Thursday was another sad day for Broncos Country when the team released veteran running back Willis McGahee. Montee Ball, the second round pick from Wisconsin, is in line for the now-open position.
“The couple days I had with McGahee was kind of special because the guy is a great man and I wish him the best, but like I said, it’s a business in the program, so I’m definitely going to stay on track,” Ball said in a press conference on Thursday.
In the past two years as a Bronco, McGahee has rushed for more than 100 yards over ten times, and his 33 career 100-yard rushing games are tied for the second most among active players, according to the Denver Broncos website.
Never fear, however. After a knee injury last season, the Broncos replaced McGahee with Knowshon Moreno, who had a pair of 100-yard games in just six starts. And along with Moreno, Montee Ball, Lance Ball, Ronnie Hillman, Jacob Hester, C.J. Anderson, and Jeremiah Johnson are all available to fill that slot.
But it doesn’t fill the empty slot in the hearts of his fans. After the devastating loss of Elvis Dumervil, due to a paperwork conundrum, this is just another blow to the roster Broncos fans have come to know and love. Not that any of the above-mentioned won’t be able to fill the position McGahee leaves behind. Hell, you don’t bench your second-round pick star running back. Montee Ball is ready to play, and play now. Although this is a business, and rash decisions have to be made, the Broncos franchise did do McGahee a favor by releasing him now, instead of waiting until the August 30th deadline, thus giving McGahee a chance to emerge as a player with another team.
Most football players are passionate about what they do, and the team who ultimately prints their name on the roster. However, I have faith In Montee Ball, who grew up a Broncos fan, like most of us have. Now, he gets to live out that dream that most little boys have, playing for the team they have watched and loved their whole lives. Ball broke a NCAA record in Wisconsin, scoring 77 rushing touchdowns, along with six receiving ones, in his career, and 55 of the 77 rushing touchdowns came in the last two seasons of his college career. Most of us, myself included, were either born the wrong sex or the wrong size to ever be able to know that feeling of playing for your favorite team. There is no doubt in my mind that Ball will step up and fulfill, if not surpass what McGahee leaves behind with the Broncos. And if he doesn’t, there is always Moreno.