Is Juwan Thompson the Answer?


The Denver Broncos running game is almost guaranteed to improve next season. Gary Kubiak and Rick Dennison will do the same for Denver as they have done at every stop in their careers. The Broncos have a few running backs on the roster, but is Juwan Thompson the real answer?

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CJ Anderson came on as the feature back at the end of the season, and Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball had major contributions throughout the year. However, Juwan Thompson was the most intriguing back the Broncos used during the 2014 season.

Thompson has been a feature on this site several times, and is certainly an explosive option, but which back is going to fit best into the, “one cut and go,” style that the offense will use in 2015? Anderson clearly came out of the end of the season as the Broncos feature back, but Thompson looks like a stud, who should fit the new style very well.

Using nothing but the eye test, Thompson really pops. Every time he touches the ball he looks like he could take it to the house. He’s fast, and runs with purpose. Once he gets his shoulders moving downhill he is a tough back to bring down. He rarely goes backward when he gets hit, which reminds Bronco fans of Terrell Davis, who seemed to always get an extra two or three yards on his way down.

The potential two back system with Thompson and Anderson could create a running game that relieves the pressure on Peyton Manning. The system works, and all Manning has to do is go upstairs and talk to John Elway about it if he has any doubts. Now that Manning has declared himself ready to play, and the Broncos have indicated they are ready to have him back, it is time to focus on putting together a team that can make a Super Bowl run.

A major factor will be the running game, and Thompson looks like the guy who can take control. Averaging five yards per carry on short duty showed his ability as an underrated free agent. Kubiak already has experience turning an unknown running back into a hall of fame caliber player. CJ Anderson and Juwan Thompson should be the guys who run the ball for Manning, and the two back system will keep them fresh all season.

A great running attack is a luxury in today’s NFL. Thompson is the type of player who can become a superstar in this system. If Manning is truly looking to finish his career with a Super Bowl win, he should be excited to see what is coming to Denver’s offense to support him.

Oct 23, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running back Juwan Thompson (40) carries the ball in the third quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Chargers 35-21. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports