As a part of his 2nd-year running back series, Evan Silva of Rotoworld recently watched tape of Vick Ballard. Silva watched Ballard's four games with the heaviest workload: Week 7 vs. Cleveland, Week 16 at Kansas City, Week 17 vs.Houston and the wild card loss to Baltimore. Silva's tape review revealed an opinion in line with most of us at Colts Authority: Ballard is an adequate back, but one that simply doesn't have the upside to be a long-term starter.
As a rookie, Ballard demonstrated an ability to handle significant workloads and perform in a workmanlike manner. Even if his pass protection wasn't consistently stout, the Colts' coaching staff trusted Ballard to perform in those situations and by the end of the season he was being employed as a legitimate every-down running back. Ballard is slippery enough to avoid big blows. He is capable of functioning as a volume runner, but at the same time is volume dependent in the sense that Ballard is a pedestrian talent lacking big-play skills.
I think it's pretty clear Ahmad Bradshaw will be the Colts' lead runner so long as his troublesome feet cooperate. Superior in pass pro with more quick-twitch running ability, Bradshaw is an upgrade on Ballard in virtually every area. Ballard looks to me like a player who can operate passably in a temporary spot starter's role, but long term would be best utilized as a No. 2 NFL back.