Willis McGahee led a Denver Broncos rushing attack that ranked first in rushing attempts and yards in 2011. The 30-year-old was a yard short of the third 1,200-yard season of his career, a mark he thinks he can reach in 2012 with Peyton Manning replacing Tim Tebow at quarterback, writes Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post.
"My goal is to do better than I did last year. And that means I've got to get past 1,200 yards," McGahee said. "With Peyton coming to Denver, I don't have to worry about nine defenders in the box."
When Tebow replaced Kyle Orton at quarterback in Week 6, the Broncos went from a team that passed the ball 60 percent of the time over the first five weeks of the season to one that ran the ball 60 percent of the time. Opposing defenses did not think Tebow could beat them with his arm, so they stacked the box and dared him to pass.
McGahee also suggested that the decision-making on those read-option plays could have been better.
"It had its good days, and it had its bad days," McGahee said of playing with Tebow. "Sometimes it was good. And sometimes, you just had to take the situation you were in and make the best of it.
"There were times when Tebow could've given the ball to me, but he kept it. And there were times when he was supposed to keep it, but he gave it. When you're running the option, there can't be any hesitation. I call it running on blind faith."
The 36-year-old Manning will not be running the read-option, so McGahee's biggest hurdles to the 1,200-yard mark will be age (he turns 31 in October), a potential pass-heavy offense and competition from Knowshon Moreno and 2012 third-round pick Ronnie Hillman.