New Miami Dolphins running back Knowshon Moreno knows what people are thinking. Coming off a career year and Super Bowl appearance with the Denver Broncos, there will be heightened expectations for Miami's newest free-agent signing.
Moreno is expected to come in and immediately boost Miami's 26th-ranked rushing attack this season. Moreno also will be entering a contract year after signing a one-year agreement with the Dolphins this week.
"I don't feel no pressure to go out because it's a one-year deal and do anything spectacular," Moreno said on a conference call with the Miami media Friday evening. "I'm just going to go out and work hard and compete."
Life is hard for free-agent running backs in the NFL. Moreno said the Dolphins were the only team he talked to during the free-agency period, which is why Miami was able to get Moreno on a team-friendly contract.
The Dolphins liked Moreno's toughness and passion. He's a physical player who is strong in pass protection and short-yardage situations. Those are areas where Miami struggled last season. But Moreno's playing style also led to durability issues. That partially led to Miami signing Moreno to a short-term "show-me" contract.
If Mareno does well in 2014, a larger extension could come the following year.
"Knowshon is a very talented back and we're very excited to add him to our team," Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey said. "He's a back that's coming off a 1,000-yard rushing season and also having 60 receptions. He's a three-down back who can help our team in a lot of ways."
There will be critics of Moreno who will point out he did not have a 1,000-yard season until future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning arrived in Denver. The holes certainly will be smaller in Miami with inexperienced quarterback Ryan Tannehill under center. But Moreno, a five-year veteran, isn't worried about the transition.
"Every quarterback goes into their third-year at one time," Moreno said of Tannehill. "But I'm going to come in and do what I have to do and learn from him. He's been in the system."