There isn't any position on the Broncos roster where the race will be any tighter than at running back. Ronnie Hillman, who opened Thursday's practice with the first-team offense, said he wants to be the guy in the backfield when the offense takes the field for the first time in the season opener Sept. 4 against the Ravens. Montee Ball said he's going to "do all I can" to be the starter. When Knowshon Moreno was last in the lineup he was the starter.
Ball has shown some proficiency as a receiver and in pass protection while Hillman is the fastest, the breakaway threat of the three. Moreno is the most experienced in those tense third-down situations where a bad decision as a pass blocker can torpedo a season.
The difference will be reliability, who consistently makes the most of the runs, who makes the right calls in pass protection and who plays the most mistake free as Peyton Manning audibles at the line of scrimmage or the Broncos are in their no-huddle look.
This looks like it will be a RBBC. John Fox is known to favor veterans, but neither the second-year Hillman nor the rookie Ball really qualify. The top priority is protecting the QB.