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Bibbs Learning from Teammates

Posted Aug 1, 2014

Though his fellow running backs are only one or two years older than him, Kapri Bibbs is doing his best to learn from them.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- When Kapri Bibbs arrived at his locker on Friday morning, there was a surprise waiting for him. The dreaded “blue ball” sat there, letting him know that he was going to have a long day.

The ball is used to encourage players to focus on ball security and they have to keep it for the entire day, keeping it safe from teammates’ swipes and attempts to take it away.

Bibbs isn’t sure what the consequence is for the person who loses the ball and he suspects it’s extra running after practice, but he said “I won’t want to be the first” person to drop the ball.

“This is definitely my baby,” Bibbs said. “I got to walk around with it all day, so that’s the part of the blue ball, it’s about ball security. It’s yours for the day, all the way until we leave here at 9 o’clock.”

While Bibbs is learning ball protection in a bit of an unconventional manner, he is also taking in information from his teammates. Surrounding him in the running back room are Montee Ball, C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman – all young players who found success early in their careers.

As a rookie, Ball finished second on the team with 559 rushing yards on 120 carries. C.J. Anderson made the Broncos as an undrafted free agent last season. Hillman, who is heading into his third year in the NFL, had 330 yards and one touchdown his rookie year.

Bibbs is doing his best to learn from all three of them.

“I try to take a little bit from each one of Montee’s and C.J.’s and Ronnie’s games,” Bibbs said. “They’re a great group of guys to learn from and I feel like I have the ability to do that -- I have the speed like Ronnie, then I have the size like Montee and CJ and I can run the ball in, I can catch in the backfield.”

“I feel like, at this point, as long as I stay on my toes and keep learning from these guys, my chance is going to come.”

In his one season at Colorado State, Bibbs tied for No. 1 in the nation in rushing and total touchdowns with 31. He set the CSU single-season records for rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, total touchdowns and points.

Despite his collegiate success, he went undrafted. After the draft, all he wanted was the chance to play football and he made sure he was “ready to take advantage” of the opportunity.

He’s getting that chance now with the Broncos, a team that has a history of keeping undrafted rookies on its roster.

The biggest thing he’s learned during these nine days of camp is the importance of playing fast. He said, “If you’re going to make a mistake, make a mistake going 100 percent.”

The element of his game he’s focusing on the most during camp is protecting the passer, he said running the ball comes naturally.

“We throw the ball 50 times a game, so my main goal is mainly to take care of No. 18 so that’s the biggest thing,” Bibbs said. “Running the ball, that’s a God-given ability so that’s just going to come. So I think the biggest emphasis now is protecting the quarterback and I think that’s a big emphasis for all the running backs.”

He does feel like he’s done a good job at understanding the defense and picking up on the blitz, he says “it’s going really well.”

Bibbs wants to show his coaches that he is a productive back in every way. He doesn’t know how many backs the team will keep, but he isn’t focusing on that, he’s just working on what he can control.

“I’m just trying to go out there every single day and just play as hard as I can and just make sure that when that whistle blows and this training camp’s over that I can say to myself that I gave it my all,” he said.