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C.J. Anderson is just getting warmed up for the Broncos

Ian St. Clair Avatar
March 20, 2015

The debate is over.

C.J. Anderson is the Denver Broncos running back.

No more talk of Montee Ball. No more talk of Ronnie Hillman.

Anderson is the man.

He may get spelled this next season by Juwan Thompson, and the Broncos may use Hillman as a change of pace back, but that’s it.

Anderson developed a chemistry with Peyton Manning, and you do not mess with that.

Even putting Hillman on the field to change things up doesn’t make much sense when you consider it takes carries away from Anderson.

When he touches the ball, great things happen. He’s the prototypical running back the for zone-blocking scheme new Denver coach Gary Kubiak and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison are known for and have had tremendous success with. They want a back like Anderson who cuts once and gets up field with a quick burst. They want that back who is capable of a big play whenever he touches the ball.

Anderson has shown he’s that type of back. It started on that play right before halftime against the Oakland Raiders when he should have been tackled for a loss but somehow scored a touchdown. You remember the play. It was the first of many highlights for the Broncos running back.

Since then, he was the best player on the Denver offense.

Regardless of how people view Ball or any of the other backs, Anderson is the man.

He’s proven it.

He’s earned it.

The second-year back from the University of California had his breakout season for Denver. He finished with 849 yards on 179 carries but he only played half of the season as the starter. And it’s not as if Anderson got much help from the porous offensive line. Yet he still left an impact. Even though he was the starter for eight games and the playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts, Anderson was a Pro Bowler (if that means anything anymore).

But what showed the organization and Broncos Country what he’s really made of came in that playoff embarrassment. Anderson was one of two players who played with heart in that game. He was one of a few who put it, pardon the cliche, all on the line. He did his part to will Denver to a win.

His run on fourth-down late in the game speaks volumes. Demaryius Thomas threw his teammates under the bus earlier this offseason and said they may have looked past the Colts. He needs to look in the mirror because it looks as if he did the same with his lack of effort blocking for his teammate. Had Thomas done his job on that play, Anderson would have scored a touchdown.

Broncos Country is quick to make comparisons – as are most sports fans. That is especially true now with the coaches in place for the Broncos and the offense it will use. Some say Anderson runs and plays like Terrell Davis. That’s fair.

The best comparison is Mike Anderson, and not just because they both have the same last name. They have a similar build, running style and demeanor. But that’s unfair to C.J. He’s his own back with his own style.

Let’s not forget he’s an undrafted college free agent who took advantage of his chance and didn’t look back. As Kubiak said, he wants Anderson to act, play and think as though he’s Denver’s No. 1 running back. If you think like a champion, you play like a champion.

As is the case with Chris Harris Jr. and Von Miller, Anderson heads into the offseason with plenty of motivation. Now the goal is to get even better. Given all the factors, it will be fun to see how Anderson develops and the next steps he takes in this system with these coaches.

As of now, the debate is over. Anderson is the Broncos running back.

And he’s just getting warmed up.

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