Updated: September 22, 2009 at 12:00 am
ENGLEWOOD • Nobody is denying rookie Knowshon Moreno will be the Denver Broncos starting tailback. The question is when.
After Sunday’s game, it doesn’t appear it will take too much longer. Moreno had 17 carries to starter Correll Buckhalter’s nine. Moreno had 75 yards and looked much better than his sluggish Week 1 effort, when he gained 19 yards at Cincinnati.
Even Buckhalter seemed to know his time as a starter is running short.
“The guy was the 12th pick of the draft — obviously he’s not going to sit on the bench,” Buckhalter said, without a hint of being upset or bitter. “It’s a business. I understand this game.”
Buckhalter has done everything he can to hold onto the job, however. He is averaging 7.2 yards per carry, and had a 45-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter Sunday. He outrushed Moreno 76-75 despite eight fewer carries.
The Broncos, who usually keep personnel decisions quiet, aren’t in a hurry to name Moreno the starter. Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy explained the spike in Moreno’s workload as a combination of letting a hot back continue to play, and calling more running plays during the series Moreno was in. He reiterated that the Broncos are going to continue to rotate backs, no matter who goes in first.
McCoy didn’t deny that Moreno would be the starter at some point, but he wasn’t saying if it would come soon.
“I’m not going to say there’s a certain date we’re going to put him as a starter,” McCoy said. “Buck’s done a great job for us too, so has La-Mont (Jordan) and Peyton (Hillis). They’ve all done a good job and they all have their roles.”
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