In Denver, the most compelling positional battle for the Broncos will unfold in the backfield, where Ronnie Hillman, Knowshon Moreno and rookie Montee Ball will battle for snaps. The ATL gang agreed the most likely outcome is a committee approach, but the second-year Hillman isn't in the mood to share.
"Come the opener, I want to be the guy back there," Hillman told The Denver Post. "I can't lie. I want it to be me and I'm pushing to be that guy."
His resolve is noted, but I'd rank Hillman as the least likely of the three to see featured-back duties. Before Willis McGahee was released, Hillman struggled to be viewed as an every-down back, largely because his game was incomplete as a rookie. Despite speed and moves, Hillman proved a liability in pass protection. His weight also plummeted below 180 pounds by season's end. He's up to 195 heading into camp, but Hillman isn't a natural between-the-tackles runner.
"I know it's about production, that I have to produce to be in there," Hillman said. "That's how they'll decide: who's producing."
Hillman spent plenty of time with the first-team offense this spring, but it's Ball who stands out to me as the eventual workhorse for the Broncos. Moreno's durability issues make him a risk, but Ball's 663 carries at Wisconsin over the past two seasons suggest a guy who can grind. Either way, the Broncos were an honorable mention on this week's deep backfield list, and that's not a bad problem to have.