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Montee Ball (1 Viewer)

Buffaloes

Footballguy
There isn't a thread for this guy yet.

I think he's a great fit for Denver's offense. His vision is fantastic, highly productive, and John Elway recently said he reminds him of Terrell Davis. TD and the Broncos were Ball's favourites growing up. I think he's going fit fit in nicely in Denver. What say ye?

ETA: 2 fumbles in over 900 college carries (one was on a play where he was diving over the pile for a potential TD), record-setting TD scorer, seemingly always falls forward, etc..

the knock on him is the amount of carries he had in college. But he's a proven 'bellcow' RB and could have some good years behind Manning and one of the better OLs in the league.

 
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Steelers4Life

Footballguy
Solid talent, but a few things working against him in my opinion.

He doesn't do anything special, and he's just the latest in a long line of productive backs running behind Wisconsin's offensive line.

John Fox has a history of loving veterans and making rookies earn playing time. Is McGahee going to be back? And even if he isn't, what of Moreno? Anyone who watched him last year saw a very different RB - hit the holes hard, fell forward, great pass protections, good receiver, a nice fit for what Peyton Manning needs back there. Very Addai-like. Given their skillsets, I'm not sure Ball is a legit step up from what Moreno was late last year, and Moreno has the leg up.

Combine that with Hillman's potential presense on 3rd downs, and I don't see a lot of upside in him unless everything falls perfectly into place.

 

Alex P Keaton

Footballguy
Solid talent, but a few things working against him in my opinion.

He doesn't do anything special, and he's just the latest in a long line of productive backs running behind Wisconsin's offensive line.

John Fox has a history of loving veterans and making rookies earn playing time. Is McGahee going to be back? And even if he isn't, what of Moreno? Anyone who watched him last year saw a very different RB - hit the holes hard, fell forward, great pass protections, good receiver, a nice fit for what Peyton Manning needs back there. Very Addai-like. Given their skillsets, I'm not sure Ball is a legit step up from what Moreno was late last year, and Moreno has the leg up.

Combine that with Hillman's potential presense on 3rd downs, and I don't see a lot of upside in him unless everything falls perfectly into place.
Neither did Joseph Addai, and he worked pretty well with Manning.

 

Steelers4Life

Footballguy
Solid talent, but a few things working against him in my opinion.

He doesn't do anything special, and he's just the latest in a long line of productive backs running behind Wisconsin's offensive line.

John Fox has a history of loving veterans and making rookies earn playing time. Is McGahee going to be back? And even if he isn't, what of Moreno? Anyone who watched him last year saw a very different RB - hit the holes hard, fell forward, great pass protections, good receiver, a nice fit for what Peyton Manning needs back there. Very Addai-like. Given their skillsets, I'm not sure Ball is a legit step up from what Moreno was late last year, and Moreno has the leg up.

Combine that with Hillman's potential presense on 3rd downs, and I don't see a lot of upside in him unless everything falls perfectly into place.
Neither did Joseph Addai, and he worked pretty well with Manning.
Agreed.

And neither does Moreno, who did more than pretty well with Manning late last year. If they keep Moreno and he proves what he did late last year wasn't a fluke, it could be a pretty interesting battle. And that doesn't factor in the possibility that they keep McGahee around as a veteran.

I thing Bell and Moreno are very similar talents.

 

Mile High

Footballguy
Buffaloes, on 28 Apr 2013 - 10:45, said:There isn't a thread for this guy yet.I think he's a great fit for Denver's offense. His vision is fantastic, highly productive, and John Elway recently said he reminds him of Terrell Davis. TD and the Broncos were Ball's favourites growing up. I think he's going fit fit in nicely in Denver. What say ye?ETA: 2 fumbles in over 900 college carries (one was on a play where he was diving over the pile for a potential TD), record-setting TD scorer, seemingly always falls forward, etc..the knock on him is the amount of carries he had in college. But he's a proven 'bellcow' RB and could have some good years behind Manning and one of the better OLs in the league.
Fox said yesterday that didn't bother Denver and was a reason they liked him. Showed that he was durable and what they could expect from him.
 

Alex P Keaton

Footballguy
Solid talent, but a few things working against him in my opinion.

He doesn't do anything special, and he's just the latest in a long line of productive backs running behind Wisconsin's offensive line.

John Fox has a history of loving veterans and making rookies earn playing time. Is McGahee going to be back? And even if he isn't, what of Moreno? Anyone who watched him last year saw a very different RB - hit the holes hard, fell forward, great pass protections, good receiver, a nice fit for what Peyton Manning needs back there. Very Addai-like. Given their skillsets, I'm not sure Ball is a legit step up from what Moreno was late last year, and Moreno has the leg up.

Combine that with Hillman's potential presense on 3rd downs, and I don't see a lot of upside in him unless everything falls perfectly into place.
Neither did Joseph Addai, and he worked pretty well with Manning.
Agreed.

And neither does Moreno, who did more than pretty well with Manning late last year. If they keep Moreno and he proves what he did late last year wasn't a fluke, it could be a pretty interesting battle. And that doesn't factor in the possibility that they keep McGahee around as a veteran.

I thing Bell and Moreno are very similar talents.
Yeah, that seems reasonable. I don't expect them to keep both McGahee and Moreno - one should be gone. While Moreno looked good late last year, there was also a LOT of chatter that the team wants him gone. Like you wrote, it could be an interesting battle.

 

Buffaloes

Footballguy
Buffaloes, on 28 Apr 2013 - 10:45, said:There isn't a thread for this guy yet.I think he's a great fit for Denver's offense. His vision is fantastic, highly productive, and John Elway recently said he reminds him of Terrell Davis. TD and the Broncos were Ball's favourites growing up. I think he's going fit fit in nicely in Denver. What say ye?ETA: 2 fumbles in over 900 college carries (one was on a play where he was diving over the pile for a potential TD), record-setting TD scorer, seemingly always falls forward, etc..the knock on him is the amount of carries he had in college. But he's a proven 'bellcow' RB and could have some good years behind Manning and one of the better OLs in the league.
Fox said yesterday that didn't bother Denver and was a reason they liked him. Showed that he was durable and what they could expect from him.
I actually don't see it as much of a detriment, but I posted it to get it out of the way as I've seen that listed as a perceived negative over and over. I know the Bronco brass was not too concerned with it.

Also, I don't think McGahee makes the final roster. Could be wrong, but his play really seemed to dip last year and his inability to hold on to the ball was a huge concern before he was injured. Moreno is coming off another knee injury and was hurt at possibly the most inopportune time of the season last year. He was good down the stretch, but I'm not sure the FO really trusts him. Hillman is a COP RB. The opportunity is definitely there for Ball. Whoever gets carries in that offence will likely put up very respectable numbers. I think the Denver o is a really good fit and the biggest question mark will be Ball's pass blocking ability. As with every player, he's got to stay healthy

 

smackdaddies

Footballguy
Badger fan here, I have seen him a fair bit on tv, once or twice in person.

Ball is a solid runner, who makes good decisions and doesn't fumble. Catches the ball reasonably well (not thrown to often at W), blocking could be improved

Comes from a zone blocking scheme. Seems to make the right cut more often than not. Someone who can make a 3 yard run 6, a 6 yard run 10, a 10 yard run 15 because of his decision making. Not a long run threat in the Pro's unless the dbackfield is completely bamboozled.

 

Just Win Baby

Footballguy
Fox has historically preferred to play veteran RBs over rookie RBs. Deangelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart were both better than Ball entering the league, but Fox put both of them into backup roles. Deangelo didn't have 200+ touches until his third season; Stewart broke 200 touches in his second season, but only because Deangelo got hurt. Both McGahee and Moreno qualify as veterans here.

Also, it seems to me that pass protection and receiving ability is very important in the Denver offense. I am not aware that either of those things are strengths for Ball, but they certainly are strengths for Moreno. And I assume McGahee is probably better at those things also.

Even if McGahee gets cut, I still expect Moreno to have a significant role, possibly the lead role. And Hillman will also be involved. Doesn't seem like a recipe for Ball to be an impact player, at least not this year.

 

Adam Harstad

Moderator
Solid talent, but a few things working against him in my opinion.

He doesn't do anything special, and he's just the latest in a long line of productive backs running behind Wisconsin's offensive line.

John Fox has a history of loving veterans and making rookies earn playing time. Is McGahee going to be back? And even if he isn't, what of Moreno? Anyone who watched him last year saw a very different RB - hit the holes hard, fell forward, great pass protections, good receiver, a nice fit for what Peyton Manning needs back there. Very Addai-like. Given their skillsets, I'm not sure Ball is a legit step up from what Moreno was late last year, and Moreno has the leg up.

Combine that with Hillman's potential presense on 3rd downs, and I don't see a lot of upside in him unless everything falls perfectly into place.
I think McGahee is done. Denver can save $2 million in cap space by cutting McGahee, (also: $2.5 million in cash outlays, an important consideration for a thrifty team like the Broncos). I don't think he offers enough over Ball to justify that expense.

I also think Moreno is still junk. He put up great fantasy numbers last year, but that hid how inefficient he was on a per-play basis. Averaging sub-4 ypc behind a quality offensive line despite facing more nickel defenses than any RB in the league is brutal. Yeah, he's a solid blocker and a quality receiving threat, and he could nibble away at Ball's workload until he gets up to speed in those departments, but he's just not a good running back. Further, I don't think Denver's coaching staff feels like he is- he couldn't even see the active roster until injuries forced the team's hand, and Denver was awfully intent to bring in more RBs over the last two years. I could be wrong, but I don't see Moreno meaningfully eating into Ball's workload provided he can block.

Hillman is obviously the biggest threat to Ball's workload, but it seems like the coaching staff really feels he's best slotted in a CoP role. That'll cap Ball's upside, but I still think there's room for Ball to carve out a 200-250 carry niche, especially if Denver follows through on its threats to push the tempo and adds another 5-10% offensive plays this year. That kind of workload, coming against defenses that are playing nickel 80% of the time, plus the majority of the red zone and goal-line work on one of the top offenses in the league, should be more than enough for Ball to be a top RB2 or even low-end RB1. There's a lot of risk going into camp as we don't yet know for sure exactly how it'll play out, but I think this is a situation with a lot of potential, and I'm cautiously optimistic about his prospects in both redraft and dynasty.

 

Carter_Can_Fly

Footballguy
Adam Harstad said:
Steelers4Life said:
Solid talent, but a few things working against him in my opinion.

He doesn't do anything special, and he's just the latest in a long line of productive backs running behind Wisconsin's offensive line.

John Fox has a history of loving veterans and making rookies earn playing time. Is McGahee going to be back? And even if he isn't, what of Moreno? Anyone who watched him last year saw a very different RB - hit the holes hard, fell forward, great pass protections, good receiver, a nice fit for what Peyton Manning needs back there. Very Addai-like. Given their skillsets, I'm not sure Ball is a legit step up from what Moreno was late last year, and Moreno has the leg up.

Combine that with Hillman's potential presense on 3rd downs, and I don't see a lot of upside in him unless everything falls perfectly into place.
I think McGahee is done. Denver can save $2 million in cap space by cutting McGahee, (also: $2.5 million in cash outlays, an important consideration for a thrifty team like the Broncos). I don't think he offers enough over Ball to justify that expense.

I also think Moreno is still junk. He put up great fantasy numbers last year, but that hid how inefficient he was on a per-play basis. Averaging sub-4 ypc behind a quality offensive line despite facing more nickel defenses than any RB in the league is brutal. Yeah, he's a solid blocker and a quality receiving threat, and he could nibble away at Ball's workload until he gets up to speed in those departments, but he's just not a good running back. Further, I don't think Denver's coaching staff feels like he is- he couldn't even see the active roster until injuries forced the team's hand, and Denver was awfully intent to bring in more RBs over the last two years. I could be wrong, but I don't see Moreno meaningfully eating into Ball's workload provided he can block.

Hillman is obviously the biggest threat to Ball's workload, but it seems like the coaching staff really feels he's best slotted in a CoP role. That'll cap Ball's upside, but I still think there's room for Ball to carve out a 200-250 carry niche, especially if Denver follows through on its threats to push the tempo and adds another 5-10% offensive plays this year. That kind of workload, coming against defenses that are playing nickel 80% of the time, plus the majority of the red zone and goal-line work on one of the top offenses in the league, should be more than enough for Ball to be a top RB2 or even low-end RB1. There's a lot of risk going into camp as we don't yet know for sure exactly how it'll play out, but I think this is a situation with a lot of potential, and I'm cautiously optimistic about his prospects in both redraft and dynasty.
SSOG?

Were you added to staff?

If so congrats and well deserved.

 

Biabreakable

Footballguy
Perhaps Moreno lost some of his overall ability from the ACL injury. They say he is fully recovered now and when he started again late in the season it was somewhere around the 18 month mark since the injury.

I can see Moreno retained and being used in starting role similar to when DeShaun Foster was coming back from his injury. Foster never seemed to have the same speed he had before the injury but he still got the starting action and pass protection assignments over a clearly more talented runner DeAngelo Williams who was still learning how to be a pro and pass block.

Ball seems like a well rounded player who will likely be in the mix at times in 2013 but I think Moreno is retained to protect Manning this season while they let Ball develop that part of his game.

 

ghostguy123

Footballguy
I don't think Ball is going to do a whole lot fantasy-wise, especially in PPR. And I am not sure the Addai and Moreno comparisons are ringing endorsements here. Neither guy had/has had more than some fleeting success. Addai had a good 2nd season, thats about it. Moreno has been as up and down as they come.

I think some people are pretty tempted to use a top 2-3 pick on Ball in PPR, and I can't see him living up to that. I also don't think he is all that special of a runner. Avobe average probably, but not by a lot. Just my 2 cents on him.

 

Mile High

Footballguy
Congrats SSOG.You completely ignored Fox's history with rookies in your post.
Fox is no longer with Carolina. Denver is playing with a 2-3 year window with Manning and didn't spend a second round draft pick on a position of need to then set him for 2-3 years. Denver will start the best players, you can count on that. If Ball isn't the starter it's because he isn't the best RB not because he's a rookie.

 
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Adam Harstad

Moderator
Adam Harstad said:
Steelers4Life said:
Solid talent, but a few things working against him in my opinion.

He doesn't do anything special, and he's just the latest in a long line of productive backs running behind Wisconsin's offensive line.

John Fox has a history of loving veterans and making rookies earn playing time. Is McGahee going to be back? And even if he isn't, what of Moreno? Anyone who watched him last year saw a very different RB - hit the holes hard, fell forward, great pass protections, good receiver, a nice fit for what Peyton Manning needs back there. Very Addai-like. Given their skillsets, I'm not sure Ball is a legit step up from what Moreno was late last year, and Moreno has the leg up.

Combine that with Hillman's potential presense on 3rd downs, and I don't see a lot of upside in him unless everything falls perfectly into place.
I think McGahee is done. Denver can save $2 million in cap space by cutting McGahee, (also: $2.5 million in cash outlays, an important consideration for a thrifty team like the Broncos). I don't think he offers enough over Ball to justify that expense.

I also think Moreno is still junk. He put up great fantasy numbers last year, but that hid how inefficient he was on a per-play basis. Averaging sub-4 ypc behind a quality offensive line despite facing more nickel defenses than any RB in the league is brutal. Yeah, he's a solid blocker and a quality receiving threat, and he could nibble away at Ball's workload until he gets up to speed in those departments, but he's just not a good running back. Further, I don't think Denver's coaching staff feels like he is- he couldn't even see the active roster until injuries forced the team's hand, and Denver was awfully intent to bring in more RBs over the last two years. I could be wrong, but I don't see Moreno meaningfully eating into Ball's workload provided he can block.

Hillman is obviously the biggest threat to Ball's workload, but it seems like the coaching staff really feels he's best slotted in a CoP role. That'll cap Ball's upside, but I still think there's room for Ball to carve out a 200-250 carry niche, especially if Denver follows through on its threats to push the tempo and adds another 5-10% offensive plays this year. That kind of workload, coming against defenses that are playing nickel 80% of the time, plus the majority of the red zone and goal-line work on one of the top offenses in the league, should be more than enough for Ball to be a top RB2 or even low-end RB1. There's a lot of risk going into camp as we don't yet know for sure exactly how it'll play out, but I think this is a situation with a lot of potential, and I'm cautiously optimistic about his prospects in both redraft and dynasty.
SSOG?

Were you added to staff?

If so congrats and well deserved.
Yup, and thanks. :)

Congrats SSOG.You completely ignored Fox's history with rookies in your post.
I'm not ignoring it. I'm aware of it, and it's certainly cause for concern... but history isn't destiny. Mike Shanahan has a tremendous history with late-round RBs (iirc something crazy like 66% of the 6th rounders who have rushed for 1500 yards in the history of the game have played for Shanahan). Obviously you can point to Morris and say "aha, we should have known!". But you could have just as easily pointed to Helu and said the same thing, and you would have been wrong that time. Pittsburgh has a tremendous history developing WRs recently, and yet they still have Limas Sweed. Detroit drafted four receivers in the top 10, and three of them were colossal busts. The fourth was Calvin Johnson. All Florida receivers were terrible, until Percy Harvin came and they weren't anymore. History isn't destiny.

In the past, John Fox has gone with veteran RBs over rookie RBs. In the past, though, the veteran RBs were a lot better than Cap Casualty McGahee and Gameday Inactive Moreno. In the past, the veteran RBs he went with were John Fox guys, guys he had personally hand-selected and invested big resources in. I wouldn't be surprised if Fox's veteran-loving ways reared their head again this year, especially given reports of how Ball struggles in pass protection. But I also wouldn't be surprised if they didn't, too. The thing about tendencies is that they always hold true until they don't anymore. At some point, Fox is going to give a rookie RB a chance. Is Ball that guy? The upside potential makes me think it's worth gambling that he is.

 

smashingsilver

Footballguy
Adam Harstad said:
Steelers4Life said:
Solid talent, but a few things working against him in my opinion.

He doesn't do anything special, and he's just the latest in a long line of productive backs running behind Wisconsin's offensive line.

John Fox has a history of loving veterans and making rookies earn playing time. Is McGahee going to be back? And even if he isn't, what of Moreno? Anyone who watched him last year saw a very different RB - hit the holes hard, fell forward, great pass protections, good receiver, a nice fit for what Peyton Manning needs back there. Very Addai-like. Given their skillsets, I'm not sure Ball is a legit step up from what Moreno was late last year, and Moreno has the leg up.

Combine that with Hillman's potential presense on 3rd downs, and I don't see a lot of upside in him unless everything falls perfectly into place.
I think McGahee is done. Denver can save $2 million in cap space by cutting McGahee, (also: $2.5 million in cash outlays, an important consideration for a thrifty team like the Broncos). I don't think he offers enough over Ball to justify that expense.

I also think Moreno is still junk. He put up great fantasy numbers last year, but that hid how inefficient he was on a per-play basis. Averaging sub-4 ypc behind a quality offensive line despite facing more nickel defenses than any RB in the league is brutal. Yeah, he's a solid blocker and a quality receiving threat, and he could nibble away at Ball's workload until he gets up to speed in those departments, but he's just not a good running back. Further, I don't think Denver's coaching staff feels like he is- he couldn't even see the active roster until injuries forced the team's hand, and Denver was awfully intent to bring in more RBs over the last two years. I could be wrong, but I don't see Moreno meaningfully eating into Ball's workload provided he can block.

Hillman is obviously the biggest threat to Ball's workload, but it seems like the coaching staff really feels he's best slotted in a CoP role. That'll cap Ball's upside, but I still think there's room for Ball to carve out a 200-250 carry niche, especially if Denver follows through on its threats to push the tempo and adds another 5-10% offensive plays this year. That kind of workload, coming against defenses that are playing nickel 80% of the time, plus the majority of the red zone and goal-line work on one of the top offenses in the league, should be more than enough for Ball to be a top RB2 or even low-end RB1. There's a lot of risk going into camp as we don't yet know for sure exactly how it'll play out, but I think this is a situation with a lot of potential, and I'm cautiously optimistic about his prospects in both redraft and dynasty.
SSOG?

Were you added to staff?

If so congrats and well deserved.
Yup, and thanks. :)

>Congrats SSOG.You completely ignored Fox's history with rookies in your post.
I'm not ignoring it. I'm aware of it, and it's certainly cause for concern... but history isn't destiny. Mike Shanahan has a tremendous history with late-round RBs (iirc something crazy like 66% of the 6th rounders who have rushed for 1500 yards in the history of the game have played for Shanahan). Obviously you can point to Morris and say "aha, we should have known!". But you could have just as easily pointed to Helu and said the same thing, and you would have been wrong that time. Pittsburgh has a tremendous history developing WRs recently, and yet they still have Limas Sweed. Detroit drafted four receivers in the top 10, and three of them were colossal busts. The fourth was Calvin Johnson. All Florida receivers were terrible, until Percy Harvin came and they weren't anymore. History isn't destiny.

In the past, John Fox has gone with veteran RBs over rookie RBs. In the past, though, the veteran RBs were a lot better than Cap Casualty McGahee and Gameday Inactive Moreno. In the past, the veteran RBs he went with were John Fox guys, guys he had personally hand-selected and invested big resources in. I wouldn't be surprised if Fox's veteran-loving ways reared their head again this year, especially given reports of how Ball struggles in pass protection. But I also wouldn't be surprised if they didn't, too. The thing about tendencies is that they always hold true until they don't anymore. At some point, Fox is going to give a rookie RB a chance. Is Ball that guy? The upside potential makes me think it's worth gambling that he is.
This is brutal logic. Shanny definitely did give both Helu and Royster a chance, but one couldn't stay healthy and the other wasn't consistent enough. Morris came in and surpassed them. Shanahan gives all his late round RBs a shot, with a "may the best man win" concept in play, so this actually contradicts your point. As for the others, you're not comparing tendencies, rather results. The Steelers being good at drafting WRs, or the Lions being bad at it, are simply results that will never stay true all the time. Tendencies are far more consistent, and more difficult to break, especially when you feel successful following that pattern. Nobody is saying that Ball isn't the best RB on the roster (he may be, he may not be, that's not the point); what they are saying is that Fox will play the veteran until the young guy proves he is better in all facets. This is his tendency through years of coaching, and has nothing to do with how talented each player is. Fox makes the young player work for it.

I think that Ball likely is the best back on the roster, and should eventually get his chance to be the guy. I would be shocked if it was this year, however, and there's no guarantee it will be 2014 either. If you're patient, eventually you may get rewarded; but, if you're drafting Montee to be a difference maker this season, chances are you will be sorely disappointed.

 

smackdaddies

Footballguy
Outside of qb, no one takes a second round player without believing they can start one day one. Not will start, but can start. In particular RB which is a position that many 1st year players not only start but can have top 10 type seasons

I am sure that Denver wants him to be the man. And he will have the opportunity to do so. Now he has to prove it

 

FF Ninja

Footballguy
Adam Harstad said:
I also think Moreno is still junk. He put up great fantasy numbers last year, but that hid how inefficient he was on a per-play basis. Averaging sub-4 ypc behind a quality offensive line despite facing more nickel defenses than any RB in the league is brutal. Yeah, he's a solid blocker and a quality receiving threat, and he could nibble away at Ball's workload until he gets up to speed in those departments, but he's just not a good running back. Further, I don't think Denver's coaching staff feels like he is- he couldn't even see the active roster until injuries forced the team's hand, and Denver was awfully intent to bring in more RBs over the last two years. I could be wrong, but I don't see Moreno meaningfully eating into Ball's workload provided he can block.
Keep sample sizes in mind. I posted this in another thread:

Player car yds ypc TD tgt rec yds ypr TDMoreno 131 513 3.9 3 25 20 155 7.8 0Martin 122 454 3.7 4 29 22 153 7.0 0
That was the same time span, so it's probably not safe to assume that those 4 games were Moreno's upside. The nickel defense thing is legit. The coaching staff did start the season with no faith in Moreno and thus he was a healthy inactive, but that was before he performed when they needed him. To assume they have the same opinion of him after he came through in a pinch is likely an incorrect assumption.

I've never been impressed with Moreno, but I think he's a nice fit here. This could easily be an Addai/Brown situation. Moreno blocks well and catches passes very well. Will Ball be able to beat him out in those respects? Almost certainly not. The question becomes, how much do you give up in receiving and pass protection departments to gain maybe half a yard per carry? (assuming Ball is half a yard per carry better than Moreno - not a given at this point)

 

JamesTheScot

Footballguy
Steelers4Life said:
Solid talent, but a few things working against him in my opinion.

He doesn't do anything special, and he's just the latest in a long line of productive backs running behind Wisconsin's offensive line.

John Fox has a history of loving veterans and making rookies earn playing time. Is McGahee going to be back? And even if he isn't, what of Moreno? Anyone who watched him last year saw a very different RB - hit the holes hard, fell forward, great pass protections, good receiver, a nice fit for what Peyton Manning needs back there. Very Addai-like. Given their skillsets, I'm not sure Ball is a legit step up from what Moreno was late last year, and Moreno has the leg up.

Combine that with Hillman's potential presense on 3rd downs, and I don't see a lot of upside in him unless everything falls perfectly into place.
Neither did Joseph Addai, and he worked pretty well with Manning.
I think the concern is that when you aren't special and you go to a crowded situation, you don't have the talent to make it an uncrowded situation.

If D.Williams and J.Stewart couldn't make their case to Fox for being the primary back, what chance does Ball have of doing so?

But this all hinges on how the staff views him, not how we view him. The Indy staff felt Addai was talented enough to have the lion's share for several years despite people on message boards talking about his lack of talent.

 

5-ish Finkle

Footballguy
Addai's lack of talent as a runner was overlooked Indy because he was really good at one thing: picking up the blitz. We all know that is the most important factor in whatever running back gets the most time in a Manning-led offense.

How's Ball's blitz pickup? If it's poor....then I'm not expecting a lot in year 1. Peyton will not tolerate that and Peyton has the ear of Elway.

 

Adam Harstad

Moderator
This is brutal logic. Shanny definitely did give both Helu and Royster a chance, but one couldn't stay healthy and the other wasn't consistent enough. Morris came in and surpassed them. Shanahan gives all his late round RBs a shot, with a "may the best man win" concept in play, so this actually contradicts your point. As for the others, you're not comparing tendencies, rather results. The Steelers being good at drafting WRs, or the Lions being bad at it, are simply results that will never stay true all the time. Tendencies are far more consistent, and more difficult to break, especially when you feel successful following that pattern. Nobody is saying that Ball isn't the best RB on the roster (he may be, he may not be, that's not the point); what they are saying is that Fox will play the veteran until the young guy proves he is better in all facets. This is his tendency through years of coaching, and has nothing to do with how talented each player is. Fox makes the young player work for it.

I think that Ball likely is the best back on the roster, and should eventually get his chance to be the guy. I would be shocked if it was this year, however, and there's no guarantee it will be 2014 either. If you're patient, eventually you may get rewarded; but, if you're drafting Montee to be a difference maker this season, chances are you will be sorely disappointed.
The point I was making is that a lot of fantasy owners have "rules" based on history. A lot of fantasy owners believe that Detroit is terrible at drafting, and downgrade their draft picks as a result. A lot of fantasy owners believe that Shanahan loves churning late rounders, and grab a new flavor of the week every season (you see that cropping up again from the group discounting Morris and expecting him to be replaced by someone else). A lot of fantasy owners believe all WRs coming out of Florida are terrible. A lot of fantasy owners believe that the spread and the option are gimmicks and discount anyone who isn't a pure pocket passer. A lot of fantasy owners believe that anyone who gets 370 carries is destined to combust in the following season. A lot of fantasy owners believe Fox will never give a rookie carries over a veteran. These rules are always accurate... until they aren't anymore. Hell, most of these rules are probably good, sound positions that will yield a positive EV over a long enough timeline. They won't yield a positive EV in every single instance, though. Football is a complex system with an incalculable number of variables at play, and every situation is unique. History is invaluable for making predictions, but history should always be where we begin our analysis, not where we end it. History is not destiny.

In fact, looking back at Fox's history, we can see differences between this year and previous seasons. DeShaun Foster didn't receive a single carry his rookie season... because he was on injured reserve. His second season, he had to compete against Stephen Davis, newly acquired by the team. He lost that competition. DeShaun Foster's lack of early playing time wasn't because he was a rookie, it was because he was injured and then later because John Fox hand-picked another RB who happened to be better.

DeAngelo sitting behind DeShaun in 2006 is a little bit more damning, but still reasonable. DeShaun was a former 2nd rounder himself, one who the coaching staff had hand-selected and who they seemed to like (based on their willingness to keep giving him work even when Stephen Davis was playing great). DeAngelo did not dramatically outplay DeShaun in his opportunities to demand a bigger role (4.1 ypc vs. 4.0). And DeAngelo still got a third of the RB touches, including a team RB-best 33 receptions (still a career high). So, when Carolina had two hand-selected 2nd round RBs who were performing at equal levels, they preferred the veteran one. Stewart sitting behind DeAngelo is super easy to explain. DeAngelo suddenly became one of the best RBs in the entire league. He averaged 5.5 yards per carry. Despite that, coaches still liked Stewart enough to eat a substantial portion of DeAngelo's workload. Hillman sitting behind McGahee and Moreno is a lot easier to explain now that the coaching staff and front office have made it clear that they view him as a CoP back (both through their words as well as through their actions, most especially by drafting Montee Ball in the 2nd).

Montee Ball is a different situation. He's not really comparable to DeShaun Foster, unless you think he's going to suffer a season-ending injury in preseason, or Denver's going to spend big money to bring in a hand-picked free agent (Ahmad Bradshaw?) to compete. He's not really comparable to Jonathan Stewart, unless you think Knowshon Moreno is going to magically transform into a 5.5 ypc player who is going to top 1500 yards rushing and lead the league in TDs. Yes, there are still some troubling comparisons- DeAngelo's sophomore year, Hillman's rookie year (although, again, Hillman is a very different player). But by and large, Montee Ball is a different guy than the guys Fox has ignored in the past. He's not competing against hand-picked veterans that the coaching staff loves, he's competing against an inherited and underperforming Knowshon Moreno who the coaching staff has repeatedly and consistently given a vote of no confidence. He's not a 3rd down CoP back, he's a 2-down goal line back. He's the NCAA's career rushing TD leader, playing in an offense that scored the 3rd most fantasy points from inside the 10 yard line last year.

Knowing John Fox's history is useful, but John Fox's history is not Montee Ball's destiny. It's possible to acknowledge the risks, and still say "this situation is so different, and the upside is so valuable, that I'm going to take a chance on Ball, anyway".

Ball has not been the same ever since he got his ### kicked after the bar closed.
Ball getting beat up at a bar just happened to coincide with Wisconsin losing Russell Wilson and Nick Toon. I would venture that the latter had a lot more to do with Ball's drop in production than the former.

 

Pipes

Footballguy
>Ball has not been the same ever since he got his ### kicked after the bar closed.
Ball getting beat up at a bar just happened to coincide with Wisconsin losing Russell Wilson and Nick Toon. I would venture that the latter had a lot more to do with Ball's drop in production than the former.
And Kevin Zeitler and Peter Konz (2012 1st and 2nd round draft choices) and Paul Chryst, (2011 Badger offensive coordinator) and Bob Bostad (2011 offensive line coach) his replacement was fired after 2 games due to being a poor hire by Bielema. Despite all of this Ball put up respectible numbers in 2012.

 
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TheFanatic

Footballguy
Outside of qb, no one takes a second round player without believing they can start one day one. Not will start, but can start. In particular RB which is a position that many 1st year players not only start but can have top 10 type seasons
This is patently false. It was false before the new CBA and even more so now. Where is Gian and the post where it showed 2nd round RB's have about the same chance at starting as 6th rounders?

 

Acme CEO

Footballguy
Adam Harstad said:
Steelers4Life said:
Solid talent, but a few things working against him in my opinion.

He doesn't do anything special, and he's just the latest in a long line of productive backs running behind Wisconsin's offensive line.

John Fox has a history of loving veterans and making rookies earn playing time. Is McGahee going to be back? And even if he isn't, what of Moreno? Anyone who watched him last year saw a very different RB - hit the holes hard, fell forward, great pass protections, good receiver, a nice fit for what Peyton Manning needs back there. Very Addai-like. Given their skillsets, I'm not sure Ball is a legit step up from what Moreno was late last year, and Moreno has the leg up.

Combine that with Hillman's potential presense on 3rd downs, and I don't see a lot of upside in him unless everything falls perfectly into place.
I think McGahee is done. Denver can save $2 million in cap space by cutting McGahee, (also: $2.5 million in cash outlays, an important consideration for a thrifty team like the Broncos). I don't think he offers enough over Ball to justify that expense.

I also think Moreno is still junk. He put up great fantasy numbers last year, but that hid how inefficient he was on a per-play basis. Averaging sub-4 ypc behind a quality offensive line despite facing more nickel defenses than any RB in the league is brutal. Yeah, he's a solid blocker and a quality receiving threat, and he could nibble away at Ball's workload until he gets up to speed in those departments, but he's just not a good running back. Further, I don't think Denver's coaching staff feels like he is- he couldn't even see the active roster until injuries forced the team's hand, and Denver was awfully intent to bring in more RBs over the last two years. I could be wrong, but I don't see Moreno meaningfully eating into Ball's workload provided he can block.

Hillman is obviously the biggest threat to Ball's workload, but it seems like the coaching staff really feels he's best slotted in a CoP role. That'll cap Ball's upside, but I still think there's room for Ball to carve out a 200-250 carry niche, especially if Denver follows through on its threats to push the tempo and adds another 5-10% offensive plays this year. That kind of workload, coming against defenses that are playing nickel 80% of the time, plus the majority of the red zone and goal-line work on one of the top offenses in the league, should be more than enough for Ball to be a top RB2 or even low-end RB1. There's a lot of risk going into camp as we don't yet know for sure exactly how it'll play out, but I think this is a situation with a lot of potential, and I'm cautiously optimistic about his prospects in both redraft and dynasty.
SSOG?

Were you added to staff?

If so congrats and well deserved.
SSOG > Can you offer MOP an internship?

Or at least let him be a personal assistant or something. Give the poor guy a chance. He tries so hard.

 

Mark Wimer

Moderator
Badger fan here, I have seen him a fair bit on tv, once or twice in person.

Ball is a solid runner, who makes good decisions and doesn't fumble. Catches the ball reasonably well (not thrown to often at W), blocking could be improved

Comes from a zone blocking scheme. Seems to make the right cut more often than not. Someone who can make a 3 yard run 6, a 6 yard run 10, a 10 yard run 15 because of his decision making. Not a long run threat in the Pro's unless the dbackfield is completely bamboozled.
The Broncos need someone like Ball. I've never been sold on Moreno, and McGahee just got old - I like Ball to be the Bronco's two-down back with someone else handling obvious passing situations/third downs (Hillman, maybe?)

 
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Sigmund Bloom

Footballguy
Staff member
Other than seeing Ball as a mediocre talent pre-draft, the other trouble Im having warming up to him is that Fox has done this to us with rookie backs over and over again. We get excited when they are drafted high and then he never trusts them over veteran backs.

 

Cookiemonster

Footballguy
Moreno wasn't as much a healthy scratch as he just wasn't fully recovered. I think he showed very well in the passing game, and was adequate running the ball as well later in the year. If he is near 100% I think he's the favorite. In a Peyton Manning offense, his skills are very important. McGahee is still a decent pounder, and has learned all the nuances of pass pro and is a decent receiver as well. I like Ball to take McGahee's spot in 2014, but think the Broncos keep him around for one more year while Ball is brushed up on his passing game skills before letting him protect Manning. I expect the Fox rookie hate to be bantered for most of the year, when Ball gets his occasional short-yardage plunge, but is in line for a much bigger role in 2014 and maybe the lead job by 2015.

 

Just Win Baby

Footballguy
Addai's lack of talent as a runner was overlooked Indy because he was really good at one thing: picking up the blitz. We all know that is the most important factor in whatever running back gets the most time in a Manning-led offense.

How's Ball's blitz pickup? If it's poor....then I'm not expecting a lot in year 1. Peyton will not tolerate that and Peyton has the ear of Elway.
:goodposting:

Bingo

 

SWC

Bromigo
guys he has a lot of miles on his legs because he ran a lot at wisco but he is a good player he has good patience and he can catch the ball no matter what the pundits say he just did not get a chance to catch it a lot because they used james white for that type of play but ball still can catch it and hey you know what i bet he has a pretty good year i am going to go on a total limb here at and say that he gets six hondo yards and three tds this year and then grows in the years after that when mcgahee is gone and he gets to steal the whole show for real so bam take that right to the bank brohans

 

Buffaloes

Footballguy
Adam Harstad said:
I also think Moreno is still junk. He put up great fantasy numbers last year, but that hid how inefficient he was on a per-play basis. Averaging sub-4 ypc behind a quality offensive line despite facing more nickel defenses than any RB in the league is brutal. Yeah, he's a solid blocker and a quality receiving threat, and he could nibble away at Ball's workload until he gets up to speed in those departments, but he's just not a good running back. Further, I don't think Denver's coaching staff feels like he is- he couldn't even see the active roster until injuries forced the team's hand, and Denver was awfully intent to bring in more RBs over the last two years. I could be wrong, but I don't see Moreno meaningfully eating into Ball's workload provided he can block.
Keep sample sizes in mind. I posted this in another thread:
>>

Player car yds ypc TD tgt rec yds ypr TDMoreno 131 513 3.9 3 25 20 155 7.8 0Martin 122 454 3.7 4 29 22 153 7.0 0
That was the same time span, so it's probably not safe to assume that those 4 games were Moreno's upside. The nickel defense thing is legit. The coaching staff did start the season with no faith in Moreno and thus he was a healthy inactive, but that was before he performed when they needed him. To assume they have the same opinion of him after he came through in a pinch is likely an incorrect assumption. I've never been impressed with Moreno, but I think he's a nice fit here. This could easily be an Addai/Brown situation. Moreno blocks well and catches passes very well. Will Ball be able to beat him out in those respects? Almost certainly not. The question becomes, how much do you give up in receiving and pass protection departments to gain maybe half a yard per carry? (assuming Ball is half a yard per carry better than Moreno - not a given at this point)
Moreno got carries to begin the year and looked so bad he was deactivated for the next ~2 months. He looked like a completely different player after he was activated, but was hurt (again) when Denver couldn't afford to lose him.
Ball has not been the same ever since he got his ### kicked after the bar closed.
he also lost QB Russell Wilson, WR Nick Toon, OG Zeitler, and OL Konz to the NFL draft prior to the 2012 season start
 
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meyerj31

Footballguy
Other than seeing Ball as a mediocre talent pre-draft, the other trouble Im having warming up to him is that Fox has done this to us with rookie backs over and over again. We get excited when they are drafted high and then he never trusts them over veteran backs.
I'm less worried about Fox than Manning. If Ball doesn't pick up the offense quickly and/or misses a key block in the pre-season then he's going to be sitting on the bench his rookie year. How much Ball plays in the next year or two will likely be be determined by how fast he learns and not how well he runs.

 

Kleck

Footballguy
I'm a fan of Ball because the guy is a football player. Not a superstar track athlete or underwear olympian. A football player who does his work on the field in full pads. Maybe not the most prolific, but he gets the job done. I honestly never thought he would become the player he did while at UW. Early on I thought White would take over as the lead back when Clay left, but Ball really stepped up his game and proved me wrong. He's a gamer.

 

eNdblu

Footballguy
Posted this in the Lacy thread as well

Interesting quote from @JohnElway on why the Broncos took Montee Ball instead of Eddie Lacy, who went to #Packers:

“I think it was a close call. You’re talking about two great backs. The bottom line was that we looked at the medical. It really came down to the medical side and that’s what tilted the scales to Montee. They are both great backs, both very productive backs. When we looked at the medical and going through our medical staff, we just felt that Montee was a better choice for us at that spot.

http://sulia.com/cha...?source=twitter
 

Bob Magaw

Footballguy
just some cursory research suggest broncos view him as a three down back (in one article, might have even been on a team site, pointed out mcgahee has been previously characterized as a "big" back, and hillman as a CoP-type)...

i agree a few key questions are pass pro/blitz pickup (heard conflicting reports here), and fox's disturbing history regarding rookie playing time... imo, as 2nd rounder not an insignificant pick for a team that also had other needs, the front office, coaching staff and scouting department weren't overly concerned... but point taken, if he doesn't get up to speed as a rookie, it will impact his opportunity...

not saying he is as good, obviously, but i was prepared for the worst, as some scouts seem down on him... his running form and cutting ability are somewhat reminiscent of arian foster...

his hands looked find the few times i saw him catch the ball... IF he emerges as the primary ball carrier, he is in a really good spot for the next few years...

 

Bob Magaw

Footballguy
ball's segment on sports science "combine"... not sure how (if at all) this is relevant to being an NFL RB, but interesting take on some of the constellation of physical and athletic traits he brings to the next level... perhaps more power than explosiveness in the equation...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bjvEf9OrZA

a few other points were raised prominently in media... he did get a lot of work... not sure if it is possible to spin that into a positive, but lacy dropped due to missing time, so at least we can say about ball he has been durable at every level so far...

he did run a seemingly pedestrain 4.6... but so did alfred morris... being a decisive cutter and having quick feet and short area burst and quickness in close quarters can overcome blistering long speed...

as you might expect for a player that tied barry sanders season rushing TD record and broke NCAA career rushing TD record, he looks like a natural and seems to have a real feel and instinct for finding lanes around the goal line...

 

Adam Harstad

Moderator
ball's segment on sports science "combine"... not sure how (if at all) this is relevant to being an NFL RB, but interesting take on some of the constellation of physical and athletic traits he brings to the next level... perhaps more power than explosiveness in the equation...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bjvEf9OrZA

a few other points were raised prominently in media... he did get a lot of work... not sure if it is possible to spin that into a positive, but lacy dropped due to missing time, so at least we can say about ball he has been durable at every level so far...

he did run a seemingly pedestrain 4.6... but so did alfred morris... being a decisive cutter and having quick feet and short area burst and quickness in close quarters can overcome blistering long speed...

as you might expect for a player that tied barry sanders season rushing TD record and broke NCAA career rushing TD record, he looks like a natural and seems to have a real feel and instinct for finding lanes around the goal line...
I don't think the workload is a negative at all. Studies find statistically insignificant correlations between past workload and breaking down, and in fact the RBs with the highest workload after any given age also happen to be the RBs with the highest workload before that age (obviously there are a lot of lurking variables at play, there, but it speaks to the power of workload as positive indicator). To name another guy with an insane college workload, you could point out that Ray Rice seems to be doing just fine as a workload in the NFL. Besides, in the early 20s, the body is at its physical peak and can recover better than any other time.

I agree that having goal line skills like those will be huge in an explosive offense like Denver's.

 

Dinsy Ejotuz

Footballguy
Just hit me looking at Ball again who he reminded me of... think Chester Taylor is a pretty good fit. He'll produce decent numbers on volume, but won't ever wow you and will always be at risk of being replaced.

His more immediate problem may be that might not be as good as McGahee at being a big back or as good as Moreno and Hillman at being a small back. Could see him mostly sitting for a year if everyone else is healthy.

 

TheFanatic

Footballguy
Adam Harstad said:
Bob Magaw said:
ball's segment on sports science "combine"... not sure how (if at all) this is relevant to being an NFL RB, but interesting take on some of the constellation of physical and athletic traits he brings to the next level... perhaps more power than explosiveness in the equation...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bjvEf9OrZA

a few other points were raised prominently in media... he did get a lot of work... not sure if it is possible to spin that into a positive, but lacy dropped due to missing time, so at least we can say about ball he has been durable at every level so far...

he did run a seemingly pedestrain 4.6... but so did alfred morris... being a decisive cutter and having quick feet and short area burst and quickness in close quarters can overcome blistering long speed...

as you might expect for a player that tied barry sanders season rushing TD record and broke NCAA career rushing TD record, he looks like a natural and seems to have a real feel and instinct for finding lanes around the goal line...
I don't think the workload is a negative at all. Studies find statistically insignificant correlations between past workload and breaking down, and in fact the RBs with the highest workload after any given age also happen to be the RBs with the highest workload before that age (obviously there are a lot of lurking variables at play, there, but it speaks to the power of workload as positive indicator). To name another guy with an insane college workload, you could point out that Ray Rice seems to be doing just fine as a workload in the NFL. Besides, in the early 20s, the body is at its physical peak and can recover better than any other time.

I agree that having goal line skills like those will be huge in an explosive offense like Denver's.
But, but, mileage. Tread on the tires. Mileage!

Oh, wait, you're one of the people that doesn't ascribe to that urban legend... Glad to see there are still a few lingering on these boards...

 

BassNBrew

IBL Representative
Adam Harstad said:
Bob Magaw said:
ball's segment on sports science "combine"... not sure how (if at all) this is relevant to being an NFL RB, but interesting take on some of the constellation of physical and athletic traits he brings to the next level... perhaps more power than explosiveness in the equation...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bjvEf9OrZA

a few other points were raised prominently in media... he did get a lot of work... not sure if it is possible to spin that into a positive, but lacy dropped due to missing time, so at least we can say about ball he has been durable at every level so far...

he did run a seemingly pedestrain 4.6... but so did alfred morris... being a decisive cutter and having quick feet and short area burst and quickness in close quarters can overcome blistering long speed...

as you might expect for a player that tied barry sanders season rushing TD record and broke NCAA career rushing TD record, he looks like a natural and seems to have a real feel and instinct for finding lanes around the goal line...
I don't think the workload is a negative at all. Studies find statistically insignificant correlations between past workload and breaking down, and in fact the RBs with the highest workload after any given age also happen to be the RBs with the highest workload before that age (obviously there are a lot of lurking variables at play, there, but it speaks to the power of workload as positive indicator). To name another guy with an insane college workload, you could point out that Ray Rice seems to be doing just fine as a workload in the NFL. Besides, in the early 20s, the body is at its physical peak and can recover better than any other time.

I agree that having goal line skills like those will be huge in an explosive offense like Denver's.
Or you could point to DeAngelo Williams.

 

Shutout

Footballguy
Solid talent, but a few things working against him in my opinion. He doesn't do anything special, and he's just the latest in a long line of productive backs running behind Wisconsin's offensive line. John Fox has a history of loving veterans and making rookies earn playing time. Is McGahee going to be back? And even if he isn't, what of Moreno? Anyone who watched him last year saw a very different RB - hit the holes hard, fell forward, great pass protections, good receiver, a nice fit for what Peyton Manning needs back there. Very Addai-like. Given their skillsets, I'm not sure Ball is a legit step up from what Moreno was late last year, and Moreno has the leg up. Combine that with Hillman's potential presense on 3rd downs, and I don't see a lot of upside in him unless everything falls perfectly into place.
I think McGahee is done. Denver can save $2 million in cap space by cutting McGahee, (also: $2.5 million in cash outlays, an important consideration for a thrifty team like the Broncos). I don't think he offers enough over Ball to justify that expense. I also think Moreno is still junk. He put up great fantasy numbers last year, but that hid how inefficient he was on a per-play basis. Averaging sub-4 ypc behind a quality offensive line despite facing more nickel defenses than any RB in the league is brutal. Yeah, he's a solid blocker and a quality receiving threat, and he could nibble away at Ball's workload until he gets up to speed in those departments, but he's just not a good running back. Further, I don't think Denver's coaching staff feels like he is- he couldn't even see the active roster until injuries forced the team's hand, and Denver was awfully intent to bring in more RBs over the last two years. I could be wrong, but I don't see Moreno meaningfully eating into Ball's workload provided he can block. Hillman is obviously the biggest threat to Ball's workload, but it seems like the coaching staff really feels he's best slotted in a CoP role. That'll cap Ball's upside, but I still think there's room for Ball to carve out a 200-250 carry niche, especially if Denver follows through on its threats to push the tempo and adds another 5-10% offensive plays this year. That kind of workload, coming against defenses that are playing nickel 80% of the time, plus the majority of the red zone and goal-line work on one of the top offenses in the league, should be more than enough for Ball to be a top RB2 or even low-end RB1. There's a lot of risk going into camp as we don't yet know for sure exactly how it'll play out, but I think this is a situation with a lot of potential, and I'm cautiously optimistic about his prospects in both redraft and dynasty.
You can stop at the part that says Moreno is a good blocker and quality receiver because that is all that's important. This is Peyton manning. That means this is a throwing team, first, foremost, and all rest stops in between. The broncos aren't looking for a pile mover because they don't move piles. They are looking for a security guard with good hands because they pass the ball.

Think of it this way: Do you think it's more likely John Elway sits in a room thinking somewhere and says "Le'ts make danged sure we get a guy that runs 4.6 ypc so that we have a good ypc on that 29% of the time we actually run those plays" or "Let's trade .8 YPC so that our $20 M QB, whom runs the show and is the alpha and omega of all our chances to win a Super Bowl has a protector and another weapon"?

 
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Adam Harstad

Moderator
You can stop at the part that says Moreno is a good blocker and quality receiver because that is all that's important. This is Peyton manning. That means this is a throwing team, first, foremost, and all rest stops in between. The broncos aren't looking for a pile mover because they don't move piles. They are looking for a security guard with good hands because they pass the ball.

Think of it this way: Do you think it's more likely John Elway sits in a room thinking somewhere and says "Le'ts make danged sure we get a guy that runs 4.6 ypc so that we have a good ypc on that 29% of the time we actually run those plays" or "Let's trade .8 YPC so that our $20 M QB, whom runs the show and is the alpha and omega of all our chances to win a Super Bowl has a protector and another weapon"?
If John Elway thought that was all that matters, I doubt he would have been drafting an RB in the 2nd round. If anyone thought that Moreno was the answer, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have deactivated him for half of last season, they would not have been kicking the tires on every free agent RB in the league, and they definitely would not have expended so much draft capital trying to replace him. I don't need to speculate what John Elway is thinking when his actions are telling me all I need to know.

 

FreeBaGeL

Footballguy
The point I was making is that a lot of fantasy owners have "rules" based on history. A lot of fantasy owners believe that Detroit is terrible at drafting, and downgrade their draft picks as a result. A lot of fantasy owners believe that Shanahan loves churning late rounders, and grab a new flavor of the week every season (you see that cropping up again from the group discounting Morris and expecting him to be replaced by someone else). A lot of fantasy owners believe all WRs coming out of Florida are terrible. A lot of fantasy owners believe that the spread and the option are gimmicks and discount anyone who isn't a pure pocket passer. A lot of fantasy owners believe that anyone who gets 370 carries is destined to combust in the following season. A lot of fantasy owners believe Fox will never give a rookie carries over a veteran. These rules are always accurate... until they aren't anymore. Hell, most of these rules are probably good, sound positions that will yield a positive EV over a long enough timeline. They won't yield a positive EV in every single instance, though. Football is a complex system with an incalculable number of variables at play, and every situation is unique. History is invaluable for making predictions, but history should always be where we begin our analysis, not where we end it. History is not destiny.

In fact, looking back at Fox's history, we can see differences between this year and previous seasons. DeShaun Foster didn't receive a single carry his rookie season... because he was on injured reserve. His second season, he had to compete against Stephen Davis, newly acquired by the team. He lost that competition. DeShaun Foster's lack of early playing time wasn't because he was a rookie, it was because he was injured and then later because John Fox hand-picked another RB who happened to be better.

DeAngelo sitting behind DeShaun in 2006 is a little bit more damning, but still reasonable. DeShaun was a former 2nd rounder himself, one who the coaching staff had hand-selected and who they seemed to like (based on their willingness to keep giving him work even when Stephen Davis was playing great). DeAngelo did not dramatically outplay DeShaun in his opportunities to demand a bigger role (4.1 ypc vs. 4.0). And DeAngelo still got a third of the RB touches, including a team RB-best 33 receptions (still a career high). So, when Carolina had two hand-selected 2nd round RBs who were performing at equal levels, they preferred the veteran one. Stewart sitting behind DeAngelo is super easy to explain. DeAngelo suddenly became one of the best RBs in the entire league. He averaged 5.5 yards per carry. Despite that, coaches still liked Stewart enough to eat a substantial portion of DeAngelo's workload. Hillman sitting behind McGahee and Moreno is a lot easier to explain now that the coaching staff and front office have made it clear that they view him as a CoP back (both through their words as well as through their actions, most especially by drafting Montee Ball in the 2nd).

Montee Ball is a different situation. He's not really comparable to DeShaun Foster, unless you think he's going to suffer a season-ending injury in preseason, or Denver's going to spend big money to bring in a hand-picked free agent (Ahmad Bradshaw?) to compete. He's not really comparable to Jonathan Stewart, unless you think Knowshon Moreno is going to magically transform into a 5.5 ypc player who is going to top 1500 yards rushing and lead the league in TDs. Yes, there are still some troubling comparisons- DeAngelo's sophomore year, Hillman's rookie year (although, again, Hillman is a very different player). But by and large, Montee Ball is a different guy than the guys Fox has ignored in the past. He's not competing against hand-picked veterans that the coaching staff loves, he's competing against an inherited and underperforming Knowshon Moreno who the coaching staff has repeatedly and consistently given a vote of no confidence. He's not a 3rd down CoP back, he's a 2-down goal line back. He's the NCAA's career rushing TD leader, playing in an offense that scored the 3rd most fantasy points from inside the 10 yard line last year.

Knowing John Fox's history is useful, but John Fox's history is not Montee Ball's destiny. It's possible to acknowledge the risks, and still say "this situation is so different, and the upside is so valuable, that I'm going to take a chance on Ball, anyway".
A couple points here..

Firstly, I'm not sure why you bring up rookie injured Foster vs. freshly signed Stephen Davis in his prime. That's not what people are talking about when they bring up Foster. They're talking about Foster 2 years removed from his injury sitting behind a completely ineffective over-the-hill 32 year old Stephen Davis who was coming off his own major injury and averaging 3.1ypc. Fox's reliance on veteran running backs is not relegated to just keeping rookies on the bench, and that's kind of the point. Even several years into his career Foster was still held back in favor of a clearly ineffective Davis. At that point, I think even Stephen Davis' mother had to be wondering why he was getting the starts. This is just memory bias here. As frustrated as you've been watching Stewart get a small piece of the pie the last few years, it was even more frustrating watching Foster do the same because unlike the current situation, he was clearly the better option that year.

Secondly, here you explicitly reference several times that these vets got/held onto the job because they were "hand picked" by Fox and the coaching staff. In another thread, you explicitly state that the personnel was not necessarily hand picked by Fox so much as the GM. It just seems like you're pretty heavily bending your point to suit your argument here. When it favors the argument you're making, it's clear-cut that Fox is the guy bringing these players in and has huge weight in the personnel decisions. Meanwhile when it doesn't favor the argument you're making, Fox likely has little input on personnel decisions and the GM is the one making all the moves while Fox just rolls with the cards he's dealt.

 

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