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Montee Ball | Running Back

Team: Denver Broncos
Age / DOB:  (23) / 12/5/1990
Ht / Wt:  5'10' / 215
College: Wisconsin
Contract: view contract details
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Latest News

Recent News

Montee Ball performed well through the first week of training camp.
Ball has reportedly "shown vision in the run game, decisiveness in his cuts and consistent, quality work in the passing game." ESPN's Broncos reporter says the second-year back is "poised for a big season" and suggests 250 carries. We also know he's going to get all the goal-line work in the game's most explosive offense and is a solid pass-catcher as well. Ball is currently ranked as fantasy's No. 8 running back in our online Draft Guide. Jul 31 - 9:28 AM
Source: ESPN.com

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Date:

During the offseason, the Broncos saw "vast improvements" from Montee Ball in his work as both a receiver and pass blocker.

In a Peyton Manning offense, protecting the quarterback is priority one, two and three. Ball got Peyton blown up during the 2013 preseason, allowing Knowshon Moreno to step in and steal all the fantasy glory. But Ball quietly progressed as the year moved along, and the Broncos now clearly trust him in all areas of the passing game. "If you're looking for a player for whom the Broncos have cleared the way to shine most, it's Montee Ball," says beat man Jeff Legwold.
Source: ESPN.com
Jul 17 - 10:36 AM

ESPN Broncos reporter Jeff Legwold says the part of Montee Ball's game that showed the most improvement in recent weeks was as a receiver, and suggests Ball is "ready for a starring role in the run game."

Upon tape review of Ball's rookie season, we actually thought he handled himself well as a pass-catcher. The Broncos did not change their running back route tree at all when Ball checked in, allowing him to run simple flares and check-downs in addition to lining up wide and executing some gos and slants. He even caught a shovel pass. During offseason practices over the last month, Ball has "consistently shown he's ready to participate in long-yardage situations as a receiver" and has "shown better footwork" in pass protection. A projection of 45-50 catches in addition to a heavy-volume role in the run game is realistic.
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 19 - 11:24 AM

ESPN Broncos reporter Jeff Legwold expects the Broncos to be a "more efficient running team on the inside this season, especially in the scoring zone."

The optimism stems mostly from an improved offensive line. LT Ryan Clady is back from a Lisfranc tear, allowing powerful Orlando Franklin to move to left guard while Chris Clark and Winston Justice battle for the right tackle spot. New feature back Montee Ball is also a far better inside runner than departed Knowshon Moreno, and he'll be facing a league-high percentage of nickel and dime looks. Ball's upside is through the roof, especially in the touchdown category.
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 19 - 11:01 AM

Montee Ball attributes his 2013 late-season improvement and increased playing time to being able to anticipate Peyton Manning's pre-snap audibles at the line of scrimmage.

Audible anticipation is critical for running backs in a Peyton offense because Manning changes to run plays to "exploit off-balance defensive fronts," and will often check into pass plays that require the back to identify and pick up a blitzer. "I started playing better then," said Ball. "I wish that it had happened earlier. I always tell myself, imagine what it would have been like had I begun like this." Ball piled up 337 yards on 52 carries (6.48 YPC) over Denver's final six regular season games, adding 15 receptions. He's looking to build on that momentum in 2014 as the Broncos' clear-cut bellcow back.
Source: Denver Post
Jun 1 - 1:22 PM

Offensive coordinator Adam Gase pinpointed Montee Ball as the Broncos player who made the biggest strides over the course of the 2013 season.

"Big strides," said Gase. "He'd probably be the one guy who made the most improvement. And to see him make the next jump in his second year, we're looking forward to that." Gase reiterated that the Broncos have faith in Ball as their clear-cut 2014 feature back. "We do have a lot of confidence in him," Gase added. "He brings that full package of a good running back. Running the ball, catching the ball out of the backfield, and protecting."
May 30 - 12:42 AM

Broncos OC Adam Gase reiterated that Montee Ball is slotted in as the starting running back.

The Broncos' offseason actions have spoken even louder than their words. They let Knowshon Moreno walk to the Dolphins for pennies, added no backs in free agency and then spent zero of their six draft picks on the position. Gase stated the obvious this week, saying the only job in the backfield truly up for grabs is the backup gig. Supported by the faith of the organization and a Peyton Manning offense, Ball is in for a truly special season. Moreno, a lesser natural talent, was fantasy's No. 5 running back last year.
Source: ESPN.com
May 22 - 10:34 AM

Peyton Manning said Montee Ball is ready to be the starting running back.

The Broncos wouldn't have let Knowshon Moreno walk for pennies if Ball didn't have Manning's blessing. We saw that faith in the playoffs last season, when Ball played on 91-of-226 (40.2 percent) of the snaps across three games. Stubborn fantasy owners are going to remember Ball's blown blitz pickup from the preseason and back-to-back fumbles in Weeks 2 and 3, but the Broncos forgave him for that long ago. Both the coaching staff and Peyton are ready to ride the physical second-year man as their feature back.
Apr 16 - 10:05 AM

Montee Ball had zero fumbles on his first 802 touches at Wisconsin.

Ball's three rookie-year fumbles ensured he'd stay behind Knowshon Moreno and earned him a "fumbler" label. It's not fair. Like many young backs, Ball was slow to adjust to the hits taken at the NFL level and simply needed to compensate. Curing ball-security woes is easily teachable and fixable. Don't expect fumbling to be an issue as Ball soars to the feature back role. Read more on Ball in Adam Levitan's column, accessible at the link below.
Apr 14 - 1:53 PM

Of Knowshon Moreno's 241 carries last season, 192 (79.7 percent) came against defenses playing six or fewer defenders in the box.

Moreno ranked 53rd in carries against seven-plus defenders in the box, despite ranking 13th in the league in total carries. Montee Ball won't necessarily be handed the same exact role -- the sophomore runner must prove to Peyton Manning that he won't fumble and can consistently pass protect -- but this is a mouth-watering situation for Ball's fantasy value. As for alternatives, C.J. Anderson ended 2013 ahead of Ronnie Hillman on Denver's depth chart. Anderson currently holds more Dynasty and re-draft "sleeper" value than Hillman.
Mar 27 - 11:58 PM

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Broncos "believe in" Montee Ball.

With Knowshon Moreno now a Dolphin, Ball finds himself atop the depth chart. The Denver Post reported earlier this month that Ball will get the first crack at starting this season. Ball struggled with ball security and pass protection early as a rookie, but closed out strong, averaging 5.87 yards per carry over his final 65 rushes. For the year, Ball's YPC was an impressive 4.66. Ball has monstrous fantasy upside in the Broncos' Peyton Manning-led offense.
Mar 27 - 3:37 PM

The Denver Post says the Broncos "want to give [Montee] Ball the first chance at becoming their No. 1 running back in 2014."

At this point, it would be a major surprise if the Broncos re-signed free agent Knowshon Moreno. They'll wisely turn to Ball, who rushed 65 times for 382 yards (5.87 YPC) with three touchdowns and added 18 catches for 118 yards with another score over the final eight games of last year. He'll only be "pushed" by the likes of C.J. Anderson, Ronnie Hillman and possibly a lower tier free agent. Pencil Ball in as the lead back in a Peyton Manning offense, giving him first-round fantasy upside.
Source: Denver Post
Mar 5 - 9:39 AM

Broncos coach John Fox stated at the Combine that he anticipates "big improvement" from Montee Ball in his second season.

Even on the off chance free agent Knowshon Moreno returns, Ball will receive every opportunity to win Denver's lead back job after averaging 4.66 YPC as a rookie. (Moreno checked in at 4.31). "Obviously we think very highly of him," Fox said. "I thought he had tremendous growth. ... He got better with every week. We look for a big improvement next year and think he's very, very capable."
Source: Denver Post
Feb 20 - 10:46 PM

Montee Ball hopes to start in 2014, and "(wants) the football every time."

"I think I'm going to have a great offseason, and I'm going to have a better season next year for sure," Ball said. Ball was far more effective in the second half of 2013, but slumped in the playoffs, averaging 3.4 yards on 28 carries. During the regular season, he averaged 4.7 YPC and 5.9 over his final eight games. With free agent Knowshon Moreno not terribly likely to return, Ball is in good position to get his starting wish. The Broncos have lost all faith in Ronnie Hillman.
Source: Denver Post
Feb 13 - 6:17 PM

Montee Ball rushed six times for one yard and caught two passes for two yards in Denver's blowout Super Bowl loss to Seattle.

Ball's first touch came midway through the first quarter and gained just one on a screen, where the rookie was buried by Seahawks DE Michael Bennett. He had two yards on two carries at the half, and Denver was forced to abandon the run in the final two quarters due to a monster deficit. Finishing his rookie year with an impressive 4.66 YPC average, Ball outplayed Knowshon Moreno down the stretch of 2013-2014 and will enter the offseason as the Broncos' favorite to handle feature back duties. Moreno is a free agent, leaving Ball to fend off inferior Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson for snaps.
Feb 2 - 10:06 PM