Manning’s Presence Changes Everything

Peyton Manning and Willis McGahee

Get used to this sight: QB Peyton Manning handing off to RB Willis McGahee. (PHOTO: ANDREW MASON / MAXDENVER.COM)

In 10 years in the NFL, Broncos running back Willis McGahee thought he had figured out what was and was not important.

For him, that meant training camp and regular season practice work mattered, but the organized team activities in the offseason — which are considered voluntary by the NFL and its collective bargaining agreement — could be ignored. McGahee’s choice didn’t hurt him during his years with the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens. After gaining 1,199 yards for the Broncos last year, one could argue it wouldn’t hurt him now.

But something’s different. Peyton Manning’s different.

“That has a lot to do with it,” McGahee said.

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About Andrew Mason

Andrew Mason has covered the NFL since 1999, when he worked as an editor on when the site was managed by He worked six seasons (2002-07) covering the Broncos on their official website and two (2008-09) on the Panthers' site. He began in 2010 and now contributes to, The Sporting News and The New York Times.

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