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Published on 11/19/2010 at Fri Nov 19 11:12.
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Lance Ball

Lance Ball grabs a drink at the Denver Broncos Training Camp in Dove Valley on August 3rd, 2010. (Jon Heath/Broncos Zone)

Two aging running backs time in Denver may be nearing the end, making room for an emerging, younger back.

While Knowshon Moreno was out with a hamstring injury earlier in the year, veteran backs Laurence Maroney and Correll Buckhalter were the Broncos featured running backs.  During that four game stretch, the two backs both averaged less than 2.3 yards a carry, scored no touchdowns and were partly responsible for Denver’s worst rushing efforts in a long, long time.

Since Knowshon’s return, Maroney’s and Buckhalter’s roles in the offense have steadily declined each game.  Over the past four games, neither of them have gotten a carry, and Maroney was inactive last week.  The Broncos have used Buck as a receiving threat (catching six passes for 32 yards in the past three games), but there’s no signs he’ll be a rushing threat any time soon.

Meanwhile, the Broncos rushing attack has gotten better and better. Second year back Knowshon Moreno is becoming a big part of the offense; Spencer Larsen and Tim Tebow have contributed on short-yardage downs and the coaches have gotten creative, giving end-arounds and reverses to receivers Eddie Royal and Demaryius Thomas.  The team also moved up Lance Ball from the practice squad, and his role in the offense is expected to expand.

Alex Mayster of ProFootballWeekly notes that the Broncos coaches like what they are seeing out of Ball:

RBs Laurence Maroney and Correll Buckhalter are slowly being phased out of the Broncos’ offense. We hear Denver’s coaches like what they have seen from RB Lance Ball, who was recently promoted from the practice squad when the Colts were close to signing him away. Ball provides fresh legs to an offense that has struggled with the ground game and is a little bit quicker than Buckhalter, who seems to have lost some speed since last season, according to a daily team observer.

When Knowshon was hurt during Training Camp, I thought Ball was without a doubt the best running back in camp.  He showed some great flashes in Pre Season and brings more to the table than just running ability, as he is a good receiving back as well. Personally, I think it’s about time the Broncos gave up on Maroney and Bucky and gave this kid a shot.

  • Danno

    As long as Moreno stays healthy, I don't really care, but when he is injured, none of those guys are the answer. Buck is getting too old…It's his last year. Maroney needs to run harder and get a hair cut. Not sure about Ball.

  • Ian Henson

    I support anything that has to do with Lance Ball getting more touches.

  • AKfan

    Much rather see Moreno, then Ball, then Andre Brown. Team needs to find out if they need to invest a decent pick on a RB next year and clearly Buck and Maroney are not the answer. Would also be nice to have an option when Larsen gets banged up and not have to abandon the fullback.

  • Jon

    Agreed. Would love for Moreno, Ball and Brown to be the main backs. Hopefully they'll draft a power back/FB who can become the Larsens backup and Denver's power back

  • bronco34

    A few quick questions guys and I want to hear your opinions…….. I don't remember much, but didn't we give NE a draft pick for Maroney AKA Dancing Queen? If Ball looked so good in training camp, then why did we spend a draft pick to bring in Maroney?

  • Jon

    Probably because Ball didn't looks as good to McD as he did to us (or me anyway), and maybe even more so because McDaniels drafted Maroney and thought he still had some good running ability left in his tank

  • areferee

    Poor Andre Brown has seen more real estate this year than Coldwell Banker. Do you think he dares unpack?

  • Coxsky46

    our team needs help,, big DDDDDDDDD omg. im from ohio, been a broncos fan all my life, still am.

  • TheTroglodyte

    If Ball has that much potential he wouldn't have already been cut by 2 other teams before getting put on the practice squad with ours. He is a decent enough back to give Moreno a breath though.

    We don't need to draft a power back, we should be giving those opportunities to Larson. He hits the hole hard and with a nice thud, so if we draft a big back next year it's just a waste.

    LaMichael James will likely be available in the 2nd round though and he would be a fantastic addition to spark the offense. Split the work load evenly between him and Moreno to keep the attack fresh and we could really have something fun to watch.

  • Jon

    I wouldn't if I was him

  • Rcsodak

    I sure as hell wish he'd have sat buckholter last night! What SHIT PLAY