Correll Buckhalter started Sunday’s game against Cincinnati pretty well. He rushed for 8, then 14 yards on the Broncos’ first two plays. Rookie Knowshon Moreno came in for Denver’s second series, and Buckhalter became an afterthought even though the offense struggled. His next carry came after the two-minute warning in the first half, and he finished with only eight carries.
Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy said the team came in with a plan for how it would use all of its tailbacks, and didn’t stray much from it. That’s why Buckhalter and Moreno shared time against the Bengals.
“We’re going to play everybody here,” McCoy said. “There will be a certain rotation we’re going to have, depending on the way the game is going. We have a plan going in how to play each guy, and the same thing with the receiver group. We’re going to play those guys ‘X’ number of plays and get them in there, and we’re going to keep certain guys in for certain plays.”
In response to a follow-up question, McCoy said the team is willing to be a bit flexible on it plan at tailback if a hot hand clearly emerges during the game.
“We have a plan each week going into the game on who’s going to play and when, and we’ll make changes accordingly as the game is going along,” McCoy said.
Buckhalter outrushed Moreno 46-19 and Buckhalter added a couple of catches. Moreno will be better off for the experience and the Broncos could increase his workload as he gets back to full health and understands the NFL game better. As McCoy said, “the more time he gets, the better he’s going to be.” But judging by McCoy’s comments, the team has a committee approach in mind at this point.
Peyton Hillis and LaMont Jordan are also options, although neither was a big part of the plan against Cincinnati. Jordan carried two times for 5 yards and Hillis got one carry for 2 yards.