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Broncos re-sign Ronnie Hillman to one-year contract


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --It's possible that the Broncos' running back corps could look exactly like it did last season.

That's what the re-signing of Ronnie Hillman does for the Broncos at a position of which more will be demanded in the wake of the changes at quarterback.

Although he struggled down the stretch last season, Hillman still finished the Broncos' world-championship season with the best numbers of his career, notching career highs in yardage (863), touchdowns (seven) and yardage per carry (4.2).

Hillman moved the chains an average of once every 4.81 carries, punctuating his season with a 72-yard touchdown gallop against Minnesota in Week 4 that was the Broncos' longest scoring run in nearly nine years.

Most importantly, Hillman and Anderson were an effective 1-2 punch. For most of the season, if one was not effective, the other was.

Their contrast in styles allowed the Broncos to have one of the league's most productive rushing attacks down the stretch; in the last 10 weeks of the season, the Broncos averaged 120.8 yards per game and 4.47 yards per carry, good for eighth and sixth in the league, respectively.

Hillman's return also gives the Broncos draft flexibility. While they could still select a running back at some point April 28-30, they would not have to reach for one, given the stable of runners already on hand.

In returning to the Broncos, Hillman rejoins Anderson, returning backs Juwan Thompson and Kapri Bibbs, and reserve-future signee Cyrus Gray.

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