Denver Broncos | News

Ball Moving On


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- **Whatever feelings running back Montee Ball experienced after losing a critical fumble in the third quarter of the Broncos' 34-31 overtime loss at New England on Sunday, he's since put them far in the rear view.

"I'm not dwelling on it," Ball said regarding his fumble.

Ball gained 40 yards on seven carries on Sunday night – good for a 5.7 yard per carry average – and the rookie running back had a 31-yard catch that helped the Broncos convert a crucial third-and-20 situation in the second quarter. After losing a fumble with 8:19 to play in the third quarter, however, Ball didn't receive another carry.

That miscue hasn't shaken Ball's confidence. Instead, the rookie noted that he has placed emphasis upon fundamental ball-carrying techniques and correcting his mistakes.

"Despite my fumble, you can see strides being made every game," Ball said. "I'm doing the right things for my fumble – I'm just going back to the basics, not taking things for granted of taking the handoff and all that."

It also didn't shake the confidence of his head coach.

"No, I didn't (lose confidence)," Head Coach Jack Del Rio said. "I thought he tried to struggle there to make a play. He's just got to secure it there. You get an opportunity for a guy to learn and be better."

Quarterback Peyton Manning noted that he believes in all of the young running backs on the team – Ball, rookie C.J. Anderson and second-year running back Ronnie Hillman – and their ability to enter the game and spell veteran Knowshon Moreno if the situation calls for it.

"We expect them to go in there and do their jobs and we know they will if they have to," Manning said. "As you've seen, it's still a running back by committee. Guys are playing at different times, there's some young guys in there in critical situations because that's the way the game has flowed. So whoever is in there, we're expecting them to do the job."

For Ball, who has rushed for 262 yards and three touchdowns this season, overthinking ball security isn't the solution. Instead, it's more about correcting the mistakes and moving on.

"Just put more emphasis on it. Coaches have faith in me," Ball said. "Freak accident, but I'm most definitely not dwelling on it because this team needs me. They need everybody right now to correct their mistakes and move forward."

He also noted that he's learned some lessons from the more-experienced Moreno about the ups and downs the veteran weathered earlier in his career.

"Honestly, overcoming adversity," Ball said regarding what he's learned from Moreno. "Because he had some problems, as well. "He had his back up against the wall and he just kept his head down."

Eventually, Moreno found his stride – something that Ball looks to emulate as his rookie season moves onward.

"His time came and he ran with it," Ball said. "So I keep asking him, 'What'd you do here?' Because of the situation I'm right now. And he just tells me to keep grinding, take it more personal and keep moving forward."

"I'm asking Knowshon what he did, how he overcame it," he added. "And I'm going to follow right behind him in his footsteps."