Could Knowshon Moreno Start for the Denver Broncos Again?

Travis WakemanCorrespondent IISeptember 15, 2012

Moreno celebrates his TD run vs Pittsburgh.
Moreno celebrates his TD run vs Pittsburgh.Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

It was 1st-and-goal from the Pittsburgh Steelers 7-yard line in the middle of the second quarter of the Denver Broncos' season opener last Sunday night. Peyton Manning lined up in the shotgun and handed the ball not to Willis McGahee but to Knowshon Moreno, who trotted in for a touchdown.

Moreno only had five carries on Sunday night for 13 yards, but McGahee ran it only 16 times. Now reports have surfaced that McGahee's workload will continue to decrease.

The ex-Georgia Bulldog is one of the only remnants from the Josh McDaniels regime, but the current organization seems committed to giving Moreno every chance to live up to his first-round billing.

Moreno has had his off-the-field troubles and will have to prove he can stay healthy, but he has a great opportunity to emerge as a weapon for the Broncos offense.

McGahee has crossed the 30-year-old mark, which running backs dread, while Moreno just turned 25 and still has plenty left in the tank.

Moreno had a down year in 2011 due to injury, but the year before, he scored five rushing touchdowns and averaged over four yards a carry. That season, he also caught 37 balls for another three scores.

The news that McGahee will see fewer carries means Moreno should see the field a lot more than was anticipated this preseason and could become the team's main third-down back.

The 16 carries McGahee had in Week 1 were probably about what he can expect to see on a weekly basis. If Moreno can work his way into 10 touches or so per game, who knows? Maybe he could do enough with it to convince the coaching staff to give him a chance to be the feature back.

Moreno's athleticism blends well with the new up-tempo, no-huddle offense that Peyton Manning leads. If Moreno makes the most of the chances he gets, he could go from goat to glory and perhaps fulfill all of those expectations that came with him when the team took him No. 12 overall in the 2009 NFL draft.

That would be a very refreshing scenario.