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Broncos Moreno Slowly Recovering, Smith Meeting Chiefs Expectations

Sitting toward the top of the Denver Broncos crowded running back stable, four-year veteran Knowshon Moreno’s upcoming season carries a question mark.

Knowshon Moreno

Knowshon Moreno

Moreno has not been cleared to practice with the team yet after undergoing an offseason procedure that included taking stem cells from his pelvis’ bone marrow and then injecting it into his bum right knee. In 2011, the player tore his anterior cruciate ligament late in the season and still has problems with it.

During the Broncos’ recent organized team activities, his activity was limited.

Coach John Fox said this week of Moreno via The Denver Post, “He’s coming along. We’re going to be very cautious. When the doctors give him the full-go go-ahead, he’ll be doing everything.”

A first-round draft pick in 2009, Moreno had 138 carries for 525 rushing yards (3.8 yards per carry) with four touchdowns. He faces competition this season from veteran Willis McGahee, who is also recovering from a knee problem, sophomore Ronnie Hillman and rookie Montee Ball.

With Peyton Manning at the helm and 2012’s 13-3 season, expectations are high for this upcoming season. The Broncos sit for an 11 1/2 regular season win total (-105 o/-125 u) and for the Super Bowl, they are 5 to 1 to win it.

Alex Smith Meeting Expectations

Alex Smith

Alex Smith

After his fall from the San Francisco 49ers thanks to Colin Kaepernick’s rise, the Kansas City Chiefs traded for Alex Smith this offseason and so far, he’s meeting expectations.

At this week’s team practices, Chiefs quarterbacks coach Matt Nagy of Smith said via Kansas.com, “He’s been everything that we thought he was. He’s a true professional. He’s in his (playbook) every day. He’s always asking questions, trying to get better. He’s being a leader for the other (quarterbacks) as well.”

For the Chiefs, it’s a rebuilding year and really, things can only get better after going 2-14 last season. There’s a new coach in town, veteran Andy Reid, Smith and a new energy.

But is Smith one of the answers to this team’s problems?

Currently practicing without pads, the Chiefs can just see so much of Smith’s talent as well as his old game tapes. Nagy still appears pleased and added, “I’m with him every single day. Just talking X’s and O’s and past experiences he’s had, he brings some good things to our attention as a staff. He has a lot of valuable experience. He’s been through a lot. Having those experiences and coming in here to a team with a new staff, it’s been an awesome experience. Throughout this process, we’re taking in what he has, he’s taking in what we have, and we’re putting it all together and trying to make this work.”

Should Smith stumble this season, the Chiefs have a full quarterback stable with Chase Daniel as the team’s backup. He was also signed this offseason after spending four seasons as the New Orleans Saints backup; he threw nine passes during this time when pinch hitting for quarterback Drew Brees.

There’s also third-year, third-string Ricky Stanzi, who is yet to see play in the regular season, and rookie Tyler Bray from Tennessee. The two have been battling for the third spot.

Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles

Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles

Meanwhile, with teams seeing some top players going down (see Arian Foster, Michael Crabtree), Chiefs Nation can breathe a sigh of relief on the status of running back Jamaal Charles. On Friday, the player left practice with a toe injury on his right foot. He underwent X-rays that came back negative.

The injury occurred after another player stepped on Charles’ foot.

The running back is expected to attend Tuesday’s start of a three-day minicamp. In 2012, he had 285 attempts for 1,509 yards and five touchdowns.

For the Chiefs, 2013 looks brighter with a seven regular-season win total (-130 over).

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