Ronnie Hillman to get first-team reps to start training camp
It's not much of a surprise since he received first-team reps during OTAs, but Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman will open camp as the first-team running back, per Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post.
The Broncos report to training camp on Wednesday.
Legwold wrote, "Hillman will open camp as the starter and [Montee] Ball, a high-profile rookie, will get a look as a third-down option and a rotation runner on early downs."
Last season, the Broncos ranked ninth in rushing attempts (481) but only five teams averaged fewer than their 3.8 yards-per-carry average.
In 14 regular-season games, Hillman had 85 carries for 330 yards (3.9 YPC) and one touchdown. He ran for 83 yards on 22 carries in the team's playoff loss to the Ravens.
Meanwhile, Knowshon Moreno got a heavy workload from Weeks 12 to 17 after the injury to Willis McGahee, but he averaged less than four yards per carry as well. During that span, he ranked sixth in the NFL in rushing yards (as the table to the right illustrates).
Getting first-team reps to start training camp is much less important than getting first-team reps to start the season.
Considering the Broncos used their second-round pick on Ball and Hillman is more suited to be a change-of-pace back, it's more likely than not that Ball will get the first-team reps to start the regular season and/or get the largest share of the workload among the Broncos' backs.
Although John Fox has historically utilized a committee approach with his backfields, Ball is currently my 24th-ranked fantasy running back.