Denver Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno (no. 27) celebrates after...

Denver Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno (no. 27) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first half of a game against the Giants. (Sept. 15, 2013) Credit: AP

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Believe it or not, Knowshon Moreno had more ticket requests from family and friends for Denver's Week 2 matchup against the Giants than the Feb. 2 Super Bowl against Seattle.

But the running back already is anticipating a huge turnout when he returns to New Jersey on Sunday. And he knows that everyone in Belford, N.J., and at Middletown High School South will be cheering him on in the lead-up to Super Bowl XLVIII.

"Even if it was anywhere else, they would probably still come to it," Moreno, who bounced around in various shelters in the Bronx before settling in Belford with his grandmother, said Friday. "It feels good to go back home for sure."

Despite being limited in practice the past two days with a rib injury, Moreno said he feels fine physically. "It is what it is," he said of the injury. "You have to just stay on top of it. For a lot of people, not a lot of injuries would keep you out of a game like this."

Things have come full circle for Moreno, who recalled winning multiple state high school championships in games that were played at Rutgers, less than an hour away from MetLife Stadium, the site of this year's Super Bowl.

Moreno soon will be in New Jersey again, surrounded by his loved ones -- but only for a short time, he joked. "It'll be good to see them," he said with a smile, "but once it gets closer to game time, they have to do their own thing."

Dawkins speaks

At the request of his former coach, John Fox, Brian Dawkins addressed the Broncos after practice. The former safety, who still lives in Denver, encouraged the team to embrace the Super Bowl experience. "Enjoy some of it, but not too much of it," he cautioned. In his only Super Bowl appearance, Dawkins' Eagles lost to the Patriots, 24-21, in 2005.

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