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Mile High Morning: Now a high school coach, former Bronco C.J. Anderson's love for the game still runs deep


The Lead

In five seasons in Denver, former Broncos running back C.J. Anderson left an indelible mark on the organization. Anderson still holds a spot in the Denver history books, sitting in the top 10 of both rushing yards (3,051) and rushing touchdowns (20) in Broncos history.

After retiring in 2020, Anderson's love of the game took him in a new direction: coaching. After a season as a volunteer assistant at Cal, his alma mater, Anderson became a head coach at an even more elemental level of the sport in 2021.

"High school was not on my radar," Anderson told ESPN’s Jeff Legwold. "If you would have asked me a few years ago, I would have said I didn't think about it. But then somebody asked me to do it and I thought about doing it. And after I thought about doing it, really thought about doing it, I really thought it was too good an opportunity to miss."

Anderson, who went from undrafted rookie to Super Bowl 50 champion, just completed his first season as the head coach of Monte Vista High School in Danville, California. His team finished the season 7-3 and made the playoffs in the first year under his command.

"After his NFL career, Anderson spent a year as an offensive assistant at his alma mater, Cal, before Monte Vista came calling,"Legwold wrote. "The 30-year-old had already decided coaching was his next chapter, but saw himself on a college sideline."

Instead, Anderson has embraced the opportunity to mold the next generation of players. He often calls on fellow Broncos alumni to help connect teach his team.

"[Anderson] has used FaceTime on a tablet or his phone to have former teammates such as Aqib Talib, Demaryius Thomas and Hall of Famer Champ Bailey make a point to his players," Legwold wrote.

Anderson has some advice for those looking to move into coaching after a career in football.

"I would tell people, 'Embrace all that comes with it, relationship with your players, the parents, the community,'" Anderson said. "My high school coaches changed my life, in terms of structure and discipline. If you get a couple kids to holler at you like 20 years from now, well, that would be amazing."

Below the Fold

After his explosive performance in his first career start, Javonte Williams earned a spot on Pro Football Focus’ list of the 15 highest-graded rookies through Week 13. Williams, who had 178 all-purpose yards against the Chiefs, was the only rookie rusher to make the cut, coming in at No. 15 with an overall PFF grade of 73.9 through Week 13.

"The lone running back represented on this list and PFF's RB1 from the 2021 class," PFF's Michael Renner wrote. "He got his first shot to be the top dog in Denver with Melvin Gordon III out Sunday and didn't disappoint. He went for 102 yards on 23 carries, with 83 coming after contact. Williams also hauled in six catches for 76 yards with a score."

With the bulk of his rushing yards coming after contact vs. Kansas City, Williams once again demonstrated how challenging he is to bring down. Williams boasts a league-leading 34% forced missed tackle rate, placing him in rare air alongside RBs Nick Chubb and Marshawn Lynch with the highest rate in a season since 2006.

Williams also sits at the top of the league in total missed tackles forced (47), second only to RB Jonathan Taylor (52). And Williams has done it on far fewer carries (140) than Taylor (241).

"Despite splitting time with [Melvin] Gordon, Williams still ranks second in broken tackles among running backs this season," Renner wrote.

The Unclassifieds

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