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Broncos Roster 2017: C.J. Anderson

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C.J. Anderson enters the season as the incumbent starter. Will he keep his job in 2017?

Atlanta Falcons v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Name: C.J. Anderson
Position: Running Back
Height: 5'8" Weight: 224
Age: 26 Experience: 5th
College: California

We’re kicking off our Denver Broncos player reviews this year with C.J. Anderson. He’s one of the more polarizing players on the team currently with many in Broncos Country lamenting his inability to stay healthy while there are just as many touting his flashes of extreme talent.

Reading between the lines, it is important to note that the Broncos did bring in some fairly big name competition by bringing in Jamaal Charles. Anderson has always thrived on competition though and his attitude seems right on target with this move:

Courtesy of profootballreference.com, here’s his stat line from 2017:

CJ Anderson 2016 Stats

Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS Rush Yds TD Lng Y/A Y/G A/G Tgt Rec Yds Y/R TD Lng R/G Y/G Ctch% YScm RRTD Fmb AV
Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS Rush Yds TD Lng Y/A Y/G A/G Tgt Rec Yds Y/R TD Lng R/G Y/G Ctch% YScm RRTD Fmb AV
2016 25 DEN rb 22 7 7 110 437 4 28 4 62.4 15.7 24 16 128 8 1 25 2.3 18.3 66.70% 565 5 0 3
C.J. Anderson stats pro-football-reference.com

I feel like it is pretty fair to throw in a caveat here: The Broncos offense sucked in 2016. The line was weak, the play calling was terrible, and the passing game was a complete non-threat.

Contract courtesy of overthecap.com:

The Good:

When this guy is on, he’s a beast in the run game. He’s runs with great power, good burst, and has a straight up filthy jump step. He is a player who wants the ball in the big moment and has had his fair share of moments on the big stage for the Broncos.

The Bad:

The next season that Anderson plays all 16 games is going to be the first time he’s ever accomplished that feat in the NFL. The other knock on him is that he tends to start seasons slow and doesn’t get into a groove until closer to the end of the season.

No running back not named Barry Sanders can be successful without a decent offensive line in front of them. This very true of C.J. He’s not a back who is going to create his own yardage without solid blocking.

Quotable:

His thoughts on sitting out the back half of the 2016 season:

“It was just frustrating as a player. This is my fifth year, going into my fifth year—I didn’t play my rookie year. I played half the season my second year. The other two years, I’ve been nicked up. I make a routine cut, the same cut I’m going to make a thousand times, the same cut I made a thousand times before I got hurt. It was just a routine cut, and that’s the frustrating part about it.

When it’s something that you do every day that routine, you try to just figure out what to change, the little things, but you still don’t change everything. Everything happens for a reason and it happened to me and I’m learning from it.”

Status:

I honestly think C.J. Anderson is going to play his tail off this year. If he doesn’t, the Broncos are likely to move on in short order. You can’t deny his talent. The only reason for any shade being thrown his way would be his injury history. I think with an improved line in 2017 and a more modern scheme, we’ll see a very positive step in the run game and the product Anderson personally brings to the field.

Look for C.J. to be the starter week 1 and only likely to relinquish the title due to injury.

Also, for those of you gamers out there, check out his twitch at https://www.twitch.tv/cjanderson.