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May 10, 2013; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running back Montee Ball (38) during rookie minicamp at the Broncos training facility. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Montee Ball knows protecting Peyton Manning is key

Montee Ball is trying to win the starting running back role for the Denver Broncos from Ronnie Hillman and Knowshon Moreno. While the Broncos drafted him in part because of his ability to find the end zone, he was also drafted for his ability to pass protect.

“Honestly, it’s 60 percent pass protection, 40 percent running the ball,” Ball told the Denver Post. “In the NFL, it’s no secret: It’s a passing league. And on this team, when you have a great quarterback like we have, you’ve got to protect him.”

That ability could be more important than the running back’s ability to, well, run. As Moreno says, all the running backs can run but it will be the little things that makes one player stand out more than the others.

“We all got here by running the ball in college,” Moreno said. “Everyone here can run the ball. It’s those little things, what can you do besides run the ball. Pass protection. Catch the ball out of the backfield.”

The Denver Broncos want to keep Peyton Manning and his fragile neck upright and off the turf. The Broncos have also added former Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker to bolster an already strong air attack.

Tags: Denver Broncos Knowshon Moreno Montee Ball Ronnie Hillman

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