A year into what he hopes is a long and productive NFL career, Vick Ballard is dealing with change.
The change comes with a new offensive system in year two and any questions to Ballard about his 814-yard rookie season will undoubtedly lead to what’s ahead, not what’s behind.
“I tried to close the book,” Ballard said of looking back on the 2012 season in which he finished second among all AFC rookie running backs in rushing yards.
“That was last year and this is this year. We’ve got high expectations and I’m just working on them.”
From an individual standpoint, Ballard pointed to his yards per carry rising above four (he averaged 3.9 yards per carry last season) as something he is striving for in 2013.
One addition that should help that number is the acquisition of fullback Stanley Havili.
“It’s really like having another offensive lineman to me because as many blockers as you can get is always good, especially when you’ve got the ball in your hand,” Ballard said of the presence of a fullback.
The 211 carries Ballard had last year could very well rise this season and the Mississippi State product said the time off has helped his body rest up from the ‘bumps and bruises’ he had following a rookie campaign in which he played in every game.
At times last season Ballard would shake his head when media hoarded the lockers of Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne, which flank No. 33.
Now the media is gaining numbers around Ballard and while the attention is one thing, the play on the field in 2013 is the only thing that matters.
“We came a long way for it to come to an end all of a sudden,” Ballard said. “It left a bitter taste in our mouth and I think we’ve still got that bitter taste and we don’t want to have it at the end of this season.”
Follow Kevin Bowen on Twitter at @KBowenColts.
Tags: vick ballard
Posted in Colts Blog