CJ Anderson impresses against the 49ers (Andrew Mason)
C.J. Anderson come on down. While Ihenacho, Osweiler and Julius Thomas have been training-camp stars, Anderson, an undrafted rookie, was in the shadows. But Anderson played extensively in the second half, and led the Broncos in yards from scrimmage with 69 yards on 15 carries. He averaged 4.6 yards per carry; the Broncos averaged 2.96 yards per play when Anderson did not touch the football. His rise also coincided with the No. 2 offensive line finding its footing in run blocking; on his longest run, a 17–yard-gain, Paul Cornick sealed the inside and Julius Thomas took care of the edge. Then Anderson did what a good running back does: he decisively hit the hole and took off. He appears to have earned a longer look in future weeks.
On a night when Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball failed to get traction, Anderson caught the attention of many Broncos fans. Still his preseason production aside, it seems as if the Broncos are going to bring the UDFA rookie along slow:
Gase - can't throw Cj Anderson right in w the ones but we are working him in— Darren McKee (@dmac1043) August 10, 2013
Gase on CJ Anderson: "It's a process for him. He's trying to get caught up to speed as quickly as possible."— Caitlin Swieca (@CaitlinSwieca) August 10, 2013
Preseason hype aside, perhaps Broncos Country will remember the past performances of both Xavier Omon and Jeremiah Johnson who also were impressive during preseason games but ultimately failed to crack the Broncos starting lineup.
Montee Ball shows some edge (Kaptain Kirk):
Peyton draws the Defensive Line offsides and then hands off to Montee Ball, who runs for 3 yards. After the play is over, I see Derek Wolfe and Montee Ball about to get into it.
On Tuesday, the rook continued to split the workload with starter Ronnie Hillman. He did not impress in his Broncos debut against the Niners but then again, neither did any RB besides Anderson. The OL was a mess and did not provide any adequate running lanes for Ball, Hillman, or Moreno.
For now the pecking order continues to be Hillman, Ball, Moreno, Hester, who despite a FB only role against the Niners still proves to be the Broncos best option as a short yardage back.
My gut feeling tells me Anderson will need a couple more breakout performances in preseason action before the coaching staff seriously considers unseating someone on the depth chart. Adam Gase and his comments about bringing CJ along slowly ring louder this week than the rookies preseason performance. Bottom line, don't expect him to crack the top three in the rotation any time soon.
At this point in camp, the rookie is still practice squad bound, I wouldn't expect the Broncos to carry 5 backs to the active 53 man roster.
What do you think MHR, does Anderson deserve more looks or a higher spot on the Broncos depth chart?