Former Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno has never developed into the kind of runner we all hoped he would, but the third year back seems to have finally found a role in Denver’s offense — as a receiving threat.
Providing an option out of the backfield for quarterbacks Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow, Moreno has totaled 71 catches for 667 yards and six touchdowns since his rookie season (2009). Moreno has taken on a role for the Broncos offense similar to that which fellow running backs Reggie Bush and Darren Sproles have had for their respective teams.
Like Moreno, Bush and Sproles have not found a lot of success on the ground but have provided dangerous receiver options in the open field. Since 2009, the two have averaged 114 catches for 955 yards for six scores, numbers which are not incredibly better than Moreno’s, who has seen less targets.
With veteran back Willis McGahee taking most of the carries in Denver’s backfield, Moreno has provided a nice change of pace option. Moving forward, expect Moreno’s role in the offense to continue to expand.
On Sunday, Moreno had three catches that went for 40 yards, including a 28-yard screen pass that went for a touchdown. Moreno has executed the screen pass several times for scores over the past two seasons, and will look to continue doing so down the road.
Moreno is under contract for three more seasons, so if he can continue to take advantage of his opportunities, he may eventually win back the starting job. Kudos to Moreno for accpecting his role, he may just have a bright future in the NFL yet.