A bigger and badder Willis McGahee

McGahee turns 31 in October, which is ancient for a running back. Since college, McGahee has conquered doubts, and he has an answer this year. He dedicated himself to the weight room and arrived in camp a muscular 245 pounds, about 10 pounds heavier than last year. His upper body is ripped. His body fat dropped to 9 percent. He's coming off a successful season in which he rushed for 1,199 yards and averaged 4.8 yards per carry. The presence of Manning could help his game. Once Tebow took over as the starter, defenses stacked the line against the run. That forced McGahee to run against eight- and nine-man fronts. The threat of throws from Manning will create more seven-man boxes and running lanes for McGahee. The Broncos have options in the backfield. They drafted speedy Ronnie Hillman in the third round to give them a younger version of Darren Sproles. While McGahee feels secure about his role in this year's offense, a former first-round pick, Knowshon Moreno, is facing a career crisis. The Broncos' top pick in 2009 is listed fourth on the depth chart behind McGahee, Lance Ball and Hillman, and he's fighting just to make the team.

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