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Phillip Lindsay very much deserves to be the Broncos RB1 going into training camp and preseason, but don’t be surprised if Royce Freeman works his way into a bigger role in 2019 with the new HC, OC and OL coach. With a defensive minded coach in Vic Fangio at the helm, he’ll look to OC Rich Scangarello to be in full charge of the offense. Scangarello comes from the Shanahan tree, which means the Broncos will likely go back to a ton of zone blocking in the run game. Mike Munchak, who served as the Steelers OL coach over the past five years (very successfully), now comes to the Broncos in the same role, and has run both zone blocking and gap schemes in Pittsburgh.

The scheme should obviously help Lindsay, but it also helps Freeman, who excelled in Oregon’s zone run scheme; he’s Oregon’s and Pac-12’s all time rushing leader, Oregon’s all-purpose yard leader, and the TD leader for both Oregon and the Pac-12. He was simply very productive in the scheme, and it could show in training camp and preseason.

With the new coaching staff, there’s a chance we see a closer split. The good thing is that Lindsay isn’t necessarily being taken too high in drafts; a 4th round pick in PPR sounds about right, even with the risk that it happens. Keep in mind that Lindsay is recovering from wrist surgery, so hopefully he can get into OTAs before Freeman starts impressing. With an 8th round ADP for Freeman, he can bet someone to pick late because of his upside – he’s around guys like Jordan Howard, Austin Ekeler, and Matt Breida. If you draft Lindsay, it might be a good idea to grab Freeman too if his ADP doesn’t climb any higher.

One of the reasons you might want to invest in this Broncos backfield is because of the addition of Joe Flacco. According to Graham Barfield, Flacco has targeted RBs on almost 25% of his attempts, which is the 4th highest rate over the last three seasons. These RBs should get a healthy dose of targets on all downs.

With Devontae Booker hopefully out of the mix, both Lindsay and Freeman can see more time on the field. Lindsay only saw more than 60% of snaps twice last season. What do you think the split should be between Lindsay and Freeman?