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Willis McGahee expects to be Broncos' Week 1 starter

In lockstep with his normal routine, Denver Broncos running back Willis McGahee was on hand for mandatory minicamp Tuesday after skipping voluntary organized team activities earlier this offseason.

There is one major difference between this year and last, however. On the heels of Peyton Manning's recent disclosure that the Broncos are counting on Montee Ball "in a big way," there is naturally speculation that McGahee's starting job -- and even roster spot -- could be in jeopardy.

McGahee, for one, is unmoved by the Ball threat. Now slimmed down and fully healthy, McGahee said Tuesday that he expects to be the Week 1 starting running back, according to USA Today's Lindsay Jones.

The Denver Post has suggested that the Broncos want Ball and Ronnie Hillman to emerge as their "one-two punch" as soon as this season. Although head coach John Fox has a demonstrated history of bringing his rookie backs along slowly, Manning has said that is not the plan with Ball.

The coaching staff gave McGahee an exceptionally long leash before last year's season-ending knee injury. Considering Fox's veteran fetish, we wouldn't write off McGahee just yet. He likely will enter training camp atop the depth chart, with Ball and Hillman nipping at his heels.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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