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Old 07-16-2010, 05:33 PM   #1
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Default Training Camp Primer: Runningbacks

Training Camp Primer: Runningbacks



ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Correll Buckhalter has reason to get excited when discussing his first season in Denver.

After eight years in Philadelphia, the running back responded to the new environment by producing his best statistical season in 2009.
Sharing the workload with Knowshon Moreno, who led all rookies in rushing yards and touchdowns, Buckhalter helped spearhead one of the league's most balanced rushing attacks.

What's more surprising is that Buckhalter gets even more passionate when discussing the upcoming season.

Buoyed by a year to grasp the offensive system and time for coaches to understand the returning players' strengths, Buckhalter doesn't hesitate displaying even more confidence entering 2010.

While the running back corps has been tweaked with several additions and departures, the duo of Moreno and Buckhalter expect to see much of the action and produce even better results in their second season together.
"I feel great in this offense," Buckhalter said recently. "We do a lot of great things. I think (Head) Coach (Josh) McDaniels is a genius, and as long as everybody is doing their job, we'll be OK this year."

Last season the rotation proved beneficial for both of the Broncos' primary ball carriers.

Buckhalter, who battled injuries at times with the Eagles, finished with career highs in rushing yards (642), yards per carry (5.4) and receptions (31), while playing at least 14 games for the fourth straight season.

Moreno, the 2009 draft's 12th overall pick, handled the bulk of the attempts, bursting onto the NFL scene with 947 rushing yards and nine total touchdowns as part of the league's No. 18 rushing attack.

The buzz around Dove Valley this offseason has centered on Moreno building off a debut season in which he became just the fifth Bronco to lead all rookies in rushing.

The young back spent the past few months working out to better handle the rigors of a professional season and watching tape of his rookie campaign. Moreno said as much as it has pained him to watch himself miss running lanes and bungle passing protections, he's sure the process has only made him better.

"(Moreno's) in his second year and he knows more what to do," McDaniels said when assessing Moreno's offseason progress. "He's able to communicate with other players if something's not right, and he can help us get it right."
Moreno, who is still seeking his first NFL 100-yard rushing game, hopes to bump up his 3.8 yards per carry average. But even after breaking off just two runs longer than 20 yards last season, he said he feels no additional pressure to set specific performance goals in his second year.
"You really can't plan for (big running plays)," Moreno said. "That was last year, and it's a new slate now. Let's just start something new and get better."

Buckhalter said the time for running backs to adjust to a new offense can be especially beneficial.
The 6-foot, 223-pound back no longer has to rack his mind to remember assignments on individual plays. He said during the June minicamp that his pre-snap routine is now becoming more natural, which gives him more time to analyze the defense.

McDaniels said the game will continue to slow down for Moreno, leading to fewer mental mistakes and more consistent play. During OTAs, the head coach has been particularly impressed with Moreno's improvements in the receiving game -- another sign the Georgia product's game is becoming more well-rounded.

Behind them are less proven commodities, including J.J. Arrington, who hopes to prove his value as a third-down back and kick returner after being out of football last season. McDaniels has said he will use more two-back sets this season, which likely means more action for Spencer Larsen, the roster's lone fullback.

As training camp approaches, it's clear that balance remains one of the group's greatest assets.
That's particularly exciting at this time of year.

Buckhalter said the running backs' mix of competition and camaraderie will only make everyone better going forward.
"We're a tight group," Buckhalter said. "Whenever you're a running back, you have to be part of a cohesive group. I think we're just going to have a good game plan for teams this year with me and (Moreno) in the backfield."

MEET THE RUNNING BACKS

J.J. Arrington - The fifth-year back signed with the Broncos before last season but missed the entire year recovering from knee surgery.

Lance Ball - Ball rushed for 83 yards on 13 carries for Indianapolis in his only regular season NFL appearance on Dec. 28, 2008.

Toney Baker - The undrafted rookie received the ACC's Brian Piccolo Award as the conference's most courageous player for bouncing back from a knee injury that cost him nearly two full seasons.

Correll Buckhalter - The 10th-year veteran has 10 career postseason appearances, including three NFC Championship games.

Bruce Hall - Hall joined the Broncos in February after spending much of the last two seasons on Buffalo's practice squad.

Spencer Larsen - The fullback/linebacker is the only Bronco to start on both offense and defense in the same game.

Knowshon Moreno - Moreno led all rookies in 2009 by garnering Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week honors four times.

Kolby Smith - The former 5th round pick of Kansas City has amassed 540 rushing yards and three touchdowns in three NFL seasons.


http://www.denverbroncos.com/news-an...c-8bce3e0619b1

Wait a minute there all we kept hearing all season and this offseason was it was all the o-lines fault........HMMMMMMMM

I love to hear that he's taking blame for his mistakes and he's correcting them
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Old 07-16-2010, 05:46 PM   #2
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If Moreno can add a couple hundred more yards and improve his YPC, we'll be fine. The bigger issue here is fielding a line that's not going to get shoved around as the season progresses.

Buck will play a role, and I'm excited to see what the other backs bring to the table.

When we were winning, early in the season... the formula was splitting 150 yards or so between Moreno and Buck, with Moreno doing the bulk of the grinding. We've got to be able to sustain that formula for a full season.

The line remains the key, obviously.
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Old 07-16-2010, 06:19 PM   #3
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Is this the worst bunch of running backs the Broncos have fielded? I would say yes. Bobby Turner was an artist at that ****. Then again, if Knowshon can show first round talent it will be alright.
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Old 07-16-2010, 06:23 PM   #4
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I wonder what McDaniels fascination with Arrington is? I have strange feeling we will not have a RB break 1200 yards this season.
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Old 07-16-2010, 06:50 PM   #5
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This team will only go as far as the runningbacks will take them. None of our quarterbacks can be expected to be "the guy," at least not this year. And there's no WR that is going to be "the guy" the way that Brandon Marshall was last year. We need more out of our running game.
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Old 07-16-2010, 07:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oubronco View Post
Wait a minute there all we kept hearing all season and this offseason was it was all the o-lines fault........HMMMMMMMM

I love to hear that he's taking blame for his mistakes and he's correcting them
The second half of the season, especially towards the end, was the O-Line's fault more than his. And those stats make a nice feel good fluff piece during the off season, but are we just pretending not to remember that when we needed a yard or two for a first down we never could get it running the ball? And are we just going to claim that it was magic fairy dust that kept us from punching it in down close to the goal line? I'm glad he's working on his game too. He should become a "smarter" player because of it and his conditioning should be better as well. He still needs good blocking.
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Old 07-16-2010, 07:31 PM   #7
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Is this the worst bunch of running backs the Broncos have fielded? I would say yes. Bobby Turner was an artist at that ****. Then again, if Knowshon can show first round talent it will be alright.

In 1994 the Broncos had the 23rd ranked rushing attack. 431 att for 1470 yds and a 3.4 average. Leading rusher was Leonard Russell with 620 yards on 190 attempts. Second leading rusher that season was John Elway. In 1992, Denver had the 25th ranked rushing attack. 403 att for 1500 yards and a 3.7 average. Leading rusher was Gaston Green with 641 yards on 161 attempts. The 1962 Broncos were 19th out of 22 teams in running the football. 322 att, 1298 yards in 14 games. The leading rusher was Donnie Stone with 360 yards on 94 attempts and a 3.8 average. While the 2009 Broncos running game was far from what we had seen from 1995-2008 it is also just as far from the worst collection of backs the Broncos have had.

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Old 07-17-2010, 07:39 AM   #8
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I really think that Moreno needs to add some weight some bulk and needs to be get stronger in his lower body. I'm impressed with his skills but he has to improve on those short yardage situations.
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:13 AM   #9
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In 1994 the Broncos had the 23rd ranked rushing attack. 431 att for 1470 yds and a 3.4 average. Leading rusher was Leonard Russell with 620 yards on 190 attempts. Second leading rusher that season was John Elway. In 1992, Denver had the 25th ranked rushing attack. 403 att for 1500 yards and a 3.7 average. Leading rusher was Gaston Green with 641 yards on 161 attempts. The 1962 Broncos were 19th out of 22 teams in running the football. 322 att, 1298 yards in 14 games. The leading rusher was Donnie Stone with 360 yards on 94 attempts and a 3.8 average. While the 2009 Broncos running game was far from what we had seen from 1995-2008 it is also just as far from the worst collection of backs the Broncos have had.

You got me. Of course, I was trying to refer to the prime Shannahan years. Plus nobody in this group can match the name Gaston Green.
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:54 AM   #10
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This team will only go as far as the runningbacks will take them. None of our quarterbacks can be expected to be "the guy," at least not this year. And there's no WR that is going to be "the guy" the way that Brandon Marshall was last year. We need more out of our running game.
I think we will see a more balanced attack with no real stars and I believe it will be very efective. Instead of having a 10 as the star with a bunch of 6's in support McD is building a team of 7s & 8s and maybe a 9. I think this is a formula for a dynesity. I believe we will make the playoffs every year far into the future.

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Old 07-17-2010, 09:11 AM   #11
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Is this the worst bunch of running backs the Broncos have fielded? I would say yes. Bobby Turner was an artist at that ****. Then again, if Knowshon can show first round talent it will be alright.
Wow, its wierd how differently fans can see things.

I am very excited about this year's running game, especially if we see some more short yardage power from the LG and C position.

Moreno will sell out for the team. He may have gotten injured and doesn't have the raw talent of some, but I really, really like how he fits this system.

You don't like Buckhalter's performance, or you don't trust his health? The dude can take over a game if he's healthy.

Hasve you watched any of the clips of rookies like Toney Baker? He's one of those short, compact sledge hammers.

Arrington may indeed be to injured to ever be effective, but he's not a bad player either. He was pretty good in rotation for the Cardinals and a good all around game (running, screens, draws, pass pro). Remember that he was fast enough to do kick returns for the Cards also.

So, why aren't you optimistic?
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:26 AM   #12
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Toney Baker can play when healthy, but that was a big problem during his college career.
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:58 AM   #13
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I love to hear that he's taking blame for his mistakes and he's correcting them
This too excites me. The best way to learn is from your mistakes, but recognizing them as mistakes is the first step. Much better than a former player on this team that only recognized the mistakes of the rest of the team. I just hope, with the running game, it wasn't all Bobby being able to make scrubs look good. But I have faith.
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:26 PM   #14
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There is a part of me that really wants to like Moreno. And there is another part of me that wonders if this kid will ever get it and out up the numbers he should.

For the most part though he gets a pass from me since it was his rookie season, but he had better put up some better numbers and look way more consistent.
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:21 PM   #15
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Wow, its wierd how differently fans can see things.

I am very excited about this year's running game, especially if we see some more short yardage power from the LG and C position.

Moreno will sell out for the team. He may have gotten injured and doesn't have the raw talent of some, but I really, really like how he fits this system.

You don't like Buckhalter's performance, or you don't trust his health? The dude can take over a game if he's healthy.

Hasve you watched any of the clips of rookies like Toney Baker? He's one of those short, compact sledge hammers.

Arrington may indeed be to injured to ever be effective, but he's not a bad player either. He was pretty good in rotation for the Cardinals and a good all around game (running, screens, draws, pass pro). Remember that he was fast enough to do kick returns for the Cards also.

So, why aren't you optimistic?
I am. I just don't think its the most talented bunch they've had. No real speed or size. Doesn't mean they cant be successful. I don't know much about the young guys so I might be wrong.
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:40 PM   #16
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Toney Baker can play when healthy, but that was a big problem during his college career.
Toney Baker is one of the players I am picking to stand out in training camp.

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Old 07-17-2010, 02:26 PM   #17
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I am. I just don't think its the most talented bunch they've had. No real speed or size. Doesn't mean they cant be successful. I don't know much about the young guys so I might be wrong.
The Selvin Young/Tatum Bell period was pretty bad.
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Old 07-17-2010, 02:45 PM   #18
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Toney Baker is one of the players I am picking to stand out in training camp.

Who else do you like junkie?
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Old 07-17-2010, 02:47 PM   #19
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Not a long shot but I think Cox could be a big time steal and I like that TE that was on the PS last season.
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:04 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Popps View Post
If Moreno can add a couple hundred more yards and improve his YPC, we'll be fine. The bigger issue here is fielding a line that's not going to get shoved around as the season progresses.

Buck will play a role, and I'm excited to see what the other backs bring to the table.

When we were winning, early in the season... the formula was splitting 150 yards or so between Moreno and Buck, with Moreno doing the bulk of the grinding. We've got to be able to sustain that formula for a full season.

The line remains the key, obviously.
Wasn't McD's plan last year to start with the zone blocking and then transition into the power blocking system? I wonder how that translated into the late season collapse last year.
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:26 PM   #21
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Wasn't McD's plan last year to start with the zone blocking and then transition into the power blocking system? I wonder how that translated into the late season collapse last year.

That's a good question I was wondering the same thing my self.
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:27 PM   #22
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Who else do you like junkie?
Of the later round picks and UDFAs:

Tony Baker, Perrish Cox, Alric Arnett, WR West Virgina, and 7th rounder Jammie Kirlew intrigue me and may turn some heads in camp.
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:51 PM   #23
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Wasn't McD's plan last year to start with the zone blocking and then transition into the power blocking system? I wonder how that translated into the late season collapse last year.
Could be, but losing Harris hurt, too. You've got to have the right personnel on the line, and they have to be healthy. Let's hope another season and an infusion of younger talent can help this line dominate more often next season.
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Old 07-17-2010, 06:01 PM   #24
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Is this the worst bunch of running backs the Broncos have fielded? I would say yes. Bobby Turner was an artist at that ****. Then again, if Knowshon can show first round talent it will be alright.
I would say hell to the NO! Correct me if I'm wrong but aside from TD and Portis (during the Shanny years) can you please tell me what other great talent the Broncos featured at RB? If anything, Shanny's teams were known for pedestrian RB talent, ya know, plug and play...
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:52 PM   #25
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speaking of broncos running backs, what do you think of the controversial Travis Henry statue slated to go up outside the South gate?
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