By virtually all accounts Vick Ballard’s rookie season exceeded expectations.
Not many fifth round draft picks go on to start 11 games and rush for over 800 yards in their rookie campaign.
When Ballard sat down with his running backs coach David Walker to evaluate the 2012 season, they came to a common goal of working on the running back’s vision this year.
“Last year I was kind of just running off ability and this year I’m running smarter by recognizing defensive fronts and knowing what to expect from our blocking schemes.” Ballard said on Thursday.
With Pep Hamilton implementing a more balanced offensive attack, the opportunities will certainly be there for Ballard.
“It’s more catered to the running backs so that’s always a good thing for me,” Ballard said of the Colts offense. “As long as I get the right reads down, and the things like that, then I can be real productive.”
For the past two weeks Ballard has also had the ability to share a meeting room with seven-year NFL veteran Ahmad Bradshaw.
With three 1,000-yard seasons on his resume, Bradshaw knows all about being a productive back at the professional level.
“Ahmad, he’s one cool dude,” Ballard said. “He talks to me about football and then other stuff off the field too, kind of like a big brother to me. I’m kind of happy we brought him in. I can learn so much from him.”
No matter who is at running back for the Colts this season, that player will have the luxury of a fullback leading them into holes.
For Ballard, it brings him back to his Junior College days where the presence of a fullback helped him earn a SEC scholarship.
Stanley Havili will be paving the way for Ballard in 2013 and the new Colts fullback likes what he sees from the guy soon to be following his path.
“(Ballard) runs hard and he doesn’t shy away from fullback and that’s what us fullbacks like to see in our running backs.”
Tags: ahmad bradshaw, Pep Hamilton, Stanley Havili, vick ballard
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