Gary Kubiak wants to take the ‘bell cow’ running back approach

Some NFL teams use running back committees to carry the load, while others prefer to go the workhorse route using one man for most of the snaps. Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak plans to go with the latter approach in his first season, as he explains here:

“I can tell you this, I believe in the (bell cow). And I believe it’s up to the player to prove he can do that. Do you need two guys in a season? You are darn right, in this league,” Kubiak said Tuesday, per the Denver Post. “But I think if a guy goes out there and he shows he can play three downs, can protect the quarterback, and can handle it, then he should stay out there.”

Kubiak has a history of utilizing one back to carry the load. He has worked with Houston Texans Arian Foster, who had 351 carries in 2012. Also in Baltimore, he coached Steve Slaton in 2008 and Justin Forsett in 2014 who were both top 10 running backs in their seasons.

Now, Kubiak gets to try his hand with C.J. Anderson. Anderson gave us a fantastic sampling of his work last year by piling up 849 rushing yards, eight rushing touchdowns in seven game starts. Anderson also totaled 324 yards and two scores through the air.


From what we can tell, the staring job is only Anderson’s to lose at this point:

“He has told us if you get the chance and play well, you will stay out there. My goal is to be out there all three downs,” Anderson said. “That’s my plan.”

It sounds like a perfect plan. However, the best laid plans sometimes go awry. Last year we were told running back Montee Ball was going to be the lead man in Denver. Unfortunately, the injury bug got him early on. Running back Ronnie Hillman took over and also became injured. This is when Anderson entered the scene.

We’ll see how things go in Denver this season. If Anderson stays healthy, then it appears he’ll get most of the work with Hillman likely carrying the ball on rare occasions. This is fabulous news for fantasy football players who have Anderson on their radar for the upcoming season.

Photo: USA Today Sports

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