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  1. #1
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    Kubiak talks up RB Hillman's preseason opener

    Imo Montee Ball did not "flash" last night, looks like Hillman could be breathing down his neck for the #2 RB spot. And given CJ's past ankle issues, who knows maybe Ronnie will be the man?

    Coach Gary Kubiak heaped praise on Ronnie Hillman following the Broncos' preseason opener.
    Hillman was Denver's most productive back, ripping off chunk plays en route to 77 total yards on nine touches. "We ran the ball really well in the first half and Ronnie had a lot to do with that," Kubiak said. "Ronnie's got that gear that maybe the other guys in our group don't have as far as getting the ball to the edge. Some of the zones we had tonight the ball needed to get to the edge, he got it there." There is no evidence of a running back controversy in Denver, but it's a reminder that Hillman is a talented all-purpose player who can produce when called upon. He could very well be a threat to Montee Ball's No. 2 rank on the depth chart.

  2. #2
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    I will give Hillman credit, he looked pretty good.

    I have been critical of him and he surprised me with his hitting the creases and getting productive yards. On the other hand Ball looked just as slow and indecisive as he did last year. That surprised me too.

    I may have to re-think my RB predictions for the final roster.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by FR Tim View Post
    I will give Hillman credit, he looked pretty good.

    I have been critical of him and he surprised me with his hitting the creases and getting productive yards. On the other hand Ball looked just as slow and indecisive as he did last year. That surprised me too.

    I may have to re-think my RB predictions for the final roster.
    Last year to be fair to Hillman was he just couldn't get the blocking that he needed..the line seemed to collapse around him.. And then when Ball and CJ came in its like it opened up more..It was almost 2 different lines ..

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Last year to be fair to Hillman was he just couldn't get the blocking that he needed..the line seemed to collapse around him.. And then when Ball and CJ came in its like it opened up more..It was almost 2 different lines ..
    Sometimes backs with great speed tend to reach the LOS before the blockers have a chance to open lanes. Running with patience and vision really separates backs who can play consistently well vs those who just flash talent but then disappear like Trent Richardson.

    I originally thought Hillman was on the roster bubble but from what it sounds like he should be able to carve out a role for himself spelling Anderson. If Ball doesn't show improvement he might be the one shown the door.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTM View Post
    Sometimes backs with great speed tend to reach the LOS before the blockers have a chance to open lanes. Running with patience and vision really separates backs who can play consistently well vs those who just flash talent but then disappear like Trent Richardson.

    I originally thought Hillman was on the roster bubble but from what it sounds like he should be able to carve out a role for himself spelling Anderson. If Ball doesn't show improvement he might be the one shown the door.
    Im just that Elway is ready to do so if that is the case. No need to put out a far better player for a higj draft pick.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTM View Post
    Sometimes backs with great speed tend to reach the LOS before the blockers have a chance to open lanes. Running with patience and vision really separates backs who can play consistently well vs those who just flash talent but then disappear like Trent Richardson.

    I originally thought Hillman was on the roster bubble but from what it sounds like he should be able to carve out a role for himself spelling Anderson. If Ball doesn't show improvement he might be the one shown the door.
    Eh. They'll at least keep 3 backs. Even if Hillman is #2 eventually, that puts Ball at 3rd. Bibbs looks destined for the practice squad and Thompson struggling to impress the staff at all. Same goes for Jeremy Stewart

  7. #7
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    I actually think the zone blocking scheme fits Hillman way better than the "power" running system. I harken back to Tatum Bell and how well he did for awhile. I believe Hillman can be a very good back in this system and given the chance in the reg season, I could see him supplanting CJ

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charleston Cav View Post
    I actually think the zone blocking scheme fits Hillman way better than the "power" running system. I harken back to Tatum Bell and how well he did for awhile. I believe Hillman can be a very good back in this system and given the chance in the reg season, I could see him supplanting CJ
    I was going to say this. One cut and run quickly through the hole suits his style. He has more speed than Montee Ball or Thompson or Bibbs. If he keeps playing like this he's definitely going to get the #2 job.

    But, the Broncos will keep 3 RBs plus Kapri Bibbs on the practice squad, so probably it's C.J., Hillman & Ball as your #1, #2, #3.
    http://www.fbpages.me/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/159174168050152087_zRr4orMC_c.jpg

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charleston Cav View Post
    I actually think the zone blocking scheme fits Hillman way better than the "power" running system. I harken back to Tatum Bell and how well he did for awhile. I believe Hillman can be a very good back in this system and given the chance in the reg season, I could see him supplanting CJ
    Watching last night reminded me a lot of Tatum Bell when he was doing well. I think Hillman has less breakaway threat but is better between the tackles then Tatum was.

    Someone said speed can hurt a back but it can also help. Sometimes the blockers can not hold their blocks forever and I have seen DL shed their blocks to get to Ball. Hillman on several occasions ran by people around the LoS before they had a chance to react to where he was going. Ball definitely does not have that skill.

    On the flip side I have seen Ball break more tackles in a game then Hillman has in his career.

    What annoys me about Ball is sometimes he seems to try and be a speed/scatback type runner when I wish he would just hit the hole and power through as best he could.

    Least Hillman knows his skillsets and uses his strengths and does not try to use skills he does not have,
    Last edited by Hadez; 08-15-2015 at 07:28 PM.
    All I want for Christmas is a Bronco QB controversy

  10. #10
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    As pointed out in the OP, Hillman may be the only guy that can hit the edges consistently and we all know what a weapon the stretch runs can be in this offense. I don't know if Hillman can supplant CJ, but he has always had the talent.
    Ravens GM 2016 - Ravens are looking to trade down 4-8 spots

  11. #11
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    Hillman has a different look than CJ, as others have mentioned Tatum Bell reminder. He certainly is a good change up and he hit the edge very quickly last night, just a couple quick bursts of speed that surprised the defense. He isn't a power back, but boy he hits the edge quickly and could compliment CJ in that he has a different style.

  12. #12
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    During the pregame show last night, Van Tate from ABQ recorded an interview with Terrell Davis in which he said that the biggest difference between angle and zone blocking from a RB's point-of-view was that zone clears the vision making the options more evident. He said that angle blocked plays are more cluttered visually requiring more of an act of faith when running to where the hole should be.
    "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

  13. #13
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    Hillman did well last season before being injured. Hillman has improved in pass protection, as well as ran a few routes and caught a pass in the slot, making him a 3 down player. He could fit well in Kubes system, but I want to see more. He could get a lot of snaps next preseason game, depending on CJ's ankle.

  14. #14
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    Hillman did appear to hit his seams quick and with conviction. He made his decision and lived with it and it worked out most of the time. He had some nice slashing runs
    Red 98

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  15. #15
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    Hillman definitely had the best chances for success. OL opened up some nice holes. I thought his first few runs he picked up the minimum but the last half of his carries he made some nice cuts to pick up some extra yardage.

    Ball looked awful IMO with the same OL in 1st half. Just slow. Tough to say about JT. Didn't have much room. OL struggled run blocking in the 2nd half.

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