Knowshon Moreno is Denver Broncos’ Lead Back; Ronnie Hillman’s Role Stays Same
Denver Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno got the majority of the team’s carries last Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs after many thought that rookie RB Ronnie Hillman was in line for those duties after starter Willis McGahee was placed on Injured Reserve.
It appears that Moreno will be the primary back to fill McGahee’s void for the remainder of the 2012 NFL season. Moreno looked good as he carried the ball 20 times for a team-high 85 yards and also add 24 yards on four receptions. The Broncos got 109 total yards from a guy who hadn’t played any since Week 2.
Hillman, who had been receiving around 10 touches a game, only carried the ball three times for nine yards. It was definitely a shock to the football world, but there’s good reason as to why Moreno got his shot.
We have all heard that Hillman needs to improve in his pass protection, which is the Broncos’ main concern with quarterback Peyton Manning under center. He is the guy that will need to be protected the most and the running back is the last guy to save the quarterback a lot of the time.
It is obvious that Moreno is a better pass blocker and what better time to see if he can carry the load than against the Chiefs, who the Broncos surely felt confident they could beat no matter who was at running back.
“I thought he had a very good performance, we kind of expected it,” Fox said, I think his teammates did. I know I did, just how he’s gone about his business up until that point. Everybody had great confidence in him and he came through for us. We’ve got pretty much a running back by committee as it is, and he’ll start out there as the starter.”
I would expect Moreno to continue to be the lead back, but with Hillman getting back to around his usual 10 touches a game. This week versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers they will both have their hands full running the ball, so we’ll see how they do in pass protection while fighting for yardage against the Bucs’ tough run defense.
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