A day-by-day Broncos player breakdown is something we've been doing since our days at BroncoTalk nearly a decade ago. This year the tradition continues as we look at the Denver Broncos roster heading into the 2015 season in our 90-in-90 series.
Position: Running Back
Height: 5'11" Weight: 203
Age: 22 Experience: 2nd
College: Colorado State
In Benjamin Disraeli's novel The Young Duke (1831), the author's protagonist, the Duke of St. James, attends a horse racing tournament. The main race ends with a surprise finish: "A dark horse which had never been thought of, and which the careless St. James had never even observed in the list, rushed past the grandstand in sweeping triumph."
The term, "dark horse" gets thrown around an awful lot during the NFL's training camps and especially among the running backs in Denver when Gary Kubiak is a member of the coaching staff.
This year is no different. Names like C.J. Anderson or Montee Ball seem to be staples in the argument, second-year running back Juwan Thompson is also mentioned quite often. Fan votes go live over who will be Denver's starting running back this season - Anderson, Ball, Ronnie Hillman or Thompson.
Why does no one seem to remember Kapri Bibbs?
Three touchdowns on 19 carries and a 4.4-yard per carry average is all that Bibbs could muster in 2014's preseason. That is roughly one touchdown every six carries. Seems good enough for any offensive, let alone a Kubiak offense.
Bibbs spent four weeks on the active roster last season as injuries to Ball and Hillman left the Broncos thin in the running back department. While on the practice squad Bibbs had a tryout for the Arizona Cardinals, but was previously promoted to the Denver's active roster for four games when the Buffalo Bills were poised to sign him.
"I definitely think that this is the year that I get my shot. I hope they give me my shot, because that's all you can really ask for as a player. I know that when that happens, I'll do my best and nothing but good things will happen."
Kapri Bibbs works out with Cardinals, but returns to Broncos practice squad
With their running back corps depleted and only getting worse, the Arizona Cardinals are trying out former Denver Broncos running back Kapri Bibbs today.
A 'patient' Kapri Bibbs eager to compete for a running back slot on Denver's power offense
Despite being an undrafted free agent, Kapri Bibbs believes he was meant to be one of the Denver Broncos. Last year at CSU, this kid found the end zone 31 times - third among NCAA's all-time single season TD record-holders.
I've said about as much as you can possibly say about Bibbs over the last year. If you're not aware of his utter domination at Colorado State in 2013 (behind Denver's newest rookie left tackle (then, a right tackle) Ty Sambrailo).
However, here is a quick rundown: 31 touchdowns in 2013 (joining Barry Sanders (37 in 1987) and Montee Ball (33 in 2011) as only the third back in NCAA history to rush for 30 touchdowns in one season), 1,800 total yards (1,741 rushing) in 2013, four games with 200+ rushing yards and one with 300+ rushing yards.
Oh and Bibbs only played one season in college before turning pro, he's just 22 years old.
Bibbs may not have made sense for last season's offense, but his quick decisions, one-cuts and nose for the endzone makes him much more cut out for this offense.
He did get passed on the active roster last December for carries by fellow scout team running back Jeremy Stewart. Stewart would occasionally relieve Anderson who dealt with some minor injury issues late in the season.
During Bibbs four games on the active roster, he hoped to make a name for himself on special teams, there is also some thinking that Bibbs may be able to field punt and/or kick returns. However, the fact that he didn't crack the roster as a returner last season does not spell well for this season.
In college Bibbs only accounted for eight receptions, during training camp last season it did seem as if he had remedied any doubt that he can make receptions out of the background.
"Last year, I kind of marked it off as my redshirt year, kind of like I was in college. I've been here for a year, I've gotten to know my running backs coach (Eric Studesville), I know what he expects out of me."
He's the definition of dark horse this season, it's not that Bibbs isn't being mentioned, it's that he's even behind the guy that never gets mentioned (Jeremy Stewart). If Bibbs shows any of what we saw last preseason he will make it really rough on the Broncos to try to hide him away on the practice squad again.