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Horse Tracks: Broncos have a competition at running back

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The OTA's are underway at Dove Valley and one spot in particular has a group of players who are eager to earn a spot on this years' roster.

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Jennifer Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Good Morning, Broncos Country.

Football is officially back!

After a series of off-season moves in free agency and the NFL Draft, Broncos staff, coaches and players will now turn their focus to organized team activities in preparation for the upcoming season.

The OTA's began yesterday at Dove Valley and the competition is already heating up at several positions.

The obvious choice for the most anticipated battle for fans and analysts is the quarterback position. Paxton Lynch, Mark Sanchez and Trevor Siemian all taking early reps to show they have what it takes to lead the Broncos on the gridiron in 2016.

But one position that may be overlooked is running back, where Denver Broncos Head Coach Kubiak sees a tremendous competition heating up and offered his opinion on what he saw on Tuesday.

"They all look good. [RB] C.J. [Anderson] is in great shape. He looks really good. I think Ronnie [Hillman] looks like himself. I think Kapri [Bibbs], it was obvious today that Kapri is a different player than the one I had last year. We told him he needed to be. He’s answered that challenge," said Kubiak.

One looming question that remains is how many players will the Broncos carry at the running back position? With the addition to a full-time fullback on the roster, the team could end up carrying as little as three primary running backs on the active roster.

If a player can display versatility, it just might help themselves earn a spot on the roster.  One of those players is veteran running back Juwan Thompson, who is seeing action at both running back and fullback.

"We’ve got some things going on. Juwan [Thompson] is playing a little bit of both fullback and halfback. Just keep going. We have a very competitive group with Booker coming along. It will be a good group to work with," Kubiak added.

In regard to rookie running back Devontae Booker, he certainly wasn't shy about his approach to OTA's, stating that he is here to take somebody's job — a mentality that Kubiak doesn't seem to mind and wishes all players would have in their approach to earning a spot on this years' team.  But if you talk the talk, you have to be able to walk the walk.

"I would hope they’re all here that way. They have confidence in what they are doing. We’ve got some young guys that can help our team and that can help us quick," stated Kubiak.

"But like I just told them after practice, they’ve got to prove to the team that they can help them. Yeah, I love confidence. But you have to back up confidence with work. We’ve got to get him healthy to where he can work full-time."

The players competing for positions at running back will be diligent in their preparation and efforts, but perhaps most importantly, is to remember that the game of football is fun.

"It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be a fun backfield. It’s always fun to have competition," said running back C.J. Anderson. "I just made a joke about [WR Demaryius Thomas] and [WR Emmanuel Sanders]. I know they’re probably looking behind [themselves] saying, ‘We’re good.’ But we can’t do that in our room."

Anderson is right — it is going to be fun.  Be sure to stay tuned to Mile High Report for all the latest news and information from Broncos OTA's this week and as always, thank you for reading.  Here is today's offering of Horse Tracks.

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