Willis McGahee's workload likely to be lessened

ENGLEWOOD, Colo.—The days of Willis McGahee carrying the football 20 times on a week-in, week-out basis probably are done. After averaging 19.8 carries during a six-game stretch last year, the 30-year-old runner began showing wear and found himself limited to 14 carries a game for the following seven weeks.
But he could be used more selectively and more effectively, and his most significant impact in 2012 could be as a short-yardage and goal-to-go threat.

McGahee scored only four touchdowns last year, mainly because then-quarterback Tim Tebow would usually get the call—or make the call himself after the football was snapped. This year, the Broncos' goal-line offense will look more traditional, with fullback Chris Gronkowski expected to play a key role. On McGahee's only preseason touchdown, Gronkowski blasted open the decisive hole.

Denver's reserve runners are unlikely to supplant McGahee in short yardage; Knowshon Moreno and Ronnie Hillman operate best in space, and Lance Ball is a jack-of-all-trades reserve who doesn't possess McGahee's decisive burst.

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