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Peyton Manning: Montee Ball ready to be starting RB

The departure of Knowshon Moreno to the Miami Dolphins left the Denver Broncos' backfield in the hands of second-year player Montee Ball and fumble-holic Ronnie Hillman.

The inexperience -- especially in pass blocking -- could bring some instability to the Bronco's historic offense. Peyton Manning, however, doesn't seem worried.

Prior to delivering the keynote address at the Boy Scouts of America's 38th Annual Sports Breakfast in Denver on Wednesday, Manning told reporters that he believes Ball is ready to be the Broncos' starting running back.

"Montee is going to have more responsibilities, and I think he will answer that challenge," Manning said. "I think he has the work ethic, I think he has the mental capabilities to handle the workload, and I look forward to having a full offseason with him."

Questions about Ball's preparedness have been pervasive the entire offseason. The running back tried to quell fears that his inexperience will be like slamming the parking break on the sports car that is Denver's offense, saying earlier this offseason he is ready to play a "huge role."

Having Manning's backing is a good first step, but Ball will still need to improve those blitz pickups. 

The latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast" covers the Aldon Smith arrest and analyzes the offseason movers and shakers in the NFC East and NFC South.

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