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Published on 11/26/2010 at Fri Nov 26 01:41.
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Denver Broncos' running back Knowshon Moreno (R) celebrates his touchdown against the San Diego Chargers during the first quarter of their NFL football game in San Diego, California, November 22, 2010. (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

Ask and ye shall receive.

At the end of October, I noted that the Broncos were still waiting for Knowshon Moreno to break out, and play a big role in the offense.  Knowshon has honored my request.

In the past two games, Moreno has rushed 35 times for 164 yards (almost 5 yards a pop) and caught 10 Kyle Orton passes for 112 yards — while scoring twice.  It should also be pointed out that if Moreno had gotten as many carries against San Diego as he did against Kansas City (he had 12 against the Chargers and 22 against the Chiefs), he would have probably rushed for 100+ yards in back-to-back weeks.

Proving to be a double threat in the Broncos offense, Moreno ranks third among running backsin yards from scrimmage over the past two weeks.  The second year back ran with authority and effort Monday night, showing flashy moves, at one time pushing off the ground with his hands to keep his balance (in a way very -esque to the running style of Barry Sanders), before running over a defender.

Finally fully recovered from a hamstring injury that hampered him at the beginning of the season, Head Coach Josh McDanielssaid last week that Moreno is “as healthy as he’s been all year,” including before he was injured in Training Camp — and that was last week. This week, McDaniels expounded:

“He’s been able to maintain a consistent workload in practice and get those full-speed reps.  He’s running extremely hard during the week, which has allowed him to play the way that he has played the last few weeks.

“He is starting to really take on the role that we envisioned for him to take on in the spring.”

It seems McDaniels isn’t the only one high on Moreno,

“You see him running with a lot more confidence because he’s feeling better,” says Knowshon’s lead blocker, Fullback Spencer Larsen. Running backs coach Eric Studesville added; “We’ve always felt good about him and excited about his ability. It was just a matter of getting him going a little bit.”

Being in his second year, Moreno says the game has slowed down for him.

“A lot of things have slowed down this year,” Moreno concurred. “Last year, a lot of things were moving a lot faster.”

While the game itself has slowed down, Moreno has accelerated through Denver’s running lanes.

“I think he’s playing faster, I think he’s playing with a better speed and he’s really going through the holes expecting to get through there and he’s getting to the second level expecting to make a move,” said Broncos Starting Quarterback Kyle Orton.

Perhaps Knowshon’s two solid games aren’t enough reason to start praising him too much just yet. But if the Broncos are to make any kind of playoff push, they’ll need the help from a good running game. If Moreno keeps running the way he has, they may get a great rushing attack.

Moreno finally hitting his stride [SI]

  • mikebirty

    I was right over the tunnel in the London game and Moreno looked like a caged tiger at the start, Orton had to have a word to calm him down and I noticed it before the Chargers game too, he looks like he's on a mission and his performances over the last part of the season, I expect, will be one of the bright points.

  • BroncoMan24

    I am glad to see he is doing well. Hopefully the trend will continue. Go Broncos!!

  • Danno

    His slow starts are killing our team. Healthy and playing well after our season is over is pointless and in some ways just adds to the pain. Get your sh$! together in preseason Moreno!!! Let's work on offensive balance and consistency for the rest of this season so that we won't be so unstable at the beginning of the next season.

    As for our defense…We need help at corner, safety, middle linebacker, d-line, coaching…Please help our defense.

  • areferee

    Jon Jon,

    As long as the Broncos are beginning to honor your requests, please add several additional entreaties. I think you know what they are, but just in case, I will add one, and my fellow readers can add their own:

    PASS RUSH…thankyouverymuch!

  • Jon

    I'll work on that ;P

  • BroncoMan24

    I agree with you on Moreno not being ready for the season with injuries and such, but overall, I don't think Moreno is to blame for his poor play. The offensive line has been horrible. It doesn't matter what RB you put in his place you would get the same results. Yeah maybe he needs to improve on breaking tackles, but when you have defensive players in your backfield on basically every play, your not going to have a great rushing team. I also agree with you on offensive balance. You can’t throw 20 times and then send Moreno out there on a running playing and expect him to put up great numbers. You need to give him a chance to get in a groove.

    On defense, I believe that if we focus on defensive line the rest will follow. Without a decent pass rush we again can have the greatest secondary, and still have problems. When you give the QB all the time in the world they are going to find and open receiver. Honestly if we were to focus on just the offensive line, defensive line and TE (I know that McD doesn’t use a TE that much, but he definitely needs to) in the draft next yr I would be happy.

    Having said all that, I still think we have a problem with McD play calling and lack of knowledge as a head coach. This will hurt us no matter who we draft. Go Broncos!!!

  • NMBronc

    Moreno has shown a lot more heart the past few games. Hope it continiues. I know you weren't making a direct comparison, but even mentioning Barry Sanders name in the same article, is laughable.

  • Jeff

    Can someone tell me if and how we have a chance for the playoffs?

  • areferee

    Just like Einstein's E = mc2, it is a mathematical theory that makes your head hurt to contemplate it.

  • kd

    where iz i can buy bronco kool aid i need drink also

  • NMBronc

    We don't.

  • crazykid

    you already had a drink buddy

  • TheTroglodyte


  • Laramiefan

    At this point I think our best move is to keep doing what we have been doing and compete to be ahead of the Viking in the 2012 draft since, it is rumored there will be no draft in 2011 . Oh , by the way what does happen to all the potential 2011 players that up for the draft and are caught up in the lock out? Do they get added to the 2012 draft ?

  • anthony33

    Great, now the Broncos, or at least their head film guy, are being investigated for taping practices of the 49ers while in London. See that really helped a lot.

    Maybe this is the out Bowlen needs to dump McD? That has to be some sort of breech of contract.

    Go get Cowher now.

  • MeOMy

    Well if it costs us a firstround draft pick like it did the Pats maybe he will be dumped.

  • kerry

    yeah your wonderboy of a coach cheats and still cant even win.

  • areferee

    We know what you're against, but exactly for what are you in favor? Somehow, I suspect, very little, if anything, judging from your consistently derisive posts.

  • crazykid

    they'll have a 2011 draft

  • coskibum

    Breaking News Broncos fined $50,000 and McNugget fined $50,000 for cheating.

  • kerry

    yep. are you really surprised? he cheats and still cant even win. brilliant.

  • kerry

    at this point im in favor of a franchise who doesnt have to cheat to win. but hey continue to whine about what i post all you like. doesnt bother me. it just bugs the shit out of most of you that things i post are true and not just blind following bullshit.

  • LevonZevon

    The Pats did it for years and the NFL tried to cover it up. Only journalist Gregg Easterbrook's dogged pursuit of the issue prevented them from sweeping it under the rug.

    The Broncos have hit a new low. And we literally have a coach with all of Shanahan's faults and none of his strengths (well, except for scripting the first 15 plays).

    Shanny's teams got an early-lead and then tried to hold on for dear-life with Cover-2 passive zones that gave up 8-yard buffer-zones on the corner.

    And I wouldn't be surprised– based on Mike's diplomatically-chosen comments when Spy-Gate hit– if the spying wasn't just restricted to New England even then.

    We need to get a petition going to ask Pat Bowlen to sell this team (for the good of Broncos Nation).

    We've got a control-freak Shanny-clone who stubbornly refuses to examine the last 12 years of repetitive seasons (that start off well, but falter once other team's offenses round into gear… like the game's themselves).

    They even change defensive-coordinators on a near-annual basis (and are mainly concerned with how to prevent an absentee owner from having a Jason Garrett-type waiting in the wings to take over).

    Yet Bowlen keeps going for the short-cuts and the nonsense sales-talk about “situational-football” (as if every other coach doesn't prepare for eventualities too).

    Spend 2-3 years building the D-line with guys like Marcel Darius of Alabama (or whomever is stout enough to penetrate the line and build around). Use our first and second round picks in 2011 and 2012 to start the years-long job of beginning to assemble a young D-line (instead of renting one with another team's hand-me-downs as per usual).

    Stop wasting our time with an endless parade of defensive-backs (as if the current one's execution is flawed).

    It's the passive zones and morale-sapping schemes that are to blame (not the d-backs themselves usually). And the reason behind that is Bowlen's refusal to focus on the defense (with an aggressive coordinator like the late Eagles D.C. Jimmy Johnson, like Dick LeBeau or like the Ryan Brothers).

    That's the real and secret trend of the game right now. But someone must've told Bowlen that D-linemen are too much of a risk to go bust with rich contracts (like Jarvis Moss).

    Of course, this choir-boy approach has led us to pass on LaGarrette Blount, Dez Bryant and even DeSean Jackson (who was available when Mike Shanahan instead drafted Eddie Royal).

    All p.r.-oriented trimmings and none of the talent and killer-instinct that football rewards.

    Oh, and Santa: a pass-catching TE that can get down the seam would also help too.

    Cutler wouldn't be winning like he is without Greg Olsen (and we can all name many other current examples). But Coach My-Way-Or-The-Highway intentionally left Scheffler out of the game-plan last season (even if Tony and his 30+ receptions wasn't the ideal player for his “scheme”).

    The real scheme was to alienate players that McDaniels couldn't rigidly control. And that's because he is so risk-averse that he fails to see the benefits of throwing a punch.

    Yes, you can get hit or burnt when you go for it. But what happens when all you do is dink-and-dunk and count on a non-existent pass-rush to take QB's out of their comfort-zone?

    3-7 is what.

    I hope Josh can take heart in Orton's lower Interceptions and high passing-yards instead.

    The rest of us would prefer wins (and would also prefer giving Tim Tebow some opportunities to learn from his regular-season experience).

    Of course, Tim Tebow threw his first pass in week-nine, so Coach Control-Freak isn't likely to divert from his three-year plan because we want him to.

  • TheTroglodyte

    Kerry says what he has to to get noticed. Obviously daddy didn't give attention, to the fact that mommy didn't care. Oh wait, that's a Pearl Jam song… never mind.

  • anthony33

    After reading the report the commissioner sent to the Broncos, it appears the only thing McD did wrong was to not immediately report it.

    It certainly seems like the NFL did a thorough job of investigating the incident and the penalty seems more like a warning or slap on the hand. Although I was thinking this may have given the Bronx the out they need to get rid of McD (and I suppose they still could) I am glad it's not nearly as bad as it could have been.

  • areferee

    Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.
    Albert Einstein

  • Amajorleagueinfidel

    Moreno has not impressed me at all. He doesnt run hard, it appears that he is tired after every play and he can frequently be found on the side line when he should be on the field. Denver would have been better served keeping Hillis and using the Moreno pick to build up the defense.

    p.s. Joe Mays is a beast..thats the intensity that Denver needs more of.

  • Amajorleagueinfidel

    Oh look, Moreno fumbles the ball….outstanding

  • Amajorleagueinfidel

    Moreno has not impressed me at all. He doesnt run hard, it appears that he is tired after every play and he can frequently be found on the side line when he should be on the field. Denver would have been better served keeping Hillis and using the Moreno pick to build up the defense.

    p.s. Joe Mays is a beast..thats the intensity that Denver needs more of.

  • Amajorleagueinfidel

    Oh look, Moreno fumbles the ball….outstanding