For starters, Broncos' Buckhalter thinks like one

August 13, 2009
photo - Correll Buckhalter Photo by AP PHOTO
Correll Buckhalter Photo by AP PHOTO 

ENGLEWOOD • After being a backup for years in Philadelphia, running back Correll Buckhalter signed with the Denver Broncos for a chance to be a starter. Less than two months later, the team drafted running back Knowshon Moreno with the 12th overall pick.

There wasn’t much Buckhalter could do but roll with it.

“That’s the nature of the business,” Buckhalter said. “Can’t take anything personally. I’m 30. Josh (McDaniels, Denver’s coach) is drafting for his future, as well as now.”

Moreno isn’t listed as the starter yet, but that presumably will happen at some point. Buckhalter took every repetition as the first tailback in practice this week and is listed as the starter on the depth chart for tonight’s preseason opener against San Francisco. However, Moreno practiced a lot with the first team and McDaniels promised he would play a lot tonight.

Buckhalter understands the situation, because it is familiar to him. Buckhalter has played eight NFL seasons and his career average is a solid 4.5 yards per carry. However, he has started only 16 games, five since 2003.

“I hadn’t set (starting) as a goal, but I come out and try to prepare and execute as if I’m the starter, no matter who they go with,” Buckhalter said.

Buckhalter is drawing praise. He has shown off good quickness to the outside and has often been used as a receiver, sometimes splitting out wide.

“He is probably our fastest back,” McDaniels said. “He is very good in pass protection, catches the ball very well, comes from a program where they don’t accept anything other than winning. A lot of those things are very positive.”

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