Friday, March 21, 2014
Thoughts on Moreno's visit with Dolphins
By James Walker
The Miami Dolphins will host free-agent running back Knowshon Moreno on Friday. The Dolphins have had an interesting offseason by signing several quality veterans.
Will they add Moreno to the mix? Here are thoughts on what Moreno's visit means for Miami:
- Moreno's visit means the Dolphins finally admit they are searching for an upgrade at tailback. Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas did not get the job done last season as Miami was ranked 26th in rushing. Most of the blame can be pointed at the Dolphins' poor offensive line, but Miller and Thomas also didn't do their part to elude defenders or break through tackles. The Dolphins need a more dynamic player in the backfield in 2014. It can come via free agency or the draft.
- There are reasons why Moreno isn't a hot commodity thus far in free agency. For starters, the market for running backs has cooled tremendously in recent seasons. Ben Tate, the best tailback on the market, recently got a modest contract from the Cleveland Browns. There also are questions over whether Moreno's career year in 2013 (1,038 yards, 10 touchdowns) was a product of Peyton Manning. There were a lot of open running lanes last season in Denver. Moreno was on his way to being a first-round draft bust until Manning arrived. Can he produce similar results if, for example, Ryan Tannehill is the quarterback?
- Pass protection was a huge issue for the Dolphins last season. Miami's tailbacks failing to pick up the blitz contributed to the Dolphins setting a franchise record with 58 quarterback sacks allowed. One of Moreno's strongest assets is his pass blocking. He did a good job the past two seasons recognizing and picking up the blitz for Manning. Extra time for Tannehill to throw the football always is a good thing.