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Montee Ball expects to have 'huge role' on Broncos

Impending free agent Knowshon Moreno hopes to stay in Denver, but the Broncos are already bracing for another team to offer a contract they can't match.

Montee Ball has "no idea" if Moreno will be back in 2014, but he's going to use the offseason as preparation for the starter's role.

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"I'm going to play a huge role in next year's success," Ball told Benjamin Hochman of The Denver Post, "and I'm really looking forward to it."

Ball was drafted No. 58 overall last year to make an immediate contribution as the Broncos' starter. That plan was shelved when Moreno outshined Ball and Ronnie Hillman in basic fundamentals such as ball security and pass protection during preseason action.

The coaching staff witnessed steady improvement from Ball throughout his rookie season. From Week 13 through the Super Bowl, Ball totaled 393 rushing yards (5.4 yards per carry) to Moreno's 375 (3.9 YPC).

While Moreno is more solid in the passing game, Ball has a much higher ceiling as a runner. Football czar John Elway touted the former Wisconsin star as a Terrell Davis clone last May.

In a pass-heavy era, it has taken early-round running backs longer to become established. Look no further than last month's postseason starters such as Moreno, Mark Ingram and Donald Brown.

By next season, Ball will join their ranks.

On the latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast," the guys huddle with Seahawks trio Michael Robinson, Brandon Mebane and Red Bryant before unpacking Cleveland's week of chaos.

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