Dolphins Sign RB Knowshon Moreno

Posted Mar 28, 2014

Experienced veteran is coming off of the best season of his career.

Seven days after hosting veteran running back Knowshon Moreno on a free agent visit, the Miami Dolphins signed the former Denver Bronco to a one-year contract today. It could prove to be another feather in the cap of new General manager Dennis Hickey.

“I would like to welcome Knowshon Moreno to the Miami Dolphins,” said Hickey. “Knowshon is an experienced, productive, three-down player and adds another multi-threat to our backfield. He is an accomplished 1,000-yard rusher who also caught 60 passes out of the backfield last season as well. We are excited about the contributions he will make to our offense and he’s a tough, passionate football player, the type of mentality that we’re continuing to add to our team.”

Moreno, 26, is coming off of his best season as a pro, as he led the Broncos with 1,038 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on 241 carries for an average of 4.3 yards per carry. He also caught 60 passes for 548 yards and three touchdowns, becoming the first player in Broncos franchise history to rush for more than 1,000 yards and go over 500 receiving yards in the same season..

The 5-foot-11, 220-pound New Jersey native was taken in the first round with the 12th overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft out of the University of Georgia and had a solid rookie campaign for Denver. He started nine of 16 games and led the team in rushing with 947 yards and seven touchdowns on 247 carries, adding 213 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 28 receptions. Now he’s looking for a fresh start with a new team and was sold on the Dolphins during his visit.

“I think the main thing was just getting the opportunity to go down and meet with the coaches and meet with the different people working at the facility and just build a sure relationship with those guys,” said Moreno, who confirmed that he did not meet with any other teams. “When I get out there I’m going to work hard, do what I have to do to learn the new system and meet the new guys and build a relationship and get to work from there.”

Last season, Moreno helped balance Denver’s high-powered offense and played a big role along with quarterback Peyton Manning in getting the Broncos back to the Super Bowl for the first time since after the 1998 season. They ended up losing to the Seattle Seahawks, but the former Bulldog had showed some of the skills that made him a first-round pick and erased any doubts about his health.

“I just did some good things throughout the offseason, getting in and making sure I was doing the right things for my body,” Moreno said. “I was doing the extra things after practice and before just to make sure I was on top of things.”

In Denver’s 24-17 win over the San Diego Chargers in the AFC Divisional Playoffs, Moreno rushed for 82 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries and caught one pass for 12 yards. The following week in a 26-16 victory over the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship, he picked up 59 yards on the ground on 14 carriers, with a long run of 28 yards, and caught two passes for 22 yards.

For his career, Moreno has rushed for 3,468 yards and 26 touchdowns on 845 carries for an average of 4.1 yards per carry and caught 157 passes for 1,401 yards and nine touchdowns for an average of 8.9 yards per catch. He feels like he has grown as a player and a person over his five seasons in Denver and is focused on competing for the starting job with Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas while not putting any pressure himself to treat this year like a “prove-it” contract.

As for his impressions of Head Coach Joe Philbin, Moreno saw lots of similarities between Philbin and Broncos head coach John Fox.

“They’re both family guys and both genuine, player kind of guys,” he said. “They’re just good people. You really want to be surrounded by good people and it’s no different with the Dolphins.”

Moreno becomes the sixth new free agent to be signed by Hickey, joining Pro Bowl left tackle Branden Albert, defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, cornerback Cortland Finnegan, guard Shelley Smith and safety Louis Delmas. He also re-signed Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes and Pro Bowl defensive tackle Randy Starks.
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