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C.J. Anderson unfazed by Devontae Booker's words

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C.J. Anderson's feathers aren't easily ruffled.

The Broncos running back confirmed Friday that he has no problem with the brash words uttered by rookie Devontae Booker, the fourth-round runner who promised to make a stir in Denver right out of the gate.

"My message to Broncos fans is I want to be one of the best running backs to come out of Denver," Booker told NFL Media on Thursday during the NFL Players Association Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles. "I'm not there to carry pads. I'm there to take someone's job."

As longtime Broncos beat writer Mike Klis pointed out, this kind of lyrical riff could "be construed as crossing the line of locker-room etiquette," but Anderson on Friday brushed off Booker's comments.

"What do people want him to say?" Anderson told Klis. "It doesn't matter what he says. I know what I can do. I know what I can do in this league. He's coming in with confidence and he's supposed to. I don't have a problem with what he said. I said the same thing when I came in undrafted."

After going undrafted in 2013, Anderson stressed he didn't plan to put Booker through the typical newbie initiation.

"If that's what's motivating him, then that's what's motivating him," Anderson said. "I wasn't going to make him carry pads, anyway. I don't care about all that rookie stuff, I just want to play ball."

Booker is uniquely talented and certainly has a shot to push for carries come September, but he'll need to suit up first. The former Utah star is still recovering from the torn meniscus he suffered last season and won't take part in next week's organized team activities.

Anderson remains the favorite to lead the way after piling up more than 1,500 yards and 15 total touchdowns at 4.7 yards per carry over the past two seasons. He'll battle to fend off Booker, Ronnie Hillman and a remaining cast of runners including Juwan Thompson, Cyrus Gray and Kapri Bibbs.

As a tantalizing third-down option, Booker might be a more immediate threat to Hillman, who re-upped with Denver on a one-year, $2 million deal. Anderson remains entrenched as a long-term asset after signing a four-year, $18 million pact with $10 million guaranteed.

Either way, coach Gary Kubiak must love the depth. His backfield is versatile and stocked with talented young players -- all who expect to see their share of attention. It's not a terrible problem to inherit.

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