He, of course, was facing an uncertain future in Carolina after the team selected Cam Newton with the first pick in the draft and would eventually be released. In the NFL, though, fortunes can change at the drop of a hat. Perhaps emblematic of the team’s helter skelter season, Moore, who took over after incumbent starting quarterback Chad Henne was injured in San Diego, was named Dolphins MVP for righting the ship after the team’s slow start.
“It’s definitely something I couldn’t have imagined,” Moore said. “I credit the guys around me. I got lucky, stepped into a great locker room. Even in the toughest of times, guys really kept their heads up and kept working, and something cool like this comes out of it.”
Things did not come easy for the Dolphins offense right when Moore took over–even as he was acclimating himself with the starting offense, the team struggled, losing three straight and falling to 0-7 before going on it’s impressive stretch run. Moore said he went in with the mindset that the team had to do the best with the hand that it had been dealt.
“We really had to dig deep,” Moore said. “At some point, you kind of just get fed up with it. We were so close a couple of times early on, and we just turned the page. However that may be, we moved forward and got that win in Kansas City.”
Heading into the 2012 season, Moore faces a whole new set of challenges and expectations that typically come with a regime change, including, in this case, a complex new playbook. The sixth-year quarterback said there will be a shift towards a heavier emphasis on quick precision passing.
“Short and intermediate passes,” said Moore, who’s adapting to Joe Philbin and Mike Sherman’s West Coast attack. “You’re going to spread the ball around the field. Three, four guys should have the same amount of catches, a lot of catches, which is nice. Then occasionally, depending on how your running game is going, you’re going to have a little bit of play-action and take some shots.”
The Dolphins quarterback situation is radically different than it was when Moore led Miami to a season-ending victory against the New York Jets. Former Jaguars starter David Garrard was added in free agency, and Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill was selected with the eighth pick in last month’s draft. Some may take it as an indictment, but Moore sees it as an opportunity for all the players involved to progress, saying that he’s really enjoyed being around Garrard thus far.
“For somebody like me, personally, I love to have a guy like that in the room,” Moore said. “A guy with experience who’s done well, a Pro Bowler. Competition’s going to bring the best out of everybody.”
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