Posted Fri Nov 26th by Jon Heath
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.