Editor's note: Rookie running back Montee Ball will contribute blog entries on DenverBroncos.com thoughout the 2013 season. No. 28 checks in this week to discuss his Week 2 fumble and preparing for a rival on Monday Night Football.
I want to start out this week's post by addressing my fumble.
You definitely don't want to do that. For me, it was just a lack of focus, a huge rookie mistake. My eyes got big because I saw the end zone, I got lazy with the football and it popped out. We definitely corrected it. I've been working on ball security all week. It's never been an issue with me. The coaches talked with me and said that it's never been an issue with me – that's why they drafted me. Other than that, when I went to the sideline, no one was really yelling at me. They told me to make sure to pay more attention to it, put a lot of emphasis on it, on carrying the football. That's the number one thing for a running back – ball security. I went to the sideline, everyone encouraged me and I went back out there and kept playing.
The fact that they put me back out there, that's one thing I respect the most about the coaches, they kept faith in me. They had faith in me to put me back out there to continue contributing with the offense.
It was great to see Knowshon have the day he did. I was celebrating. You can watch the game film again, you'll see me out there celebrating with Knowshon. I was disappointed in the way I played, but you have to get excited about him contributing and doing great things out on the field.
And when Knowshon is in there, it's all about mental reps, man. That's the thing. When he is out there, I'm standing right next to Running Backs Coach Eric Studesville visualizing myself being out there. Trying to visualize, from a running back's point of view, what we see, what indicators the defense is giving us.
This week, I've just put a lot more emphasis on ball security. I don't want to broadcast that as a problem because it's definitely not a problem for me. Like every other running back, when I get in traffic, I'm going to put two hands on it. But when I'm out of traffic, I'm not going to be running with two hands on the football because it's really difficult to run that way.
As everyone knows, this week we've got the Raiders. And growing up as a Broncos fan, I'm very familiar with the rivalry. The Raiders are a great organization. They have some fast, high-motor players on defense. They play with a lot of heart. For me, this week has been about watching film and staying away from all the hype about the big rivalry. For me, it's just getting out there and contributing with my teammates.
Looking at that defense, they're playing together. That's very dangerous, for opponents to have a defense that's playing together as one unit. You can definitely see that when you turn the tape on with them.
Of course I'm looking forward to my first Monday Night Football game. It's still a great journey for me, but for right now, I had a great talk with Coach Studesville – I can't see myself as a rookie anymore. It's time to play and the growing period is over.