There wouldn't be any debate right now over who deserves a roster spot if Montee Ball and Kapri Bibbs were both drafted in the same round, but for whatever reason draft position often rules over logic when it comes to the final cut. Personally, I'll be more than a little annoyed if Bibbs is out of a job this weekend and Ball is still with the Denver Broncos.
It is clear to almost everyone who watched the game that Bibbs has better vision and rushing instincts than Ball, so why am I even needing to write this post in defense of Kapri Bibbs?
I'm writing it because of Gary Kubiak's wishy washy response on Montee Ball's overall performance on Thursday night:
Obviously, the numbers aren't good, but we didn't run the ball a lick in the game. I've got to look at the big picture. I would say me watching the game, I don't know how many fair opportunities he had. I know he played hard. He played on special teams. He did everything he could do. Kapri came in and did a few nice things, like I said. Let's be fair to him, too. You've got to have room to run scheme-wise. We'll go back and look at the big picture.
Really? Montee Ball didn't have many fair opportunities? According to the final stat line, Ball had plenty of opportunities to do something - anything - to show he deserved a roster spot. If you ask me, it was Kapri Bibbs who did not get a fair shake of opportunity in the game. The stats, in this case, do not lie.
It's not just the statistical comparison. My eyes saw several gaping holes last night where Ball saw bodies he needed to run into for a 1 yard gain. We're talking Trent Richardson-like vision here.
Bibbs, on the other hand, took his minimal opportunities and turn them into drive-sustaining runs. There's just no way you can make the argument against these facts. It was the same offensive line. The same defense on the field. These are apples to apples comparisons, not apples to oranges.
Additionally, Montee Ball just sounds like a defeated man. A change of scenery is probably only going to help him at this point. I like Ball and have since the Broncos drafted him, but liking a guy has nothing to do with my desire to see the Broncos win championships. I liked Tim Tebow too, but Peyton Manning is, well, not Tim Tebow.
Ball certainly seems ready to move on:
It’s out of my hands now. I already talked to everybody. There’s no reason to worry. There’s really not because I’m healthy, so worst case scenario, I will get picked up. But it’s just stay by the phone.
As for Kapri Bibbs, he is fired up and ready to contribute to the Denver Broncos. He chose to be a Denver Bronco and made sure the media knew that in his post-game interviews:
If my talents aren't meant for Denver, I've got to move on. I've got to do what's best for my family. But obviously I want to be here in Denver. This is where I want to be. That's why I chose here when I came out, especially in this new system, where I get to run the same way I ran at Colorado State. I think it's perfect for me. But they've got to think it's perfect for them, too. It can't just be a one-sided thing.
He wants to stick around and, frankly, he has earned the right to stick around. Not only as a better running back than Ball, but as a solid special teams contributor.
On his "Terrell Davis moment", Bibbs continued to show why he should be a 53-man roster Bronco come next week:
Easily. You've got Coach Joe D and if you can play special teams for Kubiak and for him, you can make a case on this team. That tackle, that was huge for me and my other plays, blocking for returners, that stuff is huge, too.
If you are looking for objectivity from me, just know that I was a huge defender of Montee Ball last year when he lost his starting job and even felt as though he could maybe win his job back this preseason. However, he has been so awful in preseason action that I can no longer defend the guy. He needs a new opportunity, because he has missed his opportunity in Denver. It's time for Kapri Bibbs to be given that 4th and final roster spot at running back, he has earned it by touching the ball just six times and playing special teams.