Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Peyton Manning: Montee Ball ready to be Broncos' starting running back

The Denver Broncos let running back Knowshon Moreno leave in free agency, and he eventually signed with the Miami Dolphins. It creates an opening atop the Broncos running back depth chart, one that Montee Ball expressed a hope to fill heading into his second NFL season.

“Of course, obviously I have no idea what’s going to happen with him and this organization, but I do want to be a starter, and yeah, I want the football every time,” Ball said before Moreno’s future had been determined, via the Denver Post. “I think I’m going to have a great offseason, and I’m going to have a better season next year for sure.”

Then Mike Klis of the Denver Post reported that the Broncos were ready to give their young running backs a chance to take over, still before free agency had started. Klis went on to say that the Broncos “want to give Ball the first chance at becoming their No. 1 running back in 2014.”

Now Ball has received a ringing endorsement from quarterback Peyton Manning, who said he believes Ball is ready to be the starter. Ball certainly had a successful rookie season considering he wasn’t the featured back. He rushed for 559 yards off 120 carries, an impressive 4.7 yards per carry. Playing in Manning’s offense certainly played a role in keeping the defense honest and allowing Ball to succeed. The good news for Ball is that of Moreno’s 241 carries last season, 192 of them came against six or fewer defenders in the box, an average of 79.7 percent.

Tags: Denver Broncos

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