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Notebook: Gase Talks Offense, Moreno

Posted Oct 10, 2013

On Thursday, Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase discussed his offense's production and running back Knowshon Moreno's 'hot hand.'

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Records are falling like autumn leaves and the points have come in waves, but for all of the Broncos’ explosiveness through five games, Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase’s objective has remained simple: come out ahead when the scoreboard reads 0:00.

“Our goal right now is just to score one more point than the other team,” Gase said during his weekly press conference on Thursday. “At the end of the day, whatever that takes is what we’re going to do. That’s the bottom line.”

The Broncos broke a nearly 50-year old franchise record of 50 points in back-to-back weeks, scoring 52 points against the Eagles and 51 points against the Cowboys. Those games only represent a fraction of the NFL-best 230 points the Broncos have scored this season – and, as Gase pointed out, they are also reflection of an offense that expects to score every single time it has the football.

“(Head) Coach (John) Fox talks to us quite a bit on offense of ‘Hey, I expect you guys to go down and score every time.’ I think our guys have really taken that to heart,” Gase said. “That’s what they’re trying to do, they’re trying to make sure we have successful drives every time and they try to put the ball in the end zone.”

Moreno’s ‘Hot Hand’

Quarterback Peyton Manning’s production has been a constant in the offensive outpouring, as Manning has thrown for a league-leading 20 touchdowns and 1,884 yards this season.

But the Broncos have also gotten increased contribution from their ground attack – Denver cracked the 100-yard mark as a team for the fourth consecutive week against the Cowboys – and running back Knowshon Moreno’s tough running helped lead the way on the ground. 

Moreno’s 1-yard touchdown run tied the game at 48 with 2:39 remaining, and Moreno’s 93 rushing yards and 57 receiving yards helped move the ball at pivotal times during the course of the game. Gase cited his running back’s versatile contributions as being important to the offense’s success against the Cowboys. 

“He was doing a great job of protection. He was running the ball really well,” Gase said. “The O-Line was opening up some nice holes but he was really making some hay in the passing game – getting to the right spot, getting vertical after catching the ball.”

And while Gase noted that the Broncos would rather not employ Moreno’s services as much as they did on Sunday, he said that the running back was simply too hot not to keep on the field.

“The thing that we would like to do is not use him as much as we did the other day,” Gase said. “But he had a hot hand going. Just to have him in there and to get him that hot, you don’t want to go away from him.”

Moreno wasn’t the only key contributor out of the backfield, however – Ronnie Hillman broke off a 17-yard run and had 42 receiving yards on four catches. Gase noted that a steady mixture of Moreno and Hillman – as well as rookie Montee Ball – is his ideal vision for his stable of running backs.

“Ronnie went in there and spun them a couple times but we really want to get to the point where all three of those guys are contributing every week,” Gase said. “If one does get hot, you have to stay with him, you can’t move away from him.”

Fullback Still Has a Place

When the Broncos came to the line for Manning’s 1-yard touchdown run on a naked bootleg in the second quarter of the win over the Cowboys, their formation included a rare sight for the Broncos’ high-tempo offense – a player lined up at fullback.

Defensive tackle Mitch Unrein lined up in the fullback position on the play and charged into the middle of the line as a lead blocker.

And while the fullback is sparingly used in the Broncos’ attack, Gase noted that he believes the position still has a role in the NFL.

“I wouldn’t say it’s dead, there’s still a role there,” Gase said.

Gase noted that the 306-pound Unrein – who caught a touchdown from Manning while lined up at fullback last season – volunteered for the position several seasons ago and has done everything the Broncos have asked of him when he’s stepped onto the field with the offense.

“I think he was the only guy that really volunteered a couple years ago, or last year and he’s done a great job,” Gase said. “We know one thing, he’s going to try to hit somebody which that’s the really the only job requirement we need. He’ll stick his face right in there and he does a good job any time we’ve used him in the passing game with catching the ball.”

Tight end Virgil Green has also lined up at the position occasionally, although Gase noted that he prefers to see Green at his normal position.

“We’ve used him a few times back there,” he said. “I kind of like where’s he at right now. He’s done a great job as far as that on the line tight end for us.”