Knowshon Moreno right mix for Miami RBs
March, 27, 2014
By James Walker | ESPN.com
The Miami Dolphins played coy with the running back question all offseason.
"We like our running backs," Miami general manager Dennis Hickey said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings.
But actions speak louder than words in the NFL. The Dolphins recently showed significant interest in former Denver Broncos tailback Knowshon Moreno, which was a sign of admission that an upgrade was needed. On Thursday, the Dolphins added Moreno to the roster on a one-year contract, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Publicly, Miami's front office and coaching staff propped up the tailback duo of Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas. But the film and statistics do not lie. It was clear that Miller and Thomas didn't get the job done. It was too risky to try this pairing for another season.
The Dolphins were 26th in rushing last year, and neither Miller nor Thomas was good in pass protection and blitz pickups. Miami set a franchise record with 58 quarterback sacks allowed last season, and not every mishap was on the offensive line.
Moreno helps solve both issues. Not only is he coming off a career-high 1,038 rushing yards, but Moreno also is strong in pass protection. Both are assets to Miami's offense and third-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Moreno is effective in short-yardage and goal-line situations, more areas where the Dolphins have struggled.
He brings the right mix to the Dolphins that should make him an immediate starter. Perhaps fewer carries will force Miller and Thomas to step up their games as well.
Moreno has a history of injuries. But a one-year contract offers little risk to the Dolphins. Chalk this up as another wise move for Hickey, Miami's first-year general manager.