Knowshon Moreno holds nothing back on game day, not even his tears.
Rookie running back Montee Ball’s breakout game in the Denver Broncos’ crucial win at Kansas City on Sunday was overshadowed by Moreno’s pregame waterworks.
On Tuesday, his tears were still the talk of Twitter, the buzz of the blogosphere.
Moreno explained that he’s always extra emotional on game day and that there was nothing special about Sunday’s good cry, other than his deluge during the National Anthem being captured by CBS’s cameras and shown in slow motion during the game.
”Pretty much like that every game,” Moreno said, ”just really hyped up and excited to play.”
Moreno has long been known around the Broncos organization as the most intense player on the roster.
”He plays this game in a way that I absolutely love because it’s every bit of who he is, and he gives you every bit of what he has,” running backs coach Eric Studesville said. ”He’s so amped up and hyped up before the game because he’s so excited for it and then he plays with that intensity and that energy and that effort.”
Moreno had 90 yards from scrimmage and caught a touchdown pass Sunday in Denver’s 35-28 win over the Chiefs that put them in control of the AFC West at 10-2. Ball had his first 100-yard day with 117 yards on just 13 carries with no fumbles.
It’s the kind of share-the-load duty Moreno can appreciate because he can’t have many more of those 37-carry nights like he did at New England two weeks ago when he left Gillette Stadium in a walking boot.
And it’s the kind of performance Peyton Manning will appreciate when the weather turns dicey — like this weekend as snow, wind and freezing temperatures are in the forecast for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans (5-7).
But the reporters and the TV cameras surrounded Moreno’s locker back in Denver this week, not Ball’s.
Everyone wanted to talk about the tears rushing down his cheeks.
One TV reporter asked Moreno to explain, ”How do you biologically produce such big tears?”
”Man, I don’t know,” Moreno said, laughing.
Certainly, he must drink plenty of fluids before kickoff, somebody suggested.
”Definitely, for sure, hydrated,” Moreno agreed. ”I don’t know, I guess the slow motion made it look a little worse than it was. Just real fired up, man, excited to play this game, excited to be a part of this team, definitely blessed and privileged to be able to play this game.”
Of course, Moreno’s emotions weren’t limited to listening to the Star-Spangled Banner.
At other points in Sunday’s game, he was shown working on his dance club moves on the sideline during a tense review of a play in the final two minutes with the Chiefs facing fourth-and-4 from the Broncos 13, excitedly egging on his teammates at other points and proudly cheering on Ball after the rookie made first downs.
”Of course, of course. I mean, you see how hard he’s been working throughout the whole week and he’s been working on those little things to make sure he’s doing the right things on game day,” Moreno said. ”So, to see your teammates make big plays definitely gets me fired up and excited.”
Then, there was Moreno doing a sniper crawl followed by a subtle first-down signal with his left hand after a crucial 31-yard catch on second-and-20 in which he dragged five defenders for the final seven yards before finally being brought down.
”He’s a real emotional guy and he plays with a lot of passion,” coach John Fox said, ”and I think that’s what makes him who he is and I think that’s why he’s got great respect in that locker room and in this building.”