Willis McGahee has had an up and down career in the NFL and it’s fair to say that he’s never really lived up to the expectations that come with being a first round pick. He has had to deal with injuries at times and has even had to share the backfield on a few different occasions. However, last year, at the age of 30, McGahee looked as good as he has ever looked in his career.
The leading ball-carrier for the Broncos a season ago may have see his role in the offense get reduced this season because of the arrival of Peyton Manning, but he showed he still has some tread left on his tires and can be a reliable option in the backfield as Manning makes the transition to a new offense.
Willis McGahee joined WQAM in Miami with Dan Sileo to talk about how different things are in Denver with the arrival of Peyton Manning, whether it bothered him that Tim Tebow got so much credit for the Broncos success last year, what he expects his role to be in the offense this year, how he feels as a 30-year-old running back and how nice it will be to have a guy like Peyton Manning to take pressure off the running game.
How different things are in Denver with the arrival of Peyton Manning:
“You’re right to say it’s a different feeling and a whole different situation from last year. It’s a totally different era right now with Peyton Manning. I think the guys are happy with what Peyton brings to the table and we know what he can do. It’s just a fact of having us go out there and perform to his level.”
Whether it bothered him that Tim Tebow got so much credit for the Broncos success last year:
“As a player just sitting back and watching you have to expect that to happen. The quarterback is going to get all the praise if we win and he’s going to get the blame if we lose. You really can’t argue about that but we know as a team what we did on the football field and me personally, I think the defense deserved basically all the credit because they were playing lights out football.”
On his role with the Broncos:
“I look at it like this man, I go out there and perform every day to prove people wrong because like you said there’s always someone saying ‘he’s old, he can’t do this, he can’t do that’ and my goal is to go out there and prove them wrong. Just be Willis McGahee.”
How he feels at 30-years-old coming off a great season:
“I feel like I’m better than ever because I really didn’t play all those years and didn’t get all those carries so I have a lot in the tank that I can still put out on the football field and surprise a lot of people.”
On the impact Manning can have on the offense:
“I think it’s a really big impact because he’s one of those guys that the defense is going to have to respect as far as throwing the ball. You already know he’s a gunslinger and they’re not going to load eight or nine in the box when he is under the center.”