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Old 11-04-2009, 10:41 AM   #1
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Default Broncos rookie Moreno learning on job

Had Knowshon Moreno been selected with the No. 12 pick in the third round, instead of No. 12 overall, he likely would be considered a rookie surprise.

At 210 pounds, he runs between the tackles with the robustness of a back 15 to 20 pounds heavier. He blocks courageously against the blitz. He can catch the ball even when a 255-pound Dallas Cowboys linebacker darts in front.

Moreno is a solid, versatile running back who celebrates a teammate's touchdown with such unbridled enthusiasm, it's obvious his greatest joy comes from team victory.

But Moreno was the 12th player taken in the 2009 draft and, as such, more is expected from a back who, entering the Broncos' game Monday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers, has yet to break off a 20-yard run and has more fumbles (three) than quarterback Kyle Orton has interceptions (one).

If it helps, no one is less satisfied with Moreno's performance than the kid himself.

"No, I'm not pleased at all," he said. "I need a lot of improvement. I don't want to use the excuse that I'm a rookie. I feel like I should be doing more. I'm just going to keep trying to learn from meetings and keep working hard and keep running."

Evaluate the careers of all the great NFL running backs, and rarely does one follow another. For every Chris Johnson or Adrian Peterson, who were among the league's top five backs in each of their first two seasons, there is a Cedric Benson or a Thomas Jones, who never rushed for more than 750 yards in any of their first four seasons.

LaDainian Tomlinson lost four fumbles as a rookie only three in his eight seasons since. The top two running backs drafted in 2008, Oakland's Darren McFadden (No. 4 overall) and Carolina's Jon- athan Stewart (No. 13), rushed for 499 and 836 yards, respectively, in their rookie seasons.

Moreno is on pace for 960 yards.

"He's done a nice job, but as a young player, a rookie in a new system, you're going to make some mistakes," Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy said. "He makes a lot more good plays than he does bad plays, but he has made some mistakes in the past that he knows about, and we're trying to correct those as quickly as we can so they don't happen again."

What often happens to rookie tailbacks, especially conscientious types like Moreno, is they can allocate too much concentration on their assignments and coaches' instruction.

Backs need instincts, not thoughts. There can be greater freedom to move when the mind doesn't get in the way. This is why some running backs don't take off until after their rookie seasons.

Yet, lessons must be learned. Moreno's first two fumbles were on him, as there is an adjustment to the violence that comes with an NFL tackle. His fumble Sunday at Baltimore, though, was more to the credit of the ferocious hit Ravens safety Ed Reed laid on Moreno a split second after the running back caught a lob screen pass from Orton.

"I wish we would have blocked the missile that hit him," said Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, before adding: "He has got to hang onto the ball, and he would be the first one to say that."

Said Moreno, who like so many Broncos players, is judicious with his words when talking to the press: "It was kind of a slow-developing play, but (Reed) made a good play. It worked in their favor."

What the Broncos have yet to get from Moreno is the home run the big play, which




NFL statisticians officially define for running backs as 20-yard runs.

Moreno has none in 109 carries. Johnson has 10 runs of at least 20 yards, and 73 other players have at least one, including the Broncos' Correll Buckhalter, who has three.

Moreno does have nine runs of at least 10 yards, but his longest has been for 17.

"I didn't really have too many big runs at Georgia, either," Moreno said. "It's all about those hard yards."

Moreno was part-modest, part-guilty of selective memory. He had 23 runs of at least 20 yards in his two seasons and 498 carries for the Georgia Bulldogs. But it's also understandable if those 475 carries of 19 yards or less are more indelible in is memory.

He does run strong between the tackles stronger than anyone should expect from a tailback of his size. He leads all NFL rookies with 420 yards rushing, and he leads all NFL backs, period, in fewest negative plays (5.5 percent of his carries). His next step as an elite NFL back, though, is to make a few highlight runs worthy of the 10 o'clock news.

"No. 1, you've got to get him out in space," McCoy said. "You get him out in space, I'm sure he's going to make the next guy miss more often that not."


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Old 11-04-2009, 10:55 AM   #2
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please bust a couple Monday Night...please..have yourself a big ol' coming out party in front of millions...
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:59 AM   #3
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please bust a couple Monday Night...please..have yourself a big ol' coming out party in front of millions...
I just want a win.
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:13 AM   #4
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please bust a couple Monday Night...please..have yourself a big ol' coming out party in front of millions...
his running style suits the plays we used to run with TD. i'd love to see that old pitch play that TD got so often that got him outside the tackles and usually worked for a big chunk of yardage.
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:19 AM   #5
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I'd like to see Moreno drop down to his college wieght and get his quickness and explosiveness back. I think he will as the season goes on but right now he looks a little slow to me.
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:22 PM   #6
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I'd like to see him hold onto the fuggin ball better
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:25 PM   #7
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He leads all NFL rookies with 420 yards rushing, and he leads all NFL backs, period, in fewest negative plays (5.5 percent of his carries).
That's quite encouraging, and not much of a surprise either the way he runs.

He seems to be able to almost shrink the way he gets through little gaps at the end of runs for an extra yard. In time I think he'll end up being an excellent goal line/short yardage runner.

Doubt we'll see many highlight reel runs from him though, his open field speed isn't good enough to consistently outrun NFL DB's in my opinion.

The O-Line still isn't quite there in terms of adjusting to the new man blocking element of our scheme. Hamilton and Wiegmann really aren't well suited to it, I'm afraid. Until we replace at least one of them with a bigger, more physical lineman then our running game will continue to be erratic.
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:01 PM   #8
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Im impressed by Moreno hes ran good thus far he could be a lot better but not bad for a rook.
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:25 PM   #9
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I'd like to see Moreno drop down to his college wieght and get his quickness and explosiveness back. I think he will as the season goes on but right now he looks a little slow to me.
the extra muscle isn't what is making him seem slower, he is being tentative with his runs. he is thinking too much and not just reacting and playing ball.

give him time, that will change.

also at a smaller weight he won't be able to hold up in the NFL. i'd rather him keep the weight or even get up to 220, so he can take the pounding.
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:28 PM   #10
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That's quite encouraging, and not much of a surprise either the way he runs.

He seems to be able to almost shrink the way he gets through little gaps at the end of runs for an extra yard. In time I think he'll end up being an excellent goal line/short yardage runner.

Doubt we'll see many highlight reel runs from him though, his open field speed isn't good enough to consistently outrun NFL DB's in my opinion.

The O-Line still isn't quite there in terms of adjusting to the new man blocking element of our scheme. Hamilton and Wiegmann really aren't well suited to it, I'm afraid. Until we replace at least one of them with a bigger, more physical lineman then our running game will continue to be erratic.
his speed is comparable to what TDs was, and TD broke his fair share of long runs. breaking long runs has more to do with making the 1st guy miss and getting to the next level of the defense than it does with track speed.

give him time to get himself NFL ready, he is still reeling from missing time in TC and preseason, he will turn it on.
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:02 PM   #11
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Moreno is a good RB from what I have seen, but not dynamite-like. Of course, I think he has been banged up some. He took a big shot to his left knee early in the regular season and didn't have any preseason runs. I think it was his left knee that was hurt in preseason also, so that could be why he hasn't been real explosive.
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Old 11-04-2009, 04:10 PM   #12
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I just want a back who can move the chains consistently when it's 3rd & 4, either by running or catching. If Moreno can do that, he will have been worth the pick in my opinion.
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Old 11-04-2009, 04:28 PM   #13
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...breaking long runs has more to do with making the 1st guy miss and getting to the next level of the defense than it does with track speed.
Great point. This ongoing notion that he doesn't have enough speed is silly.
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Old 11-04-2009, 05:07 PM   #14
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his speed is comparable to what TDs was, and TD broke his fair share of long runs. breaking long runs has more to do with making the 1st guy miss and getting to the next level of the defense than it does with track speed.

give him time to get himself NFL ready, he is still reeling from missing time in TC and preseason, he will turn it on.
Not to belittle TD, but the run blocking he had was absolutely unreal. Moreno will never, ever have that. I'm sure we'll improve the run blocking, but back when TD was around we had a scheme that teams simply didn't have a clue how to defend. That's extremely rare in the NFL.

He'll break off the odd one here and there, no doubt, all good backs do and I believe he's a good back with potential to be great. But by the same token there's a reason Chris Johnson leads the league in huge runs. Once a guy like him gets in space, he's gone.

Moreno's worth will be more so in being a guy who can move the chains on 3rd and short, a guy who can get in the endzone in goal to go situations, a guy who consistently gets a yard or two more than most backs would on every short and medium distance run, a guy who can pick up yards in the passing game and a guy who is versatile enough to play all 3 downs.

Huge runs are overrated anyway. LT hasn't had a run over 40 yards in 5 of his 8 full NFL seasons.

Consistently get 5 yards a pop, break a 25+ yarder every couple of games, get in the endzone when the chance arises. That'll do me just fine.
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Old 11-04-2009, 05:23 PM   #15
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Not to belittle TD, but the run blocking he had was absolutely unreal. Moreno will never, ever have that. I'm sure we'll improve the run blocking, but back when TD was around we had a scheme that teams simply didn't have a clue how to defend. That's extremely rare in the NFL.
and taking nothing away from TD or that great OL, there was this guy who wore #7 back there and defenses did not often crowd the LOS against him.
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:30 PM   #16
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and taking nothing away from TD or that great OL, there was this guy who wore #7 back there and defenses did not often crowd the LOS against him.
Moreno has Orton though, so that pretty much evens out.
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:46 PM   #17
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I think all he need's is a new mouth-piece, it seemed to work for Mike Bell....
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:54 PM   #18
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im impressed by moreno hes ran good thus far he could be a lot better but not bad for a rook.
yaaaawn...
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:32 PM   #19
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Slow and steady wins the race he's just saving his best stuff for later...
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:56 PM   #20
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Slow and steady wins the race he's just saving his best stuff for later...
I think your in the wrong thread this post belongs in "Football Cliche's you hate"
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Old 11-04-2009, 09:15 PM   #21
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I just want a win.
This.
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:17 PM   #22
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Not to belittle TD, but the run blocking he had was absolutely unreal. Moreno will never, ever have that. I'm sure we'll improve the run blocking, but back when TD was around we had a scheme that teams simply didn't have a clue how to defend. That's extremely rare in the NFL.

He'll break off the odd one here and there, no doubt, all good backs do and I believe he's a good back with potential to be great. But by the same token there's a reason Chris Johnson leads the league in huge runs. Once a guy like him gets in space, he's gone.

Moreno's worth will be more so in being a guy who can move the chains on 3rd and short, a guy who can get in the endzone in goal to go situations, a guy who consistently gets a yard or two more than most backs would on every short and medium distance run, a guy who can pick up yards in the passing game and a guy who is versatile enough to play all 3 downs.

Huge runs are overrated anyway. LT hasn't had a run over 40 yards in 5 of his 8 full NFL seasons.

Consistently get 5 yards a pop, break a 25+ yarder every couple of games, get in the endzone when the chance arises. That'll do me just fine.
i agree completely. however with TD, even with the run blocking he had, once he got through the LOS, it became his duty to make defenders miss and collect bigger yardage.
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