Denver Broncos training camp 2018 battle: Running Back
Prediction: Royce Freeman
Unfortunately, the Broncos’ running game has struggled with the duality of over-usage and egregious under-usage of players at the running back position.
This is a direct reflection on the offensive play caller.
This is not meant to be a slight to C.J. Anderson, who gave his all for the Broncos, but the team put the ball in his hands a whopping 285 times in 2017, and he managed just over 1,200 yards from scrimmage.
To put that in perspective, Mark Ingram finished the 2017 season with 288 touches and had 1,540 total yards of offense with 12 total touchdowns. Anderson had just four.
The Broncos had Jamaal Charles healthy and rotting away on the bench while providing some of the most effective offense on a per-snap basis. Charles was out-touched by less effective Anderson and Booker, and De’Angelo Henderson wasn’t used until the final game.
It was a terrible case of mismanagement from the Broncos’ coaching staff and some kind of weird favoritism going on.
For 2018, I see Royce Freeman seizing the role as the lead back with Devontae Booker providing a dynamic receiving option close behind him.
After those two, it would be amazing to see De’Angelo Henderson emerge as a third back that actually contributes on gameday, as well as some significant gameday contributions from Andy Janovich other than sprinting down the field on special teams.
The Broncos have assets and talent. It’s time for them to be utilized.
David Williams was drafted for a reason, and I don’t think it was simply to be cut by the fans before camp begins. He and fellow rookie Phillip Lindsay will push for the fourth running back spot and both have such different skill sets. The Broncos need to find a way to keep both guys, with one likely going to the practice squad.
– Predominantly Orange co-editor Sayre Bedinger