Josh McDaniels had running backs with good hands when he was the offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots.
He hopes to bring that same attribute as head coach of the Denver Broncos in 2009.
While the offensive coordinator from 2006-2008, Patriots running backs caught 183 passes under McDaniels. In the same period, the Broncos had 145 catches by their running backs.
Kevin Faulk was the main source of receptions out of the backfield in McDaniels's offense. He had seasons of 43, 47, and 58 catches, respectively.
The highest catch total for a Bronco in that three-year span was 35 by Selvin Young in 2007.
McDaniels's new offensive system relies on running backs to not only be runners but also receivers. Before the draft, the Broncos' current running backs were not known for their passing-catching ability.
Although McDaniels hired Mike McCoy to be the offensive coordinator, he will be the one calling the plays on game day
LaMont Jordan had 70 catches for the Raiders in 2005, but did not catch a pass for the Patriots last season under McDaniels's system. J.J. Arrington has 91 catches in his career.
Peyton Hillis had 14 catches and Ryan Torain had zero for the Broncos last year.
McDaniels may have drafted his new Kevin Faulk in Knowshon Moreno. He saw him as a complete back that could fit into his pass-first system. Moreno is bright and will bring many different skills to the team.
McDaniels felt the running back had "very good hands" and "catches the ball extremely well."
Moreno had 53 catches during his career at Georgia, but he won't be just a receiver in the new system. McDaniels sees so much more in him.
In a new system that will feature the quarterback dropping back, there is a need for a running back with pass-blocking skills. Moreno seems to be that back, blocking for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft in quarterback Matthew Stafford while at Georgia.
Moreno won't be the only back catching passes for the Broncos this season. McDaniels's system spreads the ball around and will use a variety of different running backs.
The running backs will not only be used for screen patterns, but will be split out wide and will run patterns like wide receivers in the offense.
McDaniels's system has made many no-name players into stars. No one had ever heard of Wes Welker or Kevin Faulk before being put in McDaniels' system.
Moreno may be that next big-time player, thanks to McDaniels's new system.
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