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Published on 03/27/2011 at Sun Mar 27 12:00.
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Lance

Bronco running back Lance Ball strips the ball away from Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

As we continue to relive the high moments of the Broncos 2010 season, we look back at the road running back Lance Ball has traveled.

Entering the NFL in 2008 as an undrafted free agent, running back Lance Ball started his career with the St. Louis Rams.  After being released, he would go on spend time on the practice squads of the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans before signing with Denver.

When Denver running backs Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter went down with injuries during Training Camp, Lance Ball finally got his shot.  Because he knew he may not get many, Ball knew he had to take advantage of all his opportunities and impress Denver’s coaches.

And that’s just what he did. 

When fellow running back LenDale White suffered a torn Achilles tendon, Ball was left to compete with Toney Baker, Bruce Hall, and Justin Fargas for a roster spot.  After proving he was the best back in camp and the most productive one during the preseason, Lance landed on Denver’s 53-man roster.  His perseverance and effort were no doubt contributing factors to him being retained.

During the season, Ball dressed for over half of the team’s games and showed the same passion and desire he had throughout all of Training Camp and the pre season.  There was no greater example of Ball’s non-stop effort than when in week fourteen against the Arizona Cardinals he tracked down Daryl Washington — who had about a seven yard head start — after an interception and forced a fumble before he was able to score.

Effort

Ball's heads up play could have gotten the ball back for the Broncos. (Image courtesy of CBS Sports)

Arizona defensive tackle Darnell Dockett recovered the fumble in the endzone for a touchdown, but Ball’s effort did not go unnoticed.  With less than three minutes left in a game and your team down by three touchdowns, many players wouldn’t have even make an attempt to do what Lance did.  Not only did he catch Washington, but he also had the sense of mind to go for the unprotected football.

Lance Ball may not be one of the great backs in the game, and the Broncos probably won’t sell many of his jerseys.  However, his contribution to Denver’s offense last season and no-quit attitude — after not even being supposed to make the roster — undoubtedly impressed running backs coach Eric Studesville and myself (not to put myself in the same category as a Broncos coach, just letting it be known that I am a fan of Lance).

Ball finished the season with 41 carries for 158 yards while adding 3 receptions for 16 yards and two tackles.  Here’s hoping he is retained by the new coaching staff and continues to contribute to the Broncos offense with his selfless style of play.

  • crazykid

    what is it with undrafted free agent running backs wearing #35? haha
    I remember Selvin Young wore 35 and i loved that guy, just like Lance Ball. They are both guys you want to root for and succeed.

  • Roy

    We need a lot more try-hard guys. If it were up to me all of those guys who only played with half effort on most of our games would be replaced ASAP.

  • Roy

    We need a lot more try-hard guys. If it were up to me all of those guys who only played with half effort on most of our games would be replaced ASAP.