Tag:Knowshon Moreno
Posted on: September 29, 2010 3:21 pm

Big names not practicing today, part II

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Rams RB Steven Jackson – who strained his groin during Sunday’s win vs. Washington – didn’t practice today, and he told ESPN 101 radio (via sportsradiointerviews.com) in St. Louis this morning that he’s day to day.

“I just got split like a wishbone,” he told the radio station. “That’s pretty much the only way you could describe it. … Soft tissue injuries are day-to-day and week-to-week. Anytime around the league you see a guy having a soft tissue thing, it’s really based on that guy and how fast he recovers. The first step today, and probably will be the rest of the week, is to get the swelling out of there. That’s why you do a lot of icing still, and I’ve got to keep my leg elevated when I’m not doing something.”

Jackson doesn’t know if he’ll play this Sunday vs. Seattle, but he also said that if the game had playoff implications, he’d be on the field and give it his best shot. Let’s face it, that won’t be a problem, because St. Louis won’t play any games with playoff implications any time in the near future.

If Jackson – who rushed 10 times for 58 yards before leaving last week’s game – can’t play, expect Kenneth Darby and Keith Toston (who’s playing with a shoulder injury) to share his carries.

Other notable NFL players not practicing:

- Andre Johnson – As Rapid Reporter Matt Rybaltowski writes, the Houston WR's ankle is improving. That’s from the mouth of coach Gary Kubiak: “He didn’t do anything (today), but he didn’t do anything last Wednesday either.”

- Knowshon Moreno – It doesn’t appear likely the Broncos RB and his bum hamstring will play this weekend against Tennessee, writes the Denver Post. That means Denver will continue to use new acquisition Laurence Maroney.

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Posted on: September 24, 2010 1:49 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2010 2:17 pm

Knowshon Moreno out Sunday against Colts

Posted by Will Brinson

In a surprising move, Josh McDaniels ruled Knowshon Moreno out for Sunday's game against the Colts following Friday's practice.

Apparently, Moreno suffered an injury during Friday's practice that will force him to miss the game, even though he hadn't appeared on the team's injury report throughout the week.

This means the Broncos will lean heavily on backup Correll Buckhalter and the recently acquired Laurence Maroney and Andre Brown.

It also means I wish I could go back in time and not be the only person who selected the Broncos in our expert picks this week . Doh.

Update: Jay Glazer reports on Twitter that Moreno's injury is hamstring related and that he could miss up to two weeks. Stay tuned and we'll have more details as soon as the Broncos make them available.

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Posted on: September 21, 2010 4:21 pm
Edited on: September 27, 2010 8:34 pm

Week 3 Top Ten with a Twist: second-year players

Green Bay LB C. Matthews already has six sacks through two games this year (AP).
Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In my experiences, it’s never too early to hype somebody, no matter how early it is in the season or in a career. Sure, you run the risk of overhype, but then again, who cares? That’s partially what makes following and covering NFL football so much fun. Let the compliments and hyperbole fly and see where everything falls (either in the sky with the stars or on the floor with the garbage).

This week, we’re examining the second-year players who have impressed us the most this season. Some were not stars last season, but in their second years have shown they are, in fact, pretty good – if not great – players. Some were Pro Bowlers last year who have continued their strong play. Some have finally emerged this year. And some who were really special last year but have done next to nothing this season weren’t included.

This is the list in which we celebrate those who haven’t fallen into the so-called sophomore slump. Of course, it’s only two games into the season. Still plenty of time for those compliments to fall from the heavens and thud to the turf.

Sanchez 10. Mark Sanchez, QB, Jets: Listen, I know he’s not the greatest QB out there. He’s got a career 54.7 completion percentage, and he’s got 15 career TDs against 20 INTs. But I saw him in last year’s playoffs manage his team to the AFC championship game as a rookie, and he has the backing of New York’s management. He’s not going to be the next Peyton Manning, but he’s showing improvement. And Sanchez (21 of 30 for 220 yards and three TDs) outplayed Tom Brady last Sunday to beat the Patriots. Maybe an AFC East title isn’t out of the question.

9. Johnny Knox, WR, Bears:
Knox is a member of the powerful triumvirate of players from Abilene Christian who are making an impact in the NFL today (Bengals RB Bernard Scott and Bears S Danieal Manning are the others). He had a solid rookie season on offense, but he really shined on special teams, making the Pro Bowl as a KO returner. He’s made seven catches this year so far, and you saw his ability on the 59-yard pass from Jay Cutler last week when Knox used his pure speed to burn Dallas CB Mike Jenkins and make the catch.

8. Pat McAfee/Kevin Huber, P, Colts/Bengals:
Finally, some love for the punters (though we don’t give enough love to give these two an entry of their own). These two were the best punters in the Big East in their final collegiate seasons – McAfee at West Virginia and Huber at Cincinnati – and they’ve translated those skills into the NFL. McAfee averaged 44.3 yards last year, and though his yards per punt numbers have fallen a bit, he’s dropped five punts inside the 20-yard line. Huber, meanwhile, has upped his average yardage to 44.7.

McCoy 7. LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles:
Last season, McCoy scored four rushing touchdowns and he caught 40 passes. Already this season, he’s scored four rushing touchdowns and caught nine passes. Plus, he’s averaging a ridiculous 6.7 yards per rush. He scored three touchdowns in the Eagles win against the Lions on Sunday, and it was the first time a Philadelphia RB has accomplished that since 1995.

6. Knowshon Moreno, RB, Broncos:
Remember how big a loss it could have been when Moreno went down with an injury in the preseason – we asked if Correll Buckhalter or (yikes) LenDale White could take over those No. 1 reps – but since he’s returned, Moreno has reminded Broncos fans why they were so worried about his injury prognosis in the first place. After all, he leads the team with 182 total yards of offense.

5. Josh Freeman, QB, Buccaneers: Behind Byron Leftwich and Josh Johnson last year, Freeman didn’t get any playing time until midway through the season, where he took over the starting role. He kept his starting position throughout the offseason, but he promptly fractured the thumb on his throwing hand in the preseason and missed some time. But since he’s returned, he’s been quite good, and Tampa Bay surprisingly is 2-0. This, even though Freeman is just 22 years old.

4. Hakeem Nicks, WR, Giants:
With a solid rookie season, Nicks was a guy who could be expected to make contributions behind Steve Smith and Mario Manningham. Don’t think anybody expected this. Of Nicks’ six catches on the year, four of them have gone for touchdowns. After catching three of them in Week 1, he rolled his ankle and was questionable for last Sunday. But he returned for the Colts game and secured another one late in that contest. He’s becoming a dangerous receiving threat.

3. Brian Orakpo, LB, Redskins:
After Washington drafted him with the No. 13 pick overall in the 2009 Draft, Orakpo had a huge rookie season, recording 11 sacks and earning a Pro Bowl berth. Orakpo’s stats aren’t quite as big so far this year, but he’s still causing plenty of fear among opposing offensive lineman. He’s blitzing more often than last year, and against Dallas in Week 1, he forced Alex Barron into three holding penalties, including the game-winner.

Foster 2. Arian Foster, RB, Texans:
Did anybody see this coming? Especially after last season when he was just a practice squad player in Houston? Well, who would have thought Foster had the 33-carry, 231-yard, three-touchdown career day he had in Week 1 vs. the Colts? Yeah, he came down to earth a little bit Sunday (19 carries for 69 yards and three catches for 69 yards), but still, is there a more exciting RB in the game right now?

1. Clay Matthews, LB, Packers:
He’s been the most dominant defensive player in the NFL this year. He’s got six sacks already this season, and already, there’s talk about him breaking the sack record (um, chances are, this won’t happen). But considering he had 10 sacks last year and is already more than halfway to matching that mark, that’s an awfully impressive figure. And he’s got an impressive head of blonde hair.

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Posted on: September 17, 2010 10:16 pm
Edited on: September 17, 2010 10:20 pm

Maroney happy to be in Denver

L. Maroney was traded from New England to Denver this week, and he says he's grateful for the fresh start (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Different town, same situation for new Denver RB Laurence Maroney. Namely, he’s injured, and he won’t play this Sunday with his new team.

But still, Maroney is walking around with a smile on his face.

New city, brand new start.

"I'm not going to say I needed it, but it is always helpful to have a fresh start, a clean slate and start over from the beginning," Maroney told the media, including the Denver Post. "All I want to do is come out here and help and do anything possible to help the team win."

Maroney was traded, along with a 2011 sixth-round draft pick, from New England for a 2011 fourth-round pick earlier this week.

Maroney, a former first-round pick, had a history of injury problems with the Patriots, and right now, he's dealing with a thigh issue, though he said he hopes to return by next week's game.

But with RBs Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter ahead of him on Denver's depth chart, it's unclear how much playing time Maroney will receive once he’s healthy.

For now, that doesn’t really matter to Maroney.

"It's one of those things where you know Denver is going to run the ball and it’s one of them things with 'Buck' and 'Know', I'm not coming in there trying to take anybody’s plays away or anybody’s shine, I just want to come in and fit in and help the team win, just be part of a winning team," Maroney said.

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Posted on: September 14, 2010 5:53 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2010 6:20 pm

Analyzing the Maroney trade

Posted by Andy Benoit

As Josh Katzowitz wrote earlier, the Patriots have traded running back Laurence Maroney and a sixth-round pick to Denver in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2011. This marks the end of an up-and-down (mostly down) five-year career for Maroney in New England.L. Maroney (US Presswire)

A lot of people forget that Laurence Maroney set the world on fire during his first month in the NFL. As a first-round rookie in 2006, he came off the bench in his NFL debut to rush for 86 yards on 17 carries. He posted 65 yards on 16 carries the following week, and then exploded in Week 4 with 125 yards and two touchdowns.

Experts started talking about how Maroney may turn out to be the better pro runner than Reggie Bush (remember, this was when Reggie Bush was still thought of as a god). Everyone agreed that the 21-year-old from Minnesota had a rare burst.

However, after that first month, Maroney started getting dinged up. He didn’t miss any games until Week 14, but by then, it had become apparent that he was a player who could not perform through injury. It’s impossible to thrive as an NFL running back if you have to be 100 percent in order to operate.

It’s fair to speculate that trepidation towards pain has led to Maroney’s proclivity for dancing to the hole and tip-toeing around defenders. Maroney does not have fluid enough change of direction skills and lateral agility to be a fulltime “run to daylight” player; if he’s unwilling to attack contact, he’s usually unable to be effective. This kind of inconsistency has driven coaches and teammates crazy. With plenty of depth at running back -- especially given the development of BenJarvus Green-Ellis -- Maroney became expendable.

It’s peculiar the Broncos would make this trade. Yes, they’ve had injuries at running back, but Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter were both healthy for Week 1.Moreno is clearly Denver’s best running back, and Buckhalter is capable of handling 12-15 carries a game.

Maroney, though at least familiar with Josh McDaniels’ system, is likely a third-string option. Problem is, he’s not dynamic in the passing game, which makes it tough to find him touches as second man off the bench.

What’s more, Maroney’s contract expires after this season. Thus, the Broncos essentially gave up a fourth-round pick to get a third-string running back. This makes you wonder if the team knows something about Moreno or Buckhalter that we don’t know…

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Posted on: September 5, 2010 11:12 am

A dead money debate

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Mark Kizla of the Denver Post analyzes the moves (mistakes) Broncos coach Josh McDaniels has made in the past year.

First, he traded up to draft Alphonso Smith in the first round, meaning the Broncos gave him a $2.15 million signing bonus. Then, Denver gave Jarvis Green $3.25 million guaranteed. Then, the Broncos drafted Tim Tebow after trading for QB Brady Quinn to back up Kyle Orton.

So, where do the Broncos stand after Saturday?

Smith was traded to the Lions. Green was cut. Quinn has looked horrendous this preseason.

And Kizla is not impressed:

We salute McDaniels for not letting his ego get in the way of ushering Smith and Green to the exit.

But McDaniels had better be right on first-round draft picks Knowshon Moreno, Robert Ayers, Demaryius Thomas and Tim Tebow. If the Broncos fail to develop anything less than two Pro Bowl players from that quartet in the coming years, then the 34-year-old McDaniels will be long gone from Denver before his hair turns gray.

All of this raised the ire of the Mile High Report, a Broncos blog, on Twitter.

With Smith, Green and the $600,000 in bonuses paid to Brandon Stokley – placed on the IR list until he’s healthy enough to be cut – that’s about $6 million of dead money for the Broncos this season. But as the blog points out, that’s less than what Seattle will pay for T.J. Houshmandzadeh (cut Saturday and owed $7 million guaranteed) and Cincinnati has paid Antonio Bryant (released and paid $8 million).

The MHR makes a good point, but Kizla’s point is well taken also. McDaniels has made some high-profile moves in his short tenure, and some of those moves have not turned out well. If his decisions continue to haunt him and his squad, he won’t be around for the long-term.

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Posted on: September 3, 2010 12:52 pm
Edited on: September 3, 2010 4:15 pm

LenDale White, Montario Hardesty out for season

Posted by Will Brinson

LenDale White and Montario Hardesty each left their team's respective preseason game Thursday night after suffering an injury, and the news today is even worse, as it appears that both running backs will miss the entire 2010 season. White ruptured his Achilles; Hardesty tore his ACL

Clearly, Hardesty's injury is the most disappointing -- the Browns drafted him in the second round and believed that he could be a significant contributor to the team this year. The upshot is that they at least have Jerome Harrison (who, thanks in part to his fumbling, the coaches don't seem to like) who can shoulder the load.

Still, it's a tough pill to swallow. White's injury is less painful because he wasn't even slated to see significant reps for the Broncos, given the presence of Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter, both of whom are healthy after earlier injuries.

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Posted on: September 2, 2010 11:18 pm

Broncos get key components of running game back

Posted by Andy Benoit

Injuries hounded the Denver Broncos this preseason. But in the end – or, from a regular season standpoint, in the beginning – all turned out well (for the running game, anyway).

All-World left tackle Ryan Clady returned to action Thursday night in the team’s final preseason contest. Clady is coming off surgery for a partially torn patellar tendon suffered in April. His recovery was impressively efficient.

Knowshon Moreno also returned – sort of -- after missing all of training camp with a hamstring injury. Moreno did not play Thursday night, but he suited up and sprinted full speed onto the field in pregame warmups (a good sign when dealing with a hamstring injury). It looks like he’ll be ready to go in Week 1.

The man competing for Moreno’s snaps, veteran Correll Buckhalter, also played. Buckhalter started after missing all but the first day of training camp with a back injury. He ran the ball three times for three yards and caught two passes for 26 yards.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com