Broncos back doesn’t play nice
DENVER — An undrafted college free agent has made Denver’s Week 1 roster in each of the last nine seasons. C. J. Anderson aims to keep that streak going.
The former University of California running back has been the untold story of the Broncos’ training camp, toiling as he has behind secondround draft pick Montee Ball, second- year speedster Ronnie Hillman and former firstrounder Knowshon Moreno in Denver’s dynamic backfield.
Nobody’s talking about him thumping that trio anytime soon, but he’s certainly put himself into the mix for making the 53- man roster after rushing for a game- high 69 yards on 15 carries Thursday night in Denver’s 10- 6 preseason win at San Francisco.
Although Anderson isn’t as assignmentsound or as consistent as the three backs ahead of him on the depth chart, Jacob Hester, Lance Ball and Jeremiah Johnson could find themselves the victims of Anderson’s solid summer if he has another preseason game or two like he did Thursday night.
“We’re bringing him along,” offensive co- ordinator Adam Gase said. “( He’s a) younger guy that was an undrafted free agent; you can’t just throw him right in with what’s going on with the 1s. It’s a process for him, and I think he’s trying to get caught up to speed as quickly as possible.”
With the Broncos getting better, it’s becoming harder and harder for undrafted college free agents to crack their roster, but Anderson practices and plays with a nastiness befitting his status as an overlooked, underappreciated back.
“I’ve always got a chip on my shoulder with every team I play, including when I play the Denver Broncos at practice,” he said.
C. J. Anderson