Knowshon Moreno impressed in his Miami Dolphins debut on Aug. 23, finishing with 64 first-half yards in Miami's 25-20 win over the Dallas Cowboys.
Knowshon Moreno made quite an impression in his Miami Dolphins debut on Aug. 23.
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Moreno's 64 first-half rushing yards on 10 carries gave Dolphins fans a taste of what is to come, per The Miami Herald's Harvey Fialkov:
"It didn't (take) long for veteran running back Knowshon Moreno to introduce himself to Dolphins fans while reviving what had been a comatose running attack in the preseason's final two games.
"On his first carry in Dolphins' uniform, Moreno displayed a nifty cutback to find a crease before powering his way to a 19-yard gain to set up a field goal on Miami's opening drive of Saturday's 25-20 comeback victory over the Dallas Cowboys at Sun Life Stadium.
"From there, Moreno, 27, (who's) coming off his first 1,000-yard season as well as arthroscopic knee surgery in June, displayed his trademark strong, downhill running style en route to 64 yards on 10 carries in his first half of work.
"Not only did Moreno spark a running game that had produced just 98 yards on 2.1 yards-per-carry in the first two preseason games to 200 yards at 5.7 per with two touchdowns, but he most likely catapulted from fourth on the depth chart to opening-game starter against the (New England) Patriots on Sept. 7.
"'I can't control where I am on the depth chart,' said Moreno, who also ripped off gains of 11, 8, 9 and 7 yards, while often sharing the backfield with incumbent starter Lamar Miller (34 yards on seven carries). 'That's all about the coaches...I have to come out and prepare to get ready for each game.
"'I think we're all as running backs prepared to be a (No.) 1 because you never know what's going to happen throughout the season (like) injuries.'
"That said, two of the running backs listed ahead of Moreno, Mike Gillislee (hamstring) and Daniel Thomas (hamstring) are having trouble getting onto the field.
"They've also been clearly outplayed by undrafted free agent running backs Darkwa Orleans and Damien Williams, who combined for 103 yards on 13 carries, including Orleans' sizzling 53-yard burst that set up the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter.
"'You can learn a lot from Knowshon; he's a veteran who came in and lit a spark in all the other backs to run even harder,' said Williams, who had 33 yards on seven carries, including a 1-yard touchdown, a two-point conversion and an outstanding 35-yard kickoff return."
On Aug. 25, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel's David Hyde explains why Moreno is crucial to the Dolphins' success in 2014:
"You've seen the misdirection, the quick passes and the moving around of key people in Bill Lazor's new offense this preseason. What you haven't seen is the up-tempo speed that defines it. That's surely by design in a preseason the Dolphins are trying to keep some secrets. But on Saturday night you saw why Knowshon Moreno becomes crucial if this offense is to succeed.
"It's not just Moreno's running 10 times for 64 yards in a way that was a noticeable upgrade from what Lamar Miller has been doing. He read holes. He broke tackles. Those were missing since Reggie Bush left after the 2012 season. He also picked up a Dallas blitz, which is a specialty of his, and crucial to this offense.
"If they are going to run an up-tempo offense, they can't shuffle running backs out during a series. This is why LeSean McCoy is so effective beyond the production in Philadelphia. He is an every-down running back. There can't be a delay shuffling running backs in and out if you're going up-tempo.
"Lamar Miller hasn't proven to be capable of playing every down in good part because he can't pick up blitzes effectively. Defenses targeted him on that last year. It's one of many reasons why former offensive coordinator Mike Sherman had to drop running his version of it."
The 27-year-old Moreno is in his sixth season. He has rushed for 3,468 yards and 26 touchdowns on 845 carries, per ESPN stats.
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