Although Broncos RB Montee Ball entered the season as the starter, he concedes Ronnie Hillman has earned the job by averaging 105 yards and a touchdown over the past four games.
"He should (be the starter). He definitely should," Ball conceded Wednesday, via ESPN.com. "The run game has been a lot better since he's been in there. So ... I'm not going to sit here and lie to myself. So when I come back, I'm going to contribute as much as possible and try to get that spot back."
The Broncos offense reached its full potential with Hillman as the lead back. If John Fox's history is any indication, Hillman will keep the job as long as he stays healthy, secures the ball and protects his quarterback. If he stumbles for a week or two, Ball is looming as a tandem partner or flat-out replacement.
Hillman will likely retain the job as long as he continues to run well, protects the ball and protects his quarterback. He has had issues with ball security in the past and still struggles with pass protection, so there's no guarantee that he'll hold onto the job for the remainder of the season. There also no denying that Hillman has run well since Ball was injured.