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This is the back I wanted to see the Dolphins sign. Someone with the entire package. Running. Catching. Blocking. Tough yards. Big plays. Winning pedigree. Knowshon Moreno brings with him the type of resume you relish in a running back, the type of resume that could mean a huge upgrade for the Miami Dolphins.
I have liked Moreno since the first time I saw him at the University of Georgia. There was something about him, an attitude, a passion, one of those intangibles you can’t quite put your finger on but you know it’s there. And then I saw it continue with the Denver Broncos where Moreno enjoyed his finest season in 2013, rushing for over 1,000 yards, catching 60 passes and leveling more than his share of incoming blitzers.
That’s a tough Denver offense to break into, let alone become such an integral part of its success. But Moreno proved he belonged. Proved it every Sunday. And now, he is a Miami Dolphin, in the prime of his career, with a strong, healthy body and still so much to prove. A football team that had made some significant progress early in free agency just took another huge step.
I truthfully don’t mind the fact that Moreno signed just a one-year contract. Keeps the fire burning a little stronger. I think back to Brent Grimes a season ago and how he signed a one-year contract and played like a man on a mission. The end result got Grimes a long-term ticket with the Dolphins. We can only hope that Moreno’s path takes a similar route.
This season will be his time, his chance to demonstrate he can be the long-term answer for this football team. What more could Moreno really ask for at this point in his career?
I know the Dolphins have Lamar Miller, Daniel Thomas and Mike Gillislee and these backs have shown some good things. But let’s not fool ourselves. You don’t bring in a player like Moreno unless the intended design includes about 20 touches a game. Now, he just has to do show that he deserves it, which is what the offseason and training camp is all about.
This signing is an important one for the Dolphins in so many ways. It fills a need. It opens up further possibilities in the draft. It creates more alternatives for free agency. I am so impressed with Dennis Hickey’s first offseason here. Not only the way he and Joe Philbin operate as one, but also his calm, calculating demeanor.
But, really, how he acts is secondary to what he does. And what Hickey has done over the past few months is improve this football team, improve it on the offensive line, on the defensive line, in the secondary and now at running back.
Granted, none of us really know how all these pieces will mesh until we see it come together this summer. But, just by judging results, just by going through this team’s needs and how they are being addressed, Hickey is off to about as good a start as any of us could have asked for. He has spent big dollars when necessary, but seems to have also maintained a level of fiscal sanity. The latest signing could be one of his biggest coups.
Knowshon Moreno adds instant versatility to this offense. I like to call him The Back of all Trades. But he is most dangerous with the ball tucked under his arms. It’s no secret the Dolphins had trouble running the ball last season. Statistics don’t lie. There were too many negative plays, too many third-and-stuffs.
Sure, a lot of that had to do with the problems on the offensive line. But quality running backs can make yardage on their own, can break tackles on their own. The Dolphins did not have enough of that last season. Knowshon Moreno, I believe, has the ability to do something about that.
You think Ryan Tannehill likes this move? Now he’s got an elite left tackle and a difference-maker at running back. Folks, he just became a better quarterback.
And the Miami Dolphins just became a better football team.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.