More On Moreno’s Sore Shoulder

Running Back Knowshon Moreno

Running Back Knowshon Moreno

ATHENS – Knowshon Moreno wore a green non-contact jersey during Friday’s practice. But Mark Richt said there’s no reason for hand-wringing.

Coaches held last season’s leading rusher out of contact drills as a precaution for a sore left shoulder and not because of an imminent need to protect an injury on the eve of full-pad workouts.

“It’s hard for him not to get run into or bump into somebody while he’s trying to break through the line,” Richt said. “But he’s okay.”

Moreno worked out with the running backs with assistant coach Tony Ball on Friday. But he did not participate in any drills that might put pressure on the shoulder.

“When he’s working Tony’s drills and he’s running through the blaster, or just any kind of drill where he might practice pass protection, Tony can tell he’s favoring that side,” Richt said. “Knowshon is not the kind of guy who’s going to go to the trainer and say, ‘My shoulder is hurt’. It’s up to the coaches’ discretion on something like that.”

Richt leaned toward keeping Moreno in a non-contact jersey for today’s first full-pad sessions. The non-contact jersey means defenders can wrap him up but they cannot bring him to the ground.

– Courtesy of Savannahnow.com

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Richt: Moreno Is Fine

Running Back Knowshon Moreno

Running Back Knowshon Moreno

Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno caused some brief panic attacks when he walked out for Friday’s practice wearing a green jersey.

However, coach Mark Richt said his potential Heisman Trophy candidate had no serious injuries. Moreno was held out of contact because his left shoulder was “nagging him.”

“I don’t know if [the green jersey] makes a whole hill of beans,” Richt said. “When we do our [non-tackling contact] drills, it’s hard for him not to get run into, or to bump into somebody going through the line.”

Richt did not know whether Moreno would continue wearing the green jersey for Saturday’s practices, which are both the first for two-a-days and full contact. Georgia running backs coach Tony Ball made the jersey decision after seeeing Moreno favor his left shoulder during pass protection.

“Knowshon is not the type of guy to go to the trainer and say ‘my shoulder hurts a little bit,’ ” Richt said. “[But] he’s fine. He could play today, absolutely.”

– Courtesy of AJC.com

Stafford & Moreno Dismiss Hype

Stafford & Moreno Celebrate

Stafford & Moreno Celebrate

Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush were partners in glitz, winning their Heismans and gadding about L.A. and being seen with women famous for being famous. The best collegiate backfield tandem since Leinart/Bush acts rather less impressed with itself. Indeed, Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno aren’t impressed by much of anything.

They sat side by side at Georgia’s media convocation Monday, facing separate semicircles of questioners. Every so often they’d glance over at one another, and Stafford would roll his eyes and Moreno would poke the quarterback’s arm, and on it went, two young men reluctantly stoking the star-making machinery while sharing a private joke.

They arrived in the same recruiting class, Stafford to considerably more acclaim, and they’ve been buddies ever since. Stafford was the center of attention as a true freshman and bore much criticism during Georgia’s worst month under Mark Richt. Moreno redshirted in 2006 and didn’t really arrive until the seventh game of last season, but now he’s the one reaping the publicity whirlwind, whose photo USA Today chose to illustrate Georgia’s selection as No. 1 in its coaches poll a week ago.

Not that the subject much cared. “I said, ‘Cool,’ and didn’t really think about it after that,” Moreno said. Nor did he rush out and buy five copies for his mother. “I’m broke,” he said, laughing. “I can’t spend 75 cents.”

A big-name quarterback who was a big-time recruit in a big market like Dallas, Stafford learned long ago to give polite and polished answers without volunteering anything more. Moreno regards the press with a skepticism bordering on disdain. (David Pollack had the same sort of attitude.) This isn’t the greatest news for those of us seeking pithy quotes, but it serves to further the concept of team harmony.

Both Stafford and Moreno take pains not to paint themselves as special. Given every opportunity to say, “Yeah, I’m the Big Dawg now,” Moreno spent media day dismissing the notion. “We have a lot of backs,” he said. “We have a lot of receivers. And Matt Stafford can throw the ball as well as anyone.”

Moreno enables Stafford, who threw 13 interceptions as a harried freshman, to work at a more measured pace. Stafford clears room for Moreno’s whirling excursions by stretching the field with deep throws. USC won two national championships with Leinart doing the same for Bush, and vice versa.

Georgia stands a good chance of winning this national championship because of this similarly symbiotic relationship.

Said Stafford, speaking to the AJC’s Chip Towers on Wednesday: “We have fun together. We don’t go out there thinking, ‘Ah, man — I’ve got to try to win this game.’ We know we have a ton of tools. It’s not just us two. There are guys all around us that can help us out.”

They get along famously off the field, and they augment one another on it. One’s from Texas and one’s from the Springsteen side of scenic New Jersey, and together they’re the most perfectly matched set of Bulldogs since Flatfoot Frank Sinkwich and Charley Trippi, two non-Georgians who in 1942 brought the Red & Black its first consensus national title.

Those hallowed names, you should know, aren’t apt to register with these latter-day touchdown twins. As Stafford told Towers: “As far as the history of Georgia football, I don’t know it and Knowshon doesn’t, either. We just sit there and nod our heads and smile.”

– Courtesy of AJC.com

Richt Compares Stafford/Moreno With Ward/Dunn

Georgia coach Mark Richt has coached plenty of talented quarterbacks and running backs during his career, whether with the Bulldogs or as Florida State’s offensive coordinator.

His current duo of quarterback Matthew Stafford and running back Knowshon Moreno are near the top of the list.

How high does that duo compare to some of Richt’s former students?

“Charlie Ward and Warrick Dunn was a pretty great tandem — no doubt. These guys, I don’t know if they rival that or not,” Richt said. “When you look at the production of Charlie and Warrick together, It’s pretty outstanding, pretty spectacular. Will they be as productive as those two? I don’t know.”

– Courtesy of Arkansas Sports Network

ESPN Article On Knowshon Moreno

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Georgia tailback Knowshon Moreno made quite a name for himself last season with his blend of speed, power and toughness.

Only three SEC freshmen — Herschel Walker, Emmitt Smith and Jamal Lewis — have ever rushed for more yards in a season.

“You knew pretty early he was going to be something special,” Georgia senior receiver Mohamed Massaquoi said.

But it wasn’t necessarily Moreno’s athletic gifts that sold Massaquoi.

“He’s a competitor, a high energy guy,” Massaquoi said. “He’s going to be out there competing and trying to be the best out there even if it’s a cheerleading contest. That’s what he brings to the table. He’s always willing to do anything to get better.”

Moreno rushed for 1,334 yards and 14 touchdowns last season, giving the Bulldogs the kind of offensive boost that carried them to an 11-2 finish and No. 2 national ranking in the final Associated Press poll.

This season, with both Moreno and junior quarterback Matthew Stafford being a year older, it’s the kind of tandem that should open up all sorts of possibilities for the Georgia offense.

Georgia coach Mark Richt isn’t sure it’s fair to compare them to the Charlie Ward-Warrick Dunn tandem when he was at Florida State as an assistant, but Georgia fans might want to look for a few new wrinkles.

“When you look at the production of Charlie Ward and Warrick together, it’s pretty outstanding, pretty spectacular,” Richt said. “Will (Moreno and Stafford) be as productive as those two? I don’t know.

“As far as being creative with those guys, Knowshon is versatile enough to do something besides just be an I-back, no question. Matthew can certainly play under center. His whole high school career, he was in the gun. He’s got much more running ability than I think people give him credit for. We have incorporated quarterback run with Matthew because he’s a legitimate runner.”

New York Newspaper Predicts a Bulldog National Championship

On Wednesday, July 23, New York Metro Newspaper ran a story about top summer sports stories. #7 was as follows: “Tim Tebow. We debated this one for quite some time, but the Heisman Trophy winner, who dabbled this summer as a doctor in the Far East, is slightly overexposed. Tebow was treading in dangerous water when he was photographed wearing Crocs. Then, he nearly drowned when he refused to be on the Playboy All-American team due to his religious beliefs. It makes us even more confident about our Georgia Bulldogs-as-national champs prediction, though. Noshawn (sic) Moreno wouldn’t be caught dead in Crocs.”

TRUE THAT!

Coaches Unanimous on Moreno

 

UGA Star Knowshon Moreno

UGA Star Knowshon Moreno

 

As an update to the previous post, check it out:
SEC football coaches are in agreement when it comes to how Georgia’s Knowshon Moreno stacks up among their conference’s running backs.

They unanimously voted the redshirt sophomore to the preseason coaches All-SEC team released on Monday.

Eight other Georgia players landed on either the first, second or third team.

Senior linebacker Dannell Ellerbe was the only other first-team selection for the Bulldogs.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford, wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, defensive tackle Geno Atkins and cornerback Asher Allen were second-team picks. Defensive tackle Jeff Owens, linebacker Rennie Curran and punter Brian Mimbs were third-team selections.

Defending national champion LSU (14 selections) and Florida (10) were the only teams with more players selected than Georgia.

Moreno, who finished last season fourth all-time among SEC freshman with 1,334 rushing yards, was one of seven unanimous selections. The others were offensive linemen Andre Smith of Alabama, Jonathan Luigs of Arkansas, Michael Oher of Ole Miss and Anthony Parker of Tennessee and defensive lineman Greg Hardy of Ole Miss and linebacker Brandon Spikes of Florida. Coaches could not vote for their own players, meaning a unanimous selection was listed on 11 ballots.

The media will vote this week for its All-SEC team, which will be released Friday from Hoover, Ala.