Anderson: post-game petulance was out of character
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — C.J. Anderson says he’s not the running back that people saw at Cincinnati.
After Denver’s 37-28 loss to the Bengals on Monday night, the Broncos’ breakout running back dodged questions like fellow University of Cal alum Marshawn Lynch is famous for doing.
Anderson ignored reporters’ questions and testily replied to five straight inquiries with a version of, “We just played terrible. We’ve got to get better and get ready for next week.”
It was a rare breakdown for Anderson, an undrafted second-year pro who has emerged as Denver’s top tailback this season. He’s topped 1,000 yards from scrimmage and scored seven times despite not starting until injuries to Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman thrust him into a bigger role at midseason.
After cooling down, he took to Twitter on Tuesday, saying, “I apologize 4 my actions toward the media yesterday. I was very frustrated in the way I played. I’m not that type of guy.”
Then he repeated his apology in the locker room this week, saying, “I was frustrated in my play and I should have told you guys to come talk to me 10 minutes later. I just had a heated argument prior to that and I was just upset and very angry. I wear my emotions on my sleeve because that is the type of player I am.
“I’m not that type of guy and I don’t want to be compared to this person or that person. I should have never done that and I just want to apologize to everybody over here because I know you guys have got a job to do. But that is behind me, I’ve learned from that and I’m open and I’ve moved on to Oakland.”
Anderson actually had a pretty good game, rushing for 83 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries for a 4.6-yard average. He also caught eight passes for 55 yards, befitting his status of being voted a Pro Bowl alternate this week.
What his family members wanted to talk about after the game, however, wasn’t his statistics but his sullenness.
“My mom and my grandma raised me a lot better than that and you shouldn’t disrespect someone else’s job because of what you’re going through,” Anderson said. “At the end of the day, you have to take the good with the bad and you have to be a professional. Like I said, a lot of you guys probably thought I played well, but I played terrible. That is why I was really upset.”
Anderson said he let down his offensive linemen by failing to trust them after some difficult runs that went for no gain or negative yards, “and I shouldn’t have done that.”
His harsh self-assessment of his last game notwithstanding, Anderson has helped the Broncos (11-4) find a much-needed ground game as they head into the playoffs. They can earn a first-round bye Sunday by beating Oakland (3-12).
Anderson got his opportunity when Hillman strained his left foot at St. Louis on Nov. 9. Hillman appears ready to return against the Raiders after practicing all week for the first time since getting hurt. He would give the Broncos an added boost by providing a change-of-pace back to go with the bruising Anderson.
“He has good burst, good explosion, same things that you saw before the injury,” coach John Fox said Friday. “He looks to be back in that form. We will see how it goes. He hasn’t played football in about six weeks, so you always get a little nervous about that. But he had a good week of preparation.”
NOTES: LB Brandon Marshall (foot) is out for Sunday and S T.J. Ward (neck) is questionable. If Ward is held out, David Bruton will likely start in his place, with newcomer Josh Bush playing the back end whenever Bruton moves up in the nickel to play alongside the linebackers. Bush played in 36 games for the Jets, who waived him Oct. 15. The Broncos signed him to their practice squad three days later and promoted him Dec. 17. ... Denver is shooting for its sixth 8-0 home record in franchise history. “Growing up my mom always told me you never lose a fight in your front yard,” NT Terrance Knighton said. “That’s the mentality we have.”
Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton