Tag:Knowshon Moreno
Posted on: August 30, 2010 12:08 am
Edited on: August 30, 2010 12:15 am
 

Burning questions revisited

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

D. Dixon didn't do himself any favors Sunday night (US Presswire). Earlier this evening, we presented three burning questions the Steelers and the Broncos would face when they met at Invesco Field. After Denver finished off a 34-17 win, we have a few more answers (which are in bold).

Steelers

1. What the heck is going on with the starting QB spot? This has been one of my favorite questions all preseason, because much of what the Steelers coaching staff has done hasn’t made sense to me. Like tonight, for example. Byron Leftwich most likely will be the starter once the season begins, but he probably won’t play tonight until the second half when the second-team is going, after Ben Roethlisberger – who, of course, won’t be playing the season-opener – and Dennis Dixon, who should be the starter in place of Roethlisberger, takes their reps. A bonus question: why? I still don’t know the answer, but I’ll tell you this: Dixon lost any chance he had to be a starter by tossing two interceptions and showing his inexperience and poor decision-making.

2. How will C Maurkice Pouncey perform against a first-team defensive line? Earlier this week, Pouncey surpassed Justin Hartwig as the starting center, and tonight, he’ll test his wares against a very good nose tackle in Jamal Williams. He had some good moments against Williams and some bad moments where he allowed the Broncos to penetrate the backfield and get pressure on Dixon. But overall, this is a move that should work out well for Pittsburgh.

3. What’s up with RB Rashard Mendenhall? There have been rumors that Mendenhall suffered a broken arm in practice, but those talks have been debunked by reporters who actually are in the know. He is expected to start tonight. Of course, he played. No surprise there. He was workmanlike with 28 yards on five carries before calling it a night. But the breakout RB belonged to Steelers rookie Jonathan Dwyer, who recorded 89 yards and a score on just 13 carries while looking strong on one play and fast on the next.

Broncos

1. Will the run defense stop anybody? Last year, the Broncos ranked 26th in the NFL by allowing 128.7 rushing yards per game. So, after signing a plethora of defensive linemen in the offseason, where has that gotten the Broncos? Dead last in the preseason stats with 171 rushing yards per game. Tonight, Mendenhall will provide the next test for the Broncos defense to pass. Dwyer was awesome tonight, though it came mostly against second and third-stringers. Still, the Broncos allowed 175 rushing yards on the night. Obviously, that’s not what Denver’s coaches wanted.

2. Can RB Knowshon Moreno play tonight? It doesn’t sound like it. As the Denver Post reports, Moreno doesn’t look anywhere close to returning, as he’s taking his cuts rather gingerly. The Broncos need him to return to the starting lineup, but it most likely won’t be tonight’s starting lineup. No, he didn’t play. Instead, we saw the return of LenDale White, who actually looked pretty good. He had 34 yards and a score on 12 yards, and if he didn’t have to sit out a four-game suspension to open the season, he’d have a better chance of making the squad.

3. Will Tim Tebow return? Of course, we have to ask this question, no matter how dirty it makes us feel. Pregame reports are saying he was throwing during warmups, so it sounds like he might dress. And if he dresses, there’s a decent chance he plays. He played, and he threw a god-awful interception. But he also showed a nice touch and good awareness on his 3-yard TD pass to Eric Decker. Either way, he looked more competent than Brady Quinn.

A few more observations:

-There was plenty of talk about how punter Daniel Sepulveda would take Jeff Reed’s job as the kickoff specialist. Well, Sepulveda booted the game-opening kickoff out of bounds for a penalty. One word: ugh.

-James Farrior did his best Eli Manning impression with that cut on his head.

-There was a scary moment for Broncos fans when Kyle Orton tried to deliver a hit on Steelers LB James Harrison after he picked up and ran with an alleged fumble. We’ll say this: it didn’t end well for Orton, who briefly left the game following his tackle. Like I said on Twitter, you don’t want Orton anywhere near Harrison when the latter is returning a possible fumble.

-The Steelers accumulated four personal foul penalties in the first half. That’s pretty ridiculous. Not the sign of a real disciplined team.

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Posted on: August 29, 2010 7:59 pm
 

Burning questions for PIT-DEN game

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

There’s only one game on the NFL preseason docket tonight, which gives us the chance to ask ourselves the three questions we really want answered after the Pittsburgh-Denver matchup is complete.

Steelers

1. What the heck is going on with the starting QB spot? This has been one of my favorite questions all preseason, because much of what the Steelers coaching staff has done hasn’t made sense to me. Like tonight, for example. Byron Leftwich most likely will be the starter once the season begins, but he probably won’t play tonight until the second half when the second-team is going, after Ben Roethlisberger – who, of course, won’t be playing the season-opener – and Dennis Dixon, who should be the starter in place of Roethlisberger, takes their reps. A bonus question: why?

2. How will C Maurkice Pouncey perform against a first-team defensive line? Earlier this week, Pouncey surpassed Justin Hartwig as the starting center, and tonight, he’ll test his wares against a very good nose tackle in Jamal Williams.

3. What’s up with RB Rashard Mendenhall? There have been rumors that Mendenhall suffered a broken arm in practice, but those talks have been debunked by reporters who actually are in the know. He is expected to start tonight.

Broncos

1. Will the run defense stop anybody? Last year, the Broncos ranked 26th in the NFL by allowing 128.7 rushing yards per game. So, after signing a plethora of defensive linemen in the offseason, where has that gotten the Broncos? Dead last in the preseason stats with 171 rushing yards per game. Tonight, Mendenhall will provide the next test for the Broncos defense to pass.

2. Can RB Knowshon Moreno play tonight? It doesn’t sound like it. As the Denver Post reports, Moreno doesn’t look anywhere close to returning, as he’s taking his cuts rather gingerly. The Broncos need him to return to the starting lineup, but it most likely won’t be tonight’s starting lineup.

3. Will Tim Tebow return? Of course, we have to ask this question, no matter how dirty it makes us feel. Pregame reports are saying he was throwing during warmups, so it sounds like he might dress. And if he dresses, there’s a decent chance he plays.

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Posted on: August 9, 2010 6:54 pm
 

Broncos' Buckhalter to see a specialist

Posted by Andy Benoit

The Denver Post is reporting that Broncos running back Correll Buckhalter will see a specialist for his back/neck injury. Jeff Legwold writes:

The team hasn't publicly discussed Buckhalter's injury, but put the words "neck" or "back" and "specialist" in the same sentence and over the years that has usually meant teams are looking at the discs in the spine to see if there are any that have become herniated or out of position that are pushing on nerves, etc ...
Disc injuries tend to stick around like the awkward third wheel or uninvited guest at a party. They’re just sort of there. Nobody knows what to do or how to make them go away.

Keep in mind, the Broncos are already without presumed starting running back Knowshon Moreno (hamstring). LenDale White could be the No. 1 back throughout the preseason. Ouch.

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Posted on: August 8, 2010 9:26 pm
 

Madden '11 already features special Tebow package

Posted by Will Brinson

This post will probably come off as "reading far too deep into the harsh realities of a virtual world" (or something), but I found it interesting nonetheless -- on EA Sports' Madden '11, there's already a special Tim Tebow package installed in the Broncos' offense.

It's called "Broncos Heavy" and it features Tebow in a funky little shotgun formation, with one wide receiver and two running backs. (For the purpose of this example, Eddie Royal is split out left and Correll Buckhalter and Knowshon Moreno flank Tebow a few feet inside.)

Interestingly, it's not the same as the Broncos typical "Wild Horses" (their version of the Wildcat), which is also in Josh McDaniels' playbook. That formation, however, features only three running plays with Moreno.

Tebow's formation, on the other hand, has about 15 plays (if I recall correctly -- real football started as soon as I remembered to play around with it today), some of which are running plays, some of which are play-action, some of which are handoffs and some of which are passing plays.

In other words, EA seems to think -- as do the rest of us -- that McDaniels won't be letting Tebow sit idly on the bench. Instead, he'll use his varying talents to really do some damage from some funky formations.

I've messed around with it some, and a couple things pop to mind. Tebow has a cannon. However, the alignment does not setup well to run the option -- after all, you'd rather have the backs starting behind you to do that. The blocking on the play seems to be sufficient enough not to worry about a full-on blitz decapitating our savior.

In fact, I played online with the Broncos and ran out of the Tebow formation -- on one play, I bolted out left with Tebow as if to run, and my opponent's DBs sprinting in to stuff me and I winged a pass to Royal streaking down the left side. It was incomplete, but the better point is this: not only will people respect your attempts to run Tebow, but the computer intelligence respects it too.

That's good news for gamers and may seem irrelevant for Broncos fans, but the truth is it'll probably end up reflecting reality pretty well.

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Posted on: August 1, 2010 9:32 pm
 

Report: Moreno has 'slight tear,' out 2-3 weeks

Knowshon Moreno's hamstring injury from Sunday's practice has had Broncos fans sweating bullets all afternoon.

But if Vic Lombardi's report on Twitter is accurate, they can probably breath a (small) sigh of relief.
The news gets better. From what I'm told, Moreno suffered a slight tear - basic strained hammy. 2-3 weeks. Only his hammy really knows Moreno -- and the Broncos -- aren't necessarily out of the woods yet, of course. Hamstring injuries aren't exactly the type of thing that go away quickly, and it's entirely possible that this will impede him once the season actually starts.

More good news came down too from Broncos camp: Correll Buckhalter is supposedly "fine" and that means the Broncos' running back depth chart hasn't been completely obliterated before the season even starts.

In other Denver-related training camp news , Tim Tebow is apparently quite popular -- he hit Matthew Willis for a 40-yard pass and fans went bonkers in the stands. They then followed it up by chanting "Tebow! Tebow! Tebow!" as he stretched towards the end of practice.

-- Will Brinson

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Posted on: August 1, 2010 5:18 pm
 

Report: Knowshon Moreno's hamstring not torn

Knowshon Moreno's injury appeared to be shifting towards the "devastating" nature, particularly with the possibility that his hamstring was torn.

However, FOX 31 in Denver's Josina Anderson is reporting on Twitter that Moreno's hammy is NOT torn:

Fox 31Alert: NFL source tells Fox31 Knowshon Moreno's hamstring is not torn.

I have no earthly idea how legit Anderson's sources are, but I AM certain of one thing: if this report is true, it's huge news for the Broncos, who lost Moreno and Correll Buckhalter in practice yesterday.

We'll update as soon as something's official.

-- Will Brinson

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Posted on: August 1, 2010 12:47 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2010 2:55 pm
 

Broncos lose two RBs today

Not a great few minutes for Denver during its morning practice today.

Within a few plays of each other, Broncos RBs Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter left the field with injuries. First, it was Moreno, who was taking part in 7 on 7 drills and injured his leg, according to Broncos Rapid Reporter Lee Rasizer . He had to be carted off the field.

Then, with Buckhalter upgraded to the first team, he appeared to injure his left hamstring. He went to the locker room as well, but he walked there himself.

That means fourth-year player Kolby Smith – who spent his first three years in the NFL with the Chiefs – is the prime candidate to take first-team reps. Rasizer also mentioned the team could look toward free agent Brian Westbrook. This, of course, is assuming the injuries to Moreno and Buckhalter are serious.

UPDATE (2:48 PM):
According to the Denver Pos t, Moreno has a hamstring injury, while Buckhalter has an upper-back pull. Of the two, Moreno's injury appears more serious. Jason La Canfora of NFL.com says Moreno will have an MRI to determine whether he tore his hamstring.

--Josh Katzowitz

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Posted on: July 23, 2010 12:03 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2010 12:17 pm
 

5 Questions (or more) with Josh McDaniels, Part 2

T. Tebow (US Presswire)
Read Part One of our interview with Josh McDaniels here .

(Ed. Note: Yes, we are also annoyed that we got off the phone with McDaniels a few hours before Dumervil signed his extension , thank you for asking.)

CBS Sports : [Laughing a little] I'm sure you're gonna be sick of this question fairly soon, but, um ... Tim Tebow -- he seems to almost be the biggest story in the NFL sometimes. How early is he gonna see the field in 2010?

Josh McDaniels: [Laughing a lot] We're excited about having Tim here on our team. And he understands that he's got a lot of improvements to make and a long way to go to be exactly what you want an NFL quarterback to be in terms of experience and all those things. And he's got a solid player ahead of him in Kyle Orton , and Brady Quinn has also done some good things in the spring, so we feel like we've got a great group of QBs that are different in their own way, so it should be a very competitive situation.

Kyle's certainly out in front and had a great spring for us this year, but Tim's got some unique skills and there's certainly no boundary on what we may try to do with any of our skill players, and Tim may allow us to do some things a little differently. So we'll kind of see how those things unfold during the course of training camp and the preseason and I think that'll all -- how productive he can be and what other skills he presents us with -- that'll all … time will tell how we'll use different packages and that kind of thing. But he's in a competitive battle right now and he's got a long way to go and I'm sure he'll keep his head down and keep working, but we're happy to have him here in Denver.

CBS: Alright, reader Joe Schlobotnik submitted the top question on our Facebook page (Ed. Note: Go here and like CBS Sports on Facebook and you too can have your questions asked in interviews!) , and it fits well here: Tebow -- hypothetically if he's on the field -- would he be the type of guy that you'd want as the triggerman in the "Wild Horse"?

JMcD: [Chuckling] No, the Wild Horse is different -- it's a different element for us. It's a little different than the Wildcat and if we were using the Wild Horse package, which we certainly used some last year, it would certainly be a halfback back there and it would likely be Knowshon [Moreno] or [Correll Buckhalter ]. But like I said, Tim's got some different skills and that's what training camp is for, to really kind of poke and prod on your football team and to find out exactly what you're going to look like when you ultimately unveil it the first few weeks of the season and then grow from there. We're gonna experiment a little bit with a lot of different things in terms of our system, and we've made a lot of different changes both offensively and defensively and we'll see how Tim factors in.

CBS: Good deal -- one more Tebow question and I swear I'll stop. I've seen several local media members -- I believe mostly local -- who have tied your legacy as Broncos coach directly to drafting Tebow in the past draft. Do you think that's a fair statement or a fair approach to take?

JMcD: I'm not really concerned with my "legacy." I think any coach's or player's story will be told by how much they won, how much they didn't, how many championship teams they were a part of, did they happen to get to a Super Bowl and win one, or multiples. We're focused on trying to get our football team to play as well as we can and Tim is just one small part of that -- we know that. It takes 53 players on the roster and a ton of people in the organization, coaching staff and personnel department to make a team successful, and we're certainly not going to put that burden on one player, and I'm not worried about what somebody else says my legacy is. I know if we win, that's the best solution for all of us, that's the best medicine we can all have, and certainly that's what we're gonna try to do.

CBS: No, that's fair. People have used the word "brash" to describe -- I guess it's attitude -- do you think that being honest and direct, and if you want to use the word "brash," to the media, do you think that's something that benefits you as an NFL head coach in the short term or long term?

JMcD: I think I just … try to do the best I can at my job and make the decisions that we feel like are in the best interests in putting the best team on the field. You know, that's somebody else is coining those terms and most of the people that may say things like that maybe don't really know me. And I'm not really concerned about that -- as I said, I'm focused on trying to win. And as I said before, if we win, I don't know that many people are gonna call you anything other than "successful," so, we're hoping to put a team out there that can do that and be competitive each week and we've got a long way to go in training camp to get ready for 2010.

CBS: Good deal. I'll get you out on this -- aside from the obvious names we've mentioned so far, give us one name to watch in training camp, whose performance in training camp you guys are anticipating might surprise the general fan.

JMcD: Well, there's a lot of players that are looking to improve. One player that really stood out in the spring because of his versatility, and because of some of the things he added to our defense is Nate Jones. We signed Nate as a free agent from Miami -- he can play inside as the nickleback, he played outside at corner, we moved him to safety … he's a very smart player, a very cerebral guy who fits in great with our veteran players in the secondary and we're really excited to what he may bring to our defense and how we can use Nate's skills to really improve our team.

-- Will Brinson

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