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Published on 03/08/2010 at Mon Mar 08 12:00.
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Knowshon Moreno

Despite a knee injury that has required multiple surgeries in the past twelve months, the Denver Broncos are giving running back J.J. Arrington another chance in 2010.

Some in league circles believe it’s because the Broncos know they can’t rely on Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter. As the Denver Post notes, league personnel executives have said Moreno wore down as the year went on —

With Knowshon Moreno, in the eyes of many personnel excutives around the league, having worn down as the season wore on in 2009, Arrington’s signing means he could take some of that situational work in the backfield away from Moreno if the veteran’s right knee will hold up.

The point is fair. Moreno struggled in the early goings (as most rookies do) before finding his rhythm in November with a string of four decent games. However, his last four games of the season were as bleak as any — he averaged a lowly 2.2, 2.0, 2.6, and 3.6 ypc in the season’s final games.

Part of that rushing output was certainly caused by injuries to the offensive line; however, Correll Buckhalter fared much better in those same weeks (playing in three of the four) with averages of 4.8, 8.0, and 3.0 yards per carry. And Moreno continued to struggle in pass protection as the year went on. Plenty of the blame can fall on his young shoulders.

In fact, one of Moreno’s lowest rushing totals of the season — a loss against Oakland that saw him rush 19 times for 42 yards and a 2.2 average — was coupled with a 5.4 ypc day by Lamont Jordan. Jordan was released last month.

That also happened to be the one-out-of-four-weeks in December that Buckhalter missed due to injury. One could say Knowshon Moreno performed his worst when the Broncos needed him most.

Will Moreno turn the corner in his sophomore season and give the Broncos the type of value they’d hoped they were getting when they selected him with the 12th overall pick in the 2009 draft? Can Buckhalter stay healthy enough to spare The Kid through 16 (or more) weeks?

The Broncos couldn’t be certain. And that’s why Arrington has another shot in Denver.

The only question remaining for the Broncos now is if three unreliable backs are better than two.

Arrington still a risk for Broncos [All Things Broncos]

  • mikesanchez0201

    Knowshon will be fine. He was a rookie and even though we struggled at times, we will be strong for us for many years. Patience with the young rookies the next 4 years he content for a rushing title if giving the oppurtunity.

  • NMBronc

    Tend to agree with Mike, Moreno will be fine. I would expect him to be stronger and tougher down the stretch in 2010. Arrington was brought in for depth and I would also expect them to draft a RB to provide youthful depth.

  • dogheadbrew

    The entire O was trying to find it's way, and the last 10 games were abysmal for the team in general. I'm not surprised Moreno dropped off. He will get stronger and figure it out.3

    I know I'm a biased Hillis fan, but I think having a two back set with Moreno and Hillis (as HB) could be very strong. Especially if Moreno can learn how to block. 3rd and short would have a lot more options with two possible runners/receivers out of the back.

  • Paradisimo

    Maybe it's just me but I didn't see anything in Knowshon Moreno last year to get me overly excited. He had a few decent runs here and there but overall he seemed indecisive and slow. Definitely not the kind of talent I would expect out of a RB drafted #12.

  • Kyle

    There were those four weeks in November where he looked like he was getting it. Other than that, you're right on.

  • rct930

    Moreno often got hammered by defensive tackles who were constantly in the backfield and in his grille when he got the ball handed to him, especially in the second half (when Harris didn't play and our interior line fell apart). Also, his run per average is skewed negatively because he's the one who got the bulk of obvious running plays thanks to McD's much-too-conservative approach. Further, Buckhalter benefited from getting the ball on a lot of outside stretch plays and sweeps whereas Moreno got the bulk of inside run plays (where our interior linemen were getting manhandled).

    I like Buck. He's great when healthy. And I'm not saying Moreno is the end-all be-all. In fact, I would rather have C.J. Spiller or Ryan Mathews from this year's draft. But Criticizing him for wearing down at the end of the season is really unfair. My hope is that our interior offensive line will be much improved this season and give Moreno a fighting chance. I also hope they pass to him more. He's a very good receiver out of the backfield.

  • kerry

    Moreno didnt show me anything that would suggest he was worth the 12th pick. he also didnt display anything that we couldnt have gotten from a 2nd or 3rd round RB like LeSean McCoy or Shonn Greene. the guy is slow, has no power, no patience and has even worse vision. not to mention he got tackled by the air more often then not. this guy will never challenge for a rushing title. he doesnt have the tools for it.

  • DIDO


  • tman24

    Kerry. Look at the lines both McCoy and Greene have compared to ours. There lies your answer why Moreno didn't know anything. We could put Walter Payton in his prime behind our line and look like trash.