ENGLEWOOD, Colo.—Despite a sub-par 2014 season plagued by injuries, Denver Broncos tailback Montee Ball has been a featured figure in training camp. Ball has worked behind starter C.J. Anderson and has even received some reps with the first team offense.
The former Wisconsin star, who has 731 rushing yards and five touchdowns in his first two seasons, after being drafted 58th overall in the 2013 NFL Draft, made some bold comments after Friday's practice. When asked about team goals for the season, Ball minced no words with his response.
“Super Bowl or bust,” Ball said. “If you don't win a Super Bowl, it's a losing season. That's our goal is to be hoisting that trophy at the end. We're working extremely hard for it, but most definitely understand that Rome wasn't built in one day. You have to start from the bottom up, so we're starting right now in training camp and are ready for preseason games coming up.”
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Ball also stated that he is in good shape, only one week before the first preseason game at Seattle on August 14th.
“I feel great,” Ball said. “My legs feel great. It's all just about being a professional, taking care of your body, hydrating and cold tubbing. I like the system. I love how we're all coming together, practicing hard and really competing.”
Perhaps echoing statements head coach Gary Kubiak made earlier Friday about the offense, Ball talked about the team's emphasis on the running game, while also reminding everyone that they have a potent aerial attack.
“We're going to go with what works,” he said. “If the pass game is working in a game, we're going to put the ball in the air. We have to with the great receivers and the quarterback that we have, but we have some emphasis on the run game zone scheme. It's most definitely working.”
Ball also spoke highly of the cohesion that exists among the Broncos group of tailbacks, especially lionizing running backs coach Eric Studesville.
“It's great,” Ball said. “It's the same plays and same coach [speaking of Studesville], so we have great chemistry cracking jokes at each other. There's healthy competition. We understand that we're fighting for the No. 1. [running back], C.J. [Anderson] has it, but there is definitely competition back there.”
Ball also gave thoughts on what areas of his game he has worked on throughout his offseason training regimen.
“A lot of flexibility stuff like yoga and Pilates to strengthen my core—quick feet,” he said. “I was out in LA training with [Jaguars TE] Julius Thomas and he was showing me a lot of drills to keep my feet fast, breaking tackles in the backfield, breaking a tackle and restarting my feet. That's really what I have been working on.”
Ball is using verbiage John Elway has specifically tried to avoid using this year, after four disappointing postseason exits. However, it's good to see that expectations are still high inside the locker room. "Iron sharpens iron" is the mantra this year. Perhaps it will serve the Broncos better than "Super Bowl or Bust".
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