Feature

The 5280 Football Preview

Our rip-roarin’, QB-battlin’, coach-firin’, trash-talkin’ look at the upcoming season on Colorado’s most-storied gridirons

August 2010

Hindsight

No matter which QB the Broncos ultimately choose, he’ll be handing the pigskin off to running back Knowshon Moreno. The 23-year-old back isn’t choosey about who gets him the ball; he simply wants to improve his game after a solid rookie year in 2009. Here, Moreno talks about his introduction to the League and what he took away from his first season as a Bronco. —LBK

At rookie camp, the biggest adjustment was getting used to the air here. Football is football, and you’re going to learn and get better, but the air here—that altitude is something else.

The one moment you always remember is the first time you come out of the tunnel. You’re coming out with all the smoke, you’re with everyone, they’re all running. The first time is special.

You’re going to make mistakes—that comes with the territory—but you gotta get them out of your mind. That’s the only way to move on. Otherwise that one mistake you made is going to ruin the whole day.

Yeah, I got hazed a little. The other players are always messing with you. Messing with your locker. Messing with you at practice. Making you pay for dinner. Kyle Orton is pretty ba d; he’s a big prankster.

Being recognized in public has never been a big issue for me. I’m just a regular person doing regular things. I don’t get recognized any more here than I did at the University of Georgia. Every once in a while I get noticed and I think, “How did they know?” I mean, I always have a helmet on.

I bought a house out here. That was my big purchase. I’ve been trying to get the backyard done, trying to keep up with that. There’s a lot of things that go into owning a home, but it’s good to have my own spot. It has a nice view. I love it out here. It’s just real laid-back.

When you come in, you see hard workers and who has their stuff together and you gravitate toward those people. Correll Buckhalter and LaMont Jordan—when he was still here—those two guys I stayed around and tried to mimic.

I think I did a good job of getting better each week. Trying not to take steps back. Trying not to do things right this week and then next week have everything go downhill.

I need to work on pass protection and reading defenses. The safeties tell you a lot about where pressure is going to come from. I need to get back to seeing that and noticing it faster. That just comes from experience.

Running backs get hit all the time. You can never say you remember your hardest hit. Sometimes the ones that look hard are nothing, and it’s often the ones that look like regular tackles that can be the worst.

I’ve got a contract with Reebok. I get some shoes, a couple here and there. Reebok has some cool stuff. But it’s not like you sit at home surrounded by a thousand pairs.

The crowds at the University of South Carolina were really loud. Auburn was loud. And the Georgia–Florida game is out of control. [The NFL] is nothing like college. I don’t think it’s as loud as in college. Or maybe I’ve gotten used to it and don’t hear it anymore.

These new guys coming in, they know they need to be on top of their game. But I’d tell them they need to have a thick skin—the players are going to be coming at you.

Coach McDaniels can be intimidating. He’s a great coach. He’s real smart. He knows what he’s talking about. Some people are just more intimidating than other people, and it’s not just that he’s the head coach. There’s something about him that makes you go, “OK, I’ll do whatever you say.”

In 2010, I just want to win. I want to help the team win. As long as we’re winning, I’m happy. All the individual goals will come if the team is winning.

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