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RB Ronnie Hillman - Denver Broncos

5-9, 200Born: 9-14-1991College: San Diego StateDrafted: Round 3

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Photo: Kelley L Cox, US Presswire

Preseason player page

News you need to know

From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Oct 27): Hillman would have had a bigger day if it wasn't for touchdowns being called back, but he still impresses weekly with his speed and quickness in the prolific Denver offense. Montee Ball might not be getting his job back when he's ready to play - whenever that is.

General News (Wed Oct 29): partially participated in Wednesday's practice. Hillman said his shoulder feels fine and he doesn't think it will limit him.

Week 9: at New England Patriots

Mark and Joe say: Great matchup. Montee Ball continues to miss games and practice sessions due to his groin/sports hernia injury, and meanwhile Ronnie Hillman has posted an impressive 58/283/2 rushing and 10/74/0 receiving over the past three games played. He's gone over 100 yards rushing in two of those three games, including last week's 20/109/0 rushing with 3/29/0 receiving. The only fly in the ointment for Hillman owners is that Juwan Thompson has handled short-yardage situations, including two rushing scores vs. the Chargers last week (7/24/2 rushing, with TD runs of two and one yards). Hillman looks like the lead back for Denver entering the second half of regular season. The Patriots' rush D ranks 25th in the NFL in terms of average yards allowed (129.6), and they have given up four rushing scores this season. Last week Chicago posted 26/153/0 rushing at New England, while the Jets had 43/218/1 rushing at New England two weeks ago. The Patriots' rush D has caved in since MLB Jerod Mayo was sent to IR October 16. They are playing much worse rush D than their season average indicates entering the second half of the season. Advantage, Denver.

Recent Stats and Projections

5 vs ARI 15 64 0 1 0 0 0 0
6 at NYJ 24 100 0 5 3 16 0 0
7 vs SF 14 74 2 4 4 29 0 0
8 vs SD 20 109 0 4 3 29 0 0
9 at NE PROJ-Dodds 17 * * 3 * * *
9 at NE PROJ-Tremblay 16 * * 3 * * *
9 at NE PROJ-Bloom 16 * * 3 * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2014 Week 6 vs NYJ (24 / 100 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 16 / 0 rec)

With Montee Ball out, Ronnie Hillman received his first career start and responded with his first career 100-yard game. Hillman showed flashes of his strong play from a week ago, but all was not as well. Hillman gained much of his yardage in big chunks, leaving long stretches of ineffective running. Hillman received a lot of work from behind the chains, such as a 10-yard run on 3rd-and-24 or an incomplete target on 3rd-and-15. Most troublingly, Hillman's fumble problems popped up again as he lost the football on a 26-yard gain. The ball was recovered by receiver Andre Caldwell and Hillman sat for the remainder of the series, but he returned to begin Denver's next drive.

2014 Week 7 vs SF (14 / 74 / 2 rush, 4 / 4 / 29 / 0 rec)

Last week against the Cardinals, Ronnie Hillman had a performance that wasn't quite as good as the numbers suggested. This week, Hillman had a game that was even better than the numbers said. While he's not a power back and he didn't run through many tackle attempts, Hillman repeatedly used his agility to get defenders off balance, drawing glancing contact and continuing for extra yardage. He repeatedly diagnosed the proper opening at the line of scrimmage and did a good job of setting up defenders at the second level, allowing him to rip off big gains even on carries between the tackles. Hillman has looked like by far the best back on Denver's roster, and is making a strong case to retain the starting job once Montee Ball returns from injury.

2014 Week 8 vs SD (20 / 109 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 29 / 0 rec)

Against the Chargers, Ronnie Hillman little resembled the timid, tentative running back from years past. He topped 100 yards from scrimmage for the third straight game-- the only three such games by a Denver running back so far this season. Hillman had tremendous success running "inside-out" against the Chargers, breaking through the line between the tackles to reach the second level before bouncing the run to the outside. He showed his usual speed, but also a new-found explosiveness, allowing him to run right through tackle attempts. He also showed good vision, cutting creatively and decisively to take advantage of holes and opportunities most backs might have missed.


Latest News

Broncos | Ronnie Hillman limited Wednesday (Wed Oct 29, 07:50 PM) - Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) was limited in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Our View: Hillman says the shoulder problem is no big deal. We'll trust his assessment at this time, and we'll monitor his progress as the week of practice goes on.
link to story   

Broncos | Ronnie Hillman's shoulder is fine (Wed Oct 29, 05:02 PM) - Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) said his shoulder feels fine and he doesn't think it will limit him.

Our View: Hillman is a smaller back, and there is concern about how durable he can stay with a 20 (plus) touch workload each week. We'll see if the Broncos continue to mix in rookie Juwan Thompson in goal line and short-yardage situations.
link to story   

Broncos | Ronnie Hillman continues to impress (Fri Oct 24, 01:25 PM) - Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman continues to run with confidence in the absence of RB Montee Ball (groin), and Ball will likely find it hard to win his starting job back when he's healthy. He showed impressive footwork and showed breakaway speed in the team's Week 8 win over the San Diego Chargers Thursday, Oct. 23, and he could have easily finished with two touchdowns.

Our View: Hillman is established as a strong RB2 going forward. Montee Ball is not going to get a full feature back job when he returns, if he is even the starter.
link to story   

Broncos | Week 11 Return for Montee Ball? (Tue Oct 21, 08:45 PM) - In a recent interview on ESPN Denver radio, Mike Klis of the Denver Post speculated that Montee Ball might be able to return by the Week 11 game against the St. Louis Rams. At this time, it seems like Ball is still a couple of weeks away from returning from the groin injury he suffered in the Week 5 game against the Cardinals.

Our View: Ball might return to a much different role. Ronnie Hillman has been productive as the team's starter over the last two weeks. If Hillman continues to produce (and hang onto the rock), we could see Ball as a backup. Right now, Juwan Thompson serves as the primary backup behind Hillman.
link to story   

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9@ New England Patriots
10@ Oakland Raiders
11@ St. Louis Rams
12vs Miami Dolphins
13@ Kansas City Chiefs
14vs Buffalo Bills
15@ San Diego Chargers
16@ Cincinnati Bengals
17vs Oakland Raiders