman can be a everydown RB in the right system and that might be this year. However without a offensive line that can get a push or stay in front of their blocks Hillmans everydown ability diminishes. I believe he will make the leap to be servicable in pass pro and that is vital considering if he's sitting back there on a pass everyone will know he's catching a swing pass or a screen if he can't block. Ultimately I think he gets the #2 spot but if we have injuries I think he is fully capable of stepping up as a 3-down back.
          Last edited by Matymaddog; 07-10-2013, 08:30 AM.


          • #50
            I find the whining about Miller talk much more annoying than the actual Miller talk.

            Personally I like Hillman, and hope he can grow into a real threat. I'm not going to judge him on last season because he was a rookie. But he does need to improve (as do most rookies). Only time will tell if he was the right choice or not.

            If he wants to compare him, let him. If you don't want to talk about it, don't respond. I don't see anything in the CoC that says it's against any rules to compare players.


            • #51
              I saw Hillman being compared to Sproles all the time and it never seemed to be such a big problem. Even in this thread we can see Sproles being mentioned.


              • #52
                Hillman getting a fair amount of press these days.


                When football America watches the telecast of the Broncos' Sept. 5 season opener in Denver against the Baltimore Ravens, Ronnie Hillman knows what he'd like everyone to see.
                "Come the opener, I want to be the guy back there," Hillman said. "I can't lie. I want it to be me and I'm pushing to be that guy."
                Running back will be one of the biggest depth chart issues to be resolved when Denver's training camp opens July 25.
                The Broncos released Willis McGahee, their most proven tailback, on June 13. That leaves Hillman, a 2012 draft pick, rookie Montee Ball and Knowshon Moreno, a 2009 draft pick coming off knee surgery, battling for the starting job. The Broncos made it clear during organized team activities and minicamp, when Hillman spent the majority of the time with the No. 1 offense, that he's earned the first look.
                But with quarterback Peyton Manning having had one-on-one tutorials with Ball about pass protection and pass routes, the Broncos appear ready to use the former Wisconsin star in some of those situations.
                "We're all just in there doing our thing," Hillman said. "Everybody wants to play and I think all of us feel like we can play. I know it's about production, that I have to produce to be in there. That's how they'll decide: who's producing."
                Hillman needs to maintain his weight during the season, prove he can run between the tackles and avoid missteps in pass protection. He fell victim to the NFL grind last year. His weight had dropped below 180 pounds by the time the Broncos met the Ravens in the playoffs.
                But his weight was up to 195 pounds when Denver's offseason workouts started.
                "Hopefully it means 5 more yards after contact," Hillman said. "But I feel like I have the same speed to do what I need to do. I know I have to have both — have to hold up and have that speed."
                Hillman's speed — he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds before the 2012 draft — separates the former San Diego State star from Ball and the rest of Denver's tailbacks. Also, the 21-year-old Hillman is the youngest player on the Denver roster.
                Ball was a more productive college player — he had back-to-back seasons of 1,800 yards rushing to close out his Wisconsin career — and has made a smooth transition to Denver's offense. "I attacked the playbook," Ball said.
                But Ball isn't the breakaway threat that Hillman offers. Ball ran the 40-yard dash in 4.66 seconds at the NFL scouting combine.
                Still, the idea of leaving their running game in the hands of young tailbacks isn't keeping the Broncos up at night. It's the type of situation Denver football-operations boss John Elway likes to see on the depth chart.
                "We're always going to be looking at some of those young guys to really step forward," Elway said. "That's what you want. You want to draft them, play them in your system and prepare them for bigger roles. And when opportunities come for those bigger roles, they are ready.
                "We want to push those young guys toward that, to want to have bigger roles. Ronnie fits in that category and we think Montee fits in that category. We'll just see how it shakes out when camp starts and we get through the preseason. But this is what we want across the board, young guys stepping up for more."

                Hillman, though, is poised for the biggest jump between what he did as a rookie in '12 and what the potential is for him to do in the upcoming season. The Broncos believe if he can keep his weight up in the 195-pound area during the season — he dropped below 180 pounds by the time the Broncos faced the Ravens last January — Hillman has the size-speed combination to consistently be an impact presence in the offense.
                He and Ball will certainly cut into each other's carries, but both will get plenty of work. Hillman, however, moved through the offseason workouts as the solid No. 1 in the backfield. He now has to hold that momentum into training camp and the preseason.
                His main advantage over Ball is speed. Hillman is far more of a big-play threat in both the run and pass game. And if he runs with decisiveness and takes care of himself through the season, he's poised to make the biggest jump from his rookie year in the Class of '12.


                • #53
                  I'm enthusiastic about a tandem of Hillman and M.Ball. A rotation seems like a good situation. I doubt if run plays called will be different depending on who is on the field.
                  "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by theMileHighGuy View Post
                    Gaining 10 pounds doesn't mean you can suddenly pass protect. If he can't do it consistently he won't be leading anything, and we won't know if he can really do that or not till we're deep into training camp.
                    Bravo for being the first one to mention BLOCKING !
                    The feature back will be the BEST BLOCKER, end of story!
                    top priority for ANY of the bronco backs is NOT all this 'stuff' you drool over regarding most NFL backs!
                    he who blocks best, plays most !
                    reading blitzes and making effective blocks that keep PFM upright, transcend ANY of these typical runningback concerns like running inside, following blockers, reading the defenses footspeed, pass catching, ETC.
                    The "feature back' will be the best BLOCKING back !