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C.J. Anderson fueled by disrespect 


SPARTANBURG, S.C. – C.J. Anderson wearing a black hooded jacket and black sweatpants during spring practices in Charlotte was one thing. But wearing all that during the heat of training camp in Spartanburg?

Sounds crazy. Not to Anderson.

"It's my sixth year in the National Football League. I think I know how to practice," Anderson said after Friday afternoon's sun-soaked practice session. "I've been practicing like this for six years. This doesn't bother me.

"You can go look up any pic, it is the exact same practice wear I wore in Denver for years."

So the veteran running back clearly has a consistent look for practice, but Colorado weather is very different in comparison to South Carolina.

"It's a lot more humidity, but I can breathe," said Anderson, who explained that the extra clothing pushes him and helps him psychologically. "The altitude in Denver is a beast, especially the first couple of days of camp. It actually feels good to run around after a couple plays and not be so tired."

Anderson's attire will adjust when the pads come on for Saturday's practice. He can't get the hoodie on under the shoulder pads, and he's got to wear football pants with the leg pads.

But the introduction of pads will allow Anderson to truly introduce himself to his new team.

"I'm downhill, I'm downhill," Anderson said. "I like to run between the tackles. I like to get dirty and nasty and do some of the other things running backs don't like to do. It fits me well."

Anderson feels really good about the fit in Carolina with a team that has always prided itself on boasting a physical run game.

But this line stood out from his post-practice interview: "It feels good to have a job after being released off your best year."

Anderson rushed for a career-best 1,007 yards in 2017 with the Broncos. But he was released in a cost-cutting move.

In other words, he was expendable.

Just before the start of training camp, the former undrafted free agent posted the following message on his Instagram page.

The "32-254-22" references 32 teams passing on him over the course of 254 picks in the 2013 NFL Draft while collectively selecting 22 running backs. He expanded on those thoughts Friday.

"I just have a big chip on my shoulder, and I'm going to play that way, I'm going to practice that way," Anderson said. "Me feeling as if I've been disrespected is just some things that actually happened in my career that I feel like people (overlook) and that's fine with me. Again, every year I have to prove it, so I get an opportunity to prove it again this year and I'm excited about it."