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Royce Freeman has high expectations for second season

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After a high ankle sprain slowed down his performance as a rookie, running back Royce Freeman has set the bar high for his second season with the franchise.

Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Good morning, Broncos Country.

When the Denver Broncos selected Royce Freeman in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, they did so with the belief he could become the franchise’s workhorse running back.

At first glance, Freeman appeared to be well on his way to cementing that status. He earned the top spot on the depth chart after a fantastic training camp and started off the first four games of the season red hot — amassing 219 yards on 44 carries and 3 touchdowns. Unfortunately, a high ankle sprain suffered midway through the season slowed him down the remainder of the year and negatively impacted his performance.

When it was all said in done, Freeman finished the 2018 season with 130 carries for 521 yard and 5 touchdowns. All things considered it was still a productive year, but the emergence of Phillip Lindsay who had a sensational rookie campaign left many forgetting about the former University of Oregon product. After having an entire offseason to recover, Freeman is anxious to show Broncos Country he can still be a significant contributor on offense and has set the bar high for year two of his NFL career.

“I always have high expectations for myself. I battled through injury. I came back and definitely feel like I have so much to offer still. I’m always pushing myself and always setting the bar high,” stated Freeman.

In order to become the best player he can be, Freeman sees the opportunity to be coached again by Curtis Modkins as a huge factor. After the franchise embarked on major coaching changes this offseason, Modkins was one of only a handful of position coaches to be retained from last year’s staff. It is a move Freeman believes will help himself and the other running backs on the squad out tremendously.

“It helps out a lot. He coached us last year, so he knows how we learn and [he knows] what he taught us last year and our different abilities. Also, I think it will help us grow. He’s the type of coach to push us. He’s pushing all of the running backs. Definitely a great coach to have.”

In addition to the aforementioned, Freeman also looks forward to showcasing his receiving abilities more in 2019. He only had 14 receptions as a rookie, but averaged over 10 yards per reception and gained over 800 yards as a receiver out of the backfield during his collegiate career. There is no doubt he has those skills and with a new offense in store, he believes he will have a chance to make a greater impact in that regard.

“I feel like it’s an ability to have. I tried to put it on display in the last game and got more reps at it. I’m definitely excited to be able to show that feature.”

A healthy Freeman paired with a rejuvenated Lindsay should bode well for the Broncos’ offensive endeavors in 2019. If they can stay healthy and avoid injury, the two have the potential to become the running back duo in the entire league. Myself and all of Broncos Country look forward to seeing that happen.

As always, thank you for reading and here is today’s offering of Horse Tracks.

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