Thursday, January 9, 2014
Broncos' Moreno a storm before calm
By Jeff Legwold
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- His tears have their own Twitter handle, and his teammates will usually answer any question about him with a shake of the head and laugh. But Denver Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno took a few minutes Thursday to talk about his emotional style and, yes, those tears that have landed him on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
"I think it was awesome," Moreno said. "It's a cool thing ... it looked pretty sweet."
Make no mistake. Moreno, who just authored his first career 1,000-yard rushing season in the Broncos' record-setting attack, is the fire in the Broncos huddle. In the smooth efficiency of the Broncos high-end, 606-point attack this season, Moreno has usually been easy to spot.
Whether it's his usual pre-game march to the middle of the field, gestures, shouts and all, or his usual, almost immediate post-play bounce from the ground back to the huddle, Moreno's emotions are now on display and getting noticed in his climb to a 1,000-yard rusher with 60 receptions.
None more so than the now life-of-their-own, pre-game tears he shed in Kansas City last month.
"He'll spark it up any time," offensive coordinator Adam Gase said following Thursday's practice. "You never know when it's coming, but his energy level is great to be around."
Gase said he hasn't considered asking Moreno to dial it back.
"No, you let him do his thing, he never goes too far overboard," Gase said. "He knows where the peak is and he'll level out and come back down."
For his part, Moreno says he has always been this way and seems a little surprised at times that the rest of the football world is just catching on in this, his fifth year with the Broncos.
Asked Thursday if having to leave last January's playoff loss with a knee injury will add anything to this year's postseason, Moreno said: "No extra juice. I'm always juiced to the top."
Wide receiver Demaryiyus Thomas has said that it's impossible to calm Moreno down during a game. Moreno's response?
"I think I'm mostly talking to myself," before adding quickly with a smile "I don't know if I should say that ... I'm just excited to be part of this team."
And if the Broncos do indeed win their way to the Super Bowl, Moreno will certainly be a popular talking point in those hype-filled days leading up to the title game. He played prep football in New Jersey and stll has plenty of family in the area.
But more importantly for the Broncos, there's a good bet Moreno will have played a big part in the team getting there.
"I'm excited about the position we're in," Moreno said. "But at the same time we've got to go out there [Sunday], make plays and come out with a victory."