2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Broncos want to see even more of Moreno

    2012-11-26 16:52

(Eds: Updates with details)
By EDDIE PELLS
AP National Writer

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - In his first start in 56 weeks, Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno kept the pile moving forward, didn't fumble and didn't get hurt. It was, in his coach's eyes, such a solid performance that Moreno will start again next week, too.

Playing his first game since Sept. 17, and making his first start since Oct. 30, 2011, Moreno rushed for 85 yards on 20 carries in a steady return for the Broncos.

He ran for 30 of those yards while the Broncos were draining all but 14 seconds of the final 6:24 off the clock in their 17-9 win over Kansas City. In other words, Moreno did precisely what the Denver running game is designed to do in 2012 - complement Peyton Manning and help the Broncos salt away games.

``I thought he had a very good performance,'' coach John Fox said. ``It's the way he's going about his business up to this point. Everybody had great confidence in him and he came through for us. We've pretty much had running back by committee as it is, and he'll start out there as the starter.''

But up to now, the Broncos, now 8-3 and one win away from clinching the AFC West, have used one back as the featured runner in that committee while everyone else has played supporting roles. Before getting injured in the second quarter last Sunday, Willis McGahee had 173 of the running backs' 257 carries (67 percent), with the rest divided between Ronnie Hillman, Lance Ball and Moreno.

Moreno had only eight of those carries. Since he lost a fumble in Week 2 against the Falcons, he hasn't been seen in a uniform on a game day. In fact, the bulk of his time on the practice field has been spent working with the scout team - hardly the role the 12th pick in the 2009 draft expected to play this far into his career.

``I never felt discouraged,'' Moreno said. ``I knew what my abilities were. At the same time, I was just waiting for my opportunities to come, and that's what I think I did.''

Fox said the running back's extended period on the scout team wasn't so much caused by the fumble as the torn ACL he suffered last November in a game in Kansas City.

``It does take time until you're 100 percent,'' Fox said. ``You're cleared to play but you're not exact as you probably think you should be. He needed some time. But he had a great attitude, a great mindset through that period of time. And just by the nature of this league, injuries are part of the game, we knew we'd need him and he went about it right and that's why he looked so good.''

Moreno downplayed the knee as a factor in his long-term benching.

``Never a problem,'' he said. ``It's part of the business. It happens. You just go with the punches, wait for your chance to come and that's what I did.''

Of the backs left on the roster after McGahee, Moreno was largely considered the one with the biggest upside. He was, after all, a first-round draft pick, with speed, size (5-foot-11, 200) and, now, the experience to handle the all-important blocking assignments that take some running backs a long time to master.

Yet because he hadn't played for two months, there was speculation that Hillman, the rookie, or Ball, the dependable backup, might get the bulk of the carries against the Chiefs.

Turns out, the call went to Moreno, who proved more than ready.

Next, the team finds out how he recovers.

The 20 carries and four receptions marked the most times he's touched the ball since December 2010.

The morning after, Moreno woke up with some aches and pains.

``I'm sore,'' he said. ``But it's a good kind of sore.''

Notes: Fox didn't list a single injury in his Monday news conference. QB Peyton Manning was checked out after the back of his helmet got slammed to the turf during a tackle by the Chiefs' Tyson Jackson in the second quarter. Fox said Broncos medical staff cleared Manning at halftime to play the third quarter and there was nothing new to report Monday. ... Fox said newly signed RB Jacob Hester gives the Broncos a different ``protection-based'' dimension to the running back corps. Hester, who played with the division-rival Chargers for his first four years, said that because the Broncos don't use the fullback much, he expects to play special teams and ``we'll go from there.'' ... The last time the Broncos had an 8-3 record after 11 games was 1991, when they won the division and lost the AFC title game to Buffalo.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Mike PounceyJul 23 12:33p

Miami Dolphins C Mike Pouncey (hip) could miss the first eight weeks of the season because of the hip surgery he had this offseason, according to a source. He [ More ]

Evan RodriguezJul 23 12:23p

Buffalo Bills FB Evan Rodriguez (cramps) and TE Chris Gragg (cramps) were hospitalized because of complications from cramps and were getting hydrated, according to head coach Doug Marrone. Rodriguez [ More ]

Dustin HopkinsJul 23 12:20p

Buffalo Bills PK Dustin Hopkins will have to try to make the roster as a kickoff specialist, according to head coach Doug Marrone.

Vernon DavisJul 23 12:13p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis has reported to camp Wednesday, July 23, according to an Instagram post from 49ers S C.J. Spillman.

Jason BabinJul 23 12:03p

New York Jets signed DE Jason Babin (Jaguars) to a two-year contract, with the second year being a team option. He's expected to serve as a situational pass rusher.

Reggie WayneJul 23 11:13a

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (knee) said he has been medically cleared to practice. He's expected to be limited, though, especially in the near future.

Kraig UrbikJul 23 10:53a

Buffalo Bills OG Chris Hairston continued to receive first-team repetitions at right guard in the red zone drills Wednesday, July 23. OG Kraig Urbik struggled with first-team the previous day.

Jamaal CharlesJul 23 09:53a

Updating previous reports, Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles will not report to training camp Wednesday, July 23, barring a major contract breakthrough.

Vick BallardJul 23 09:33a

Indianapolis Colts RB Vick Ballard (knee) reported to camp and has passed his physical.

Rob GronkowskiJul 23 08:53a

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) has been cleared for contact and will not be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list, according to head coach Bill Belichick.

Evan RodriguezJul 23 08:43a

Buffalo Bills TE Chris Gragg (cramps), FB Evan Rodriguez (cramps) and CB Brandon E. Smith (leg) were out of practice Wednesday, July 23. OT Seantrel Henderson (hip) returned to action.

Rashad JenningsJul 23 08:23a

New York Giants RBs Rashad Jennings, David Wilson and Andre Williams could be used in a three-man rotation this season to keep Jennings fresh.

Caleb McSurdyJul 23 02:53a

The St. Louis Rams waived four players Tuesday, July 22, as they cut loose OL Abasi Salimu, WR Diontae Spencer, LB Caleb McSurdy, and LB Tavarius Wilson.

Carl NicksJul 23 02:43a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Bobby Rainey, G Carl Nicks and DE Da'Quan Bowers may be fighting for roster spots once training camp begins due to other competition for their [ More ]

Chris CulliverJul 23 01:13a

San Francisco 49ers CB Chris Culliver (knee) has been cleared to take part in practice when training camp opens this week. He suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament to [ More ]

Ben TateJul 23 01:13a

Cleveland Browns RBs Ben Tate and Terrance West will compete for the starting tailback job during training camp and the preseason, and it's a battle head coach Mike Pettine [ More ]

Joel BitonioJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns OG Joel Bitonio (ankle) lined up with the first-team offense during organized team activities (OTAs), and he held the spot until he suffered a sprained ankle June [ More ]

Paul McQuistanJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns OLs Garrett Gilkey, Paul McQuistan and Jason Pinkston are fighting for position in the pecking order at right guard, and one of them might even push OG [ More ]

Craig RobertsonJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns LBs Christian Kirksey and Craig Robertson will compete for an inside linebacker job during training camp, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Joe HadenJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns CBs Justin Gilbert and Buster Skrine will compete for the starting cornerback job opposite CB Joe Haden in training camp. 'We weren't going to hand Justin that [ More ]

Gary BarnidgeJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns TEs Gary Barnidge and Jim Dray will battle for the No. 2 tight end spot during training camp and the preseason.

Eli ManningJul 23 12:23a

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) has shown no ill effects during camp from ankle surgery that sidelined him for earlier offseason activities.

Tom CoughlinJul 22 11:53p

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin was not happy that several players were forced to leave practice with dehydration issues Tuesday, July 22. 'It pisses me off,' Coughlin [ More ]

Brandon LloydJul 22 11:23p

San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson is the frontrunner for the No. 3 WR job, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, but he added that neither Johnson nor WR [ More ]

Darren SprolesJul 22 11:13p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Darren Sproles' ability to win one-on-one matchups in space is what head coach Chip Kelly plans to exploit this season. Kelly said opposing defenses played a [ More ]

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 11:03p

Buffalo Bills QB Thaddeus Lewis and WR Tori Gurley had miscommunications on three occasions Tuesday, July 22, resulting in two incomplete passes and an interception. Joe Buscaglia of WGR [ More ]

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 10:53p

Buffalo Bills QB Thaddeus Lewis and QB Jeff Tuel are in an open competition for the backup quarterback job, head coach Doug Marrone said Tuesday, July 22.

Brian MoormanJul 22 10:43p

Buffalo Bills P Brian Moorman was more effective than P Jake Dombrowski on punts in terms of both average hang time and average distance Tuesday, July 22.

Titus YoungJul 22 09:53p

Updating a previous story, free-agent WR Titus Young (Lions) was charged with felony battery with serious bodily injury from an alleged July 8 incident inside a Los Angeles-area hospital. [ More ]

Ryan MathewsJul 22 09:43p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews' rookie contract will expire after the 2014 season, which means this could be his final year with the organization, in the opinion of [ More ]

Mario WilliamsJul 22 09:43p

Buffalo Bills DE Mario Williams, DT Marcell Dareus and DT Kyle D. Williams were all rotated out of the lineup at times during team drills Tuesday, July 22. LB [ More ]

Nigel BradhamJul 22 09:23p

Buffalo Bills LB Nigel Bradham was one of eight players to record sacks during team drills Tuesday, July 22. The team's pass rush has been consistent since camp began, [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group