ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – After sitting out the majority of 2014, running back Montee Ball **returns to the field with a new-found fire and excitement for what's to come for the Broncos offense.
With the addition of a new balanced offense under the helm of Head Coach Gary Kubiak and Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison, the Broncos running back corps will look to see more snaps in 2015. Ball is expected to share time with running back C.J. Anderson who stepped up after Ball suffered a groin injury and tallied 849 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.
"I'm really looking forward to splitting carries with him," said Ball. "I think we're two really good backs in a system that we love to keep the ball on the ground. So we love this system. As a running back you have to thrive in this system because its what we love. It's smash-mouth football."
The Broncos continued with their Organized Team Activity practices on Monday, finally joined by Shane Ray.
In 2013, Ball totaled 559 yards on 120 carries and punched in a two touchdowns in his 16 game appearances. To open the 2014 season, he racked-up 172 rushing yards on 55 attempts in five games before sitting out the remaining season from his injury.
Dennison's new offense makes the need for two running backs even stronger. Through the first week of organized team activities, both Anderson and Ball have each split carries, seemingly being pegged in a similar respect on their own offseason depth chart.
"That's how we look at it: 1A and 1B," said Ball. "But you need two backs in the NFL. It's a long season, so we most definitely understand that we're going to have to keep battling and keep fighting for the position, which will make the offense better and the team better. Healthy competition is important."
The success of Dennison's new offense lies in the balance of the passing and rushing offense, with balance being the key. Ball knows that while he and the running back corps looks forward to an increase in carries, he also know that the team will do whatever it takes to win – whether that be in the air or on the ground.
"It's an easier playbook from last year, but we're most definitely going to put the ball in the air," said Ball. "We're going to do what works. If the pass game's working that game, we're going to pass the ball. If the run game's working, we're going to run the ball. But as far as running backs right now, we're looking to chop."
In addition to his excitement to return to work, Ball also relishes in his opportunity to be back training with his fellow teammates.
"I love working with this team, working with the players and sweating together," said Ball. "It's a great feeling to definitely be back with them and contributing in any way that I can."