*EDITOR'S NOTE: This Q&A story ran in the Dec. 30 Gameday program, when the Broncos hosted the Kansas City Chiefs.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --After the injury to running back Willis McGahee in Week 11, the Broncos offense needed someone to step up and fill the void. That someone has been Knowshon Moreno, currently on a five-game tear after spending the previous eight weeks as a gameday inactive. In this Q&A, the fourth-year back talks about his emergence in the second half of the season, recovering from a season-ending knee injury in 2011 and his knack for leaping over tacklers. Has hurdling defenders always been a favorite move of yours?
"I really don't try to do it. It's just really an instinctive thing. It just happens. I did it in college, did it in high school, I don't know. It just happens sometimes. You don't want to do it too many times, but at the same time, I think it just comes down to my instincts."
What prompted you to hurdle Ravens safety Ed Reed in Week 15 game at Baltimore?
"I felt like his head was down. Even though he wasn't really low, I felt like his head was down. That's why that happened."
What was it like recovering from a knee injury that ended your season in 2011?
"It just motivated me to get back out on the field, get back out there with my teammates and do the best I can once I did get back out there. It was just a motivational thing."
How have you become a better running back since last year?
"Definitely being more patient, not always hitting the hole too fast or getting ahead of my blocks. Things like that. I'm more of a patient back this year, for sure."
What was your mindset during the weeks earlier in the season when you were a gameday inactive?
"It brought me back to the college days, my redshirt days, not being able to go out there and play on Sundays - or Saturdays at that time. I was just being a cheerleader, cheering on my teammates and getting excited out there. And I just fought and contributed in practice to help my team get better for Sunday, so they'd be ready to go perform and if I got a chance I would be ready, too."
In what ways have you learned from Willis McGahee and other veteran backs on the team?
"You can learn a lot from those guys. Willis is definitely a veteran guy. Before, we had Correll Buckhalter. When he was here, he was a veteran guy, too. You just take little things from their game - how to read blocks, pass protection, how they carry themselves on and off the field. It definitely means a lot when you're a younger back."
Has the depth and competition among the running backs benefited you and the other backs?
"You always have to be competitive, especially in the offseason when you're competing for a job. But even during the season, just pushing each other so that you get yourself better and you're pushing the other guy so he gets better also. That's how the team gets better."
How has quarterback Peyton Manning helped you?
"Definitely in the aspect of pass protection, making sure he doesn't get hit, and things like that. That's what we do as a backfield. At the same time, it's making sure I know everything that I need to be doing because he knows where everyone needs to be. He knows everything that's going on on the field. So you want to make sure you're doing the right things and in the right places at the right time."
In all of your football career, have you ever been a part of a winning streak like this one?
"Not nine. Nowhere near nine. I think it just all comes back to preparation that everyone puts in throughout the week and the hard work that we put in. On Sundays, just executing those gameplans, working hard and playing hard, hoping that good things happen."
What makes this team special?
"It's how we play for each other out there - that's the main thing. We don't strive for nothing less than excellence, nothing less than perfect. That's how we go into every game - wanting to do our best. If it's not, then it's kind of like a failure, even if we won, we want more - you know what I mean? It's just striving for perfection every time, and then going out there and performing."