With the Denver Broncos electing to let running back Knowshon Moreno leave via free agency to the Miami Dolphins, the pressure will clearly fall on Denver running back Montee Ball. The second-year back must correct mistakes that he made during his rookie campaign in the 2013 season. Ball did have fumbling issues that became less of a problem late in the season for the Broncos. However, Ball must be able to pass protect for Peyton Manning.
Moreno was many things during his time in Denver. Knowshon was considered a reach in the draft, a bust and injury-prone, which led to him being demoted to the Denver practice squad in 2012. After a knee injury sidelined Willis McGahee in 2012, Moreno proved he was able to handle Denver’s load at running back all the way through the 2013 season.
Last season Moreno was known for his emotion, hard running style through the middle and most importantly his pass blocking for Manning. Moreno also turned out to be a credible threat catching the ball out of the backfield for Denver in 2013. The Broncos have rolled the dice on Ball and the second-year back needs to be thinking about what Moreno did to contribute to last season’s record setting offense, not just running the football.
This will be a difficult task for Ball. One missed blocking assignment can turn into the end of Manning on the football field. Ball is running the ball well thus far in training camp. However, for Ball to work in the Denver offense he must be able to pass block first and make plays second.
Hopefully the Broncos’ brass made the right decision in letting Moreno go to the Dolphins. Miami only gave Moreno a one-year deal worth $3 million. Moreno has been having knee issues in Dolphins camp and is not off to the best of starts. However, the Broncos are putting a tremendous amount of pressure on Ball, trusting he can do what Moreno had been doing for Denver.