Anderson, who rushed for 648 yards in the last six games of the 2014 regular season, came into offseason camp in much better shape than the prior season and took the most snaps with the offense in OTAs and minicamp.
"I think C.J. has worked extremely hard," Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said. "Coming off of last year, he deserves that opportunity, and I think he's getting ready for that opportunity. But he knows he’s being pushed very hard."
Denver also has running backs Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman in the mix.
He ran for 80 tough yards on 18 carries in what ended up being a 24-13 loss. Looking back on it, Anderson is upset at himself that he didn't give more that game.
"I was watching the playoff game last week and I left a lot out there. I left a lot out there," Anderson told the Broncos' official website. "A lot of people came to me and said, 'You played so hard. You did this.' Man, that was unacceptable. I had 24 touches and I didn't get in the end zone to help my team win."
Anderson will be in a new offensive system this year, which should actually benefit him even more. With Gary Kubiak as Denver's new head coach, the zone running scheme could open up even more lanes for the young runner.
Anderson finished the 2014 regular season with 849 yards and eight touchdowns, with most of those over the last half of the season when he assumed the starting role.
"You don't want to be a one-year wonder in this league, not at all," Anderson said. "No one wants to do that. I'm going to keep my head down, keep grinding every day and keep pushing. What happened last year happened last year. That's completely over and done with."
"He made a big jump as a player, and I think he's earned the right to walk in to the offseason program -- the OTAs -- and line up as our starter," Kubiak said, per DenverBroncos.com. "But he's got to continue to earn it on a daily basis. I think he's shown he has all the ability to be an excellent starter in this league, so we're really looking forward to working with him."
Anderson rushed for 849 yards and eight touchdowns last season, most coming late in the season, after
"All those guys are young. I think all three of those guys ... have all kind of had their little spurts of success with the club when they've had their opportunity," Kubiak said. "But they're all young. Who's going to be the bell cow, who's going to play every down, who's going to be the three-down player, they've got to sort that out. C.J. has shown the flashes of doing that."
Anderson had the best success of any of the Broncos' running backs in 2014, running for 849 yards and eight touchdowns after assuming the starting role midway through the season.
Competing for playing time in the backfield will once again be Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman.
Historically, Kubiak's offenses have been effective in running the football. As the Ravens offensive coordinator in 2014, Kubiak led the rushing attack to an average of 126.2 yards per game, which ranked eighth in the NFL.
Kubiak's zone-blocking offense is running-back friendly, which could benefit Anderson moving forward. Anderson started last season as the No. 3 running back on the depth chart before emerging as the top back with 849 yards rushing, 324 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns in 15 games (seven starts). He will enter next season as the team's No. 1 back, though he'll have to fight off challenges from Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman.
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