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Will Broncos’ Royce Freeman be an every-down back and fantasy threat?

The Broncos, in fact, haven’t had a running back top 250 carries or an average of a rather pedestrian 15.63 per game since Reuben Droughns had 275 in 2004. As a result, the football world, real or fantasy, might cast a skeptical eye on rookie starter Royce Freeman in the season opener against the Seattle Seahawks.

“He can carry the load from a physical standpoint and a mental standpoint,” Broncos coach Vance Joseph said. “ … That’s what he showed at Oregon. He was their main guy. He had a lot of work, and he stayed healthy through the work. That’s an issue for most young backs. Can they carry the load for 16 weeks? I think with his background, his body type, he should be able to carry the load for 16 weeks.”cheap authentic stitched nfl jerseys

When the Broncos trimmed their roster to 53 players this weekend, they kept three running backs in addition to fullback Andy Janovich, and two of them — Freeman and Phillip Lindsay. — were rookies. That was one fewer than a year ago, and it speaks to what Freeman presents.9

Broncos president of football operations/general manager John Elway hinted as much during the draft in April, when he said “it’s been a while” since the team had a back like the 6-foot, 229-pound Freeman, who ran 4.5 in the 40-yard dash in his pre-draft workouts. While some in the league took a pause at Freeman’s college workload before the draft — 947 carries in four seasons at Oregon to go with 79 career receptions — the Broncos saw it as a career compliment.

“I think they thought I had to be on the field, in the lineup, every week to have those carries,” Freeman said. “… That when my number was called, I was there.”are the nike nfl jerseys stitched

Freeman led the team with three rushing touchdowns in the preseason — he didn’t play in the preseason finale — and flashed both elusiveness and grind-it-out efficiency. It was clear two weeks into training camp, as the Broncos consistently rotated him with the starters, that he was on track to be the starter.

Now, it remains to be seen what that means in a Broncos offense, with Bill Musgrave calling plays. Musgrave called plays for the final six games last season after Mike McCoy was fired, but the Broncos came down the stretch in a hodge-podge of what they had been doing with McCoy and things Musgrave wanted to do.

This year’s playbook is Musgrave’s, and while Joseph has made it no secret he wants a team that can pound the ball, the Broncos’ biggest offseason investment came at quarterback, with the signing of Case Keenum.