Jan 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running back Montee Ball (28) against the New England Patriots during the 2013 AFC Championship football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Montee Ball improving as a pass-catcher

With Knowshon Moreno now a member of the Miami Dolphins, the keys to the Denver Broncos running game have been handed to second-year pro Montee Ball, who looked very good last season as the season progressed. Ball finished with 119 carries for 558 yards and four touchdowns (a solid 4.7 yards per carry average), as well as 20 receptions for 145 yards. Fumbles were an issue, but I don’t anticipate them being a big problem for him next season. The feature back role in the Broncos offense is a highly lucrative one, and Ball has the ability to ground out some serious yardage, as well as plenty of touchdowns as a big-time weapon in the red zone.

So far, Ball has done nothing but impress, and it’s clear he’s in-line for some good games as a rusher. He also looks like a good pass-catcher out of the backfield, as ESPN NFL Nation’s Jeff Legwold writes that Ball has showed improvement as a receiver this offseason. Per Legwold, the Wisconsin product has shown that he can catch deeper passes, even pinpointing over-the-shoulder catches in red zone situations.

It wasn’t like Ball was a bad pass-catcher last season either, as he hauled in 20 passes and did a good job on check-down plays when called upon. But the fact that he’s become better in more difficult pass-catching situations gives him more upside, and he could have a big year for the Broncos next season, especially since they love to get running backs involved in their high-flying passing attack.

Tags: Denver Broncos Montee Ball

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