Third year Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman will have to prove himself this offseason or there is no guarantee that a roster spot will be available to him according to an article by Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post.
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Hillman entered his second year competing with veteran Knowshon Moreno and rookie Montee Ball for the starting tailback position for 2013. Many observers thought he had done just that with his preseason play, but the Broncos chose to go with Moreno because of his ability to pick up blitzers. Hill man beat out Ball initially and was brought in to spell Moreno periodically. That is when a problem that Hillman had had previously reared it's ugly head...the fumble. With each fumble, whether lost or not, it did not sit well with a defense that wasn't playing as strong as the previous year, or a quarterback that demands excellence. Eventually Ball began to get the number two carries and Hillman was forced to watch from the sidelines.
The good news for Hillman is it appears the Broncos will give him every chance to reclaim his spot as the number two back behind Ball, with Moreno in now with the Dolphins. Adam Gase, the Broncos offensive coordinator had this to say to Renck about Hillman's situation.
Hey, this is a new start to the year. Whatever happened in the past, you've got to build off it. We've just got to start over. His goal is to become the best running back he can. I can't say make or break, because I don't know what that is. He's got to work his butt off and make sure he puts himself in a great position to contribute this year.
Along with second year player C.J. Anderson, Hillman will be competing against three undrafted free agent rookies signed this month, (Brennan Clay from Oklahoma, Juwan Thompson from Duke, & Jerodis Williams from Furman). For him to retain his roster spot, Hillman will have to stop the fumbles, improve his blitz package pickups, and regain the confidence of Peyton Manning and the entire Bronco team.