NFL Draft 2011: Replace Tim Tebow? Why Not Replace Knowshon Moreno Instead?

Rob GregoryCorrespondent IIApril 16, 2011

PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 20:  Football players Brandon Lloyd (L) and Knowshon Moreno of the Denver Broncos attend The Soft Opening of The Bing Bar at Sundance 2011 on January 20, 2011 in Park City, Utah.  (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Bing)
Michael Buckner/Getty Images

If I were gutsy enough, I would make a Chris Crocker-esque “leave Tim Tebow alone!!” video and put it up on YouTube.

Instead, I’ll settle for putting my frustration into written word. Tim Tebow deserves a season as a starter. The Broncos are not winning a Super Bowl this season, not unless miracles happen, and Aaron Rodgers hurts his throwing arm. Don’t count on it. So, why not start the Elway-Fox era with Tim Tebow?

Have we already forgotten what kind of spark he provided to the team, and really to the Broncos future, when he maneuvered past defenders he wasn’t supposed to get past, or when he made throws he wasn’t supposed to be able to make, or how about when he led a comeback victory that he wasn’t supposed to lead? For those reasons, the "draft a quarterback and give up on Tebow talk" needs to end.

The bigger question is what to do with Knowshon Moreno.

His rookie season went like this: He started off with some flair, then was so-so but then looked ineffective. We gave him the benefit of the doubt since the entire offense seemed to drop off, and maybe, he had just hit the so-called rookie wall. Last year, he got off to a bad start because of injuries and never recovered, finishing with just 779 rushing yards.

You would think that a rookie that is determined to be a great featured back on a team with a wonderful history of solid running backs would work his tail off to be in tip-top shape for his sophomore season. In the end, Moreno averaged 4.3 yards per carry in the 2010 season, with a long of 35 yards. There were flashes, not of greatness, but of something just below that. At times, though, he was just so-so.

Can the Broncos go into next season with a so-so running back? No, and they should really consider a guy like Mikel LeShoure, from Illinois, in the second round of the draft.

Here’s why...


Tim Tebow. Tim will be the starter going into next season, or I shall shave my head, give up meat and limit my football viewing to five games a week instead of six. Maybe I will go on a Gandhi-like hunger strike. I haven’t quite decided. The point is that Tim Tebow can be successful, especially in his second season, if the Broncos emulate a team like the Kansas City Chiefs and have a run-first mentality.

On second thought, it's more than a run-first mentality since running for negative or minimal gains means 3rd-and-long. Not good. The Broncos need a reliable running back, no, make that a Jamaal Charles-like running back. All Charles did last season was average 6.4 yards per carry. Having a guy move the chains, which Denver has traditionally had, makes your quarterback have to do much less. It also means keeping the defense honest and Tebow up-right.

Good plan.


The AFC West. The Denver Broncos have some stiff competition in their division. More specifically, it’s a division that features talented running backs. When the Chiefs come to town, be prepared to face one of the best backs in the game. San Diego? Yeah, they have a solid young running back, plus a bruiser, plus a speedster (unless Sproles isn’t resigned). Oakland? Yeah, the Broncos are more than aware of the effectiveness of McFadden and Bush.

The Broncos, at this point, just have Knowshon Moreno. The other backs are not likely to be brought back by Elway and Fox. Maybe John Fox brings back Lendale White. Maybe. The Broncos should be considered last in the division when it comes to running game. Change, we should hope, is on the way.


Defense. It’s easy. If you have a good running game, then you help keep your defense off the field. A good running game keeps the chains moving and allows time for you massive defensive tackles to get some rest. There were times last season, especially towards the beginning, where the Broncos defense looked good initially, but as the game wore on, the players wore out. This was especially the case when the running game yielded very little and when Orton was unable to covert a third down.

You could almost see a energy bar at the top of your television screen—as if you were playing Mortal Kombat, and you could see your fighter’s vitality go down, down, down—each time the Broncos defense had to retake the field. And then came the holes on defense, and there went the chances of the Broncos winning the game.

Draft a bruiser like Mikel LeShoure, or a speedster like Jacquizz Rodgers, and all of a sudden, your offense—and your defense—are that much more effective.

So, it’s time to stop all the Tebow talk. I’m not at all worried about Tim Tebow.

Knowshon Moreno? Yeah, I think we should be concerned.