Knowshon Moreno had quite an opportunity Sunday. With Correll Buckhalter out, he was going to get all of the carries against the Raiders, who ranked 30th in the NFL against the run. Moreno did get a majority of the carries, with 19, but gained only 42 yards. He also again struggled in short-yardage situations. Yet, Broncos coach Josh McDaniels didn’t blame Moreno.
“We’ve got to get more out of the running game, not the back,” McDaniels said. “The back’s got to help them, but the line’s got to help, the tight ends have got to do better, the fullback’s got to do better.”
Not only was rookie Tony Carter signed from the practice squad Saturday, he was promoted ahead of Alphonso Smith as Denver’s third cornerback for Sunday’s game. Smith was a second-round pick; Carter was undrafted. Smith had to come in late in the game when Carter cramped up, and was in coverage on Oakland’s game-winning touchdown. McDaniels said Carter earned the chance to play with his effort in practice.
“I think he represented himself well today,” McDaniels said.
Ty Law, who regularly is used as the third cornerback, was inactive with a hamstring injury.
Odds and ends
Rookie David Bruton made his first NFL start in place of injured and inactive Renaldo Hill. Although the Raiders rushed for 241 yards, McDaniels said he didn’t think Bruton was to blame. “I didn’t feel David Bruton let us down at all,” McDaniels said. … The game was delayed for a few minutes in the fourth quarter. Apparently, someone from the stands was flashing a laser light at the players. “They were taking every precaution to make sure we were safe out there,” McDaniels said.
Frank Schwab, the gazette