Ryan Tannehill’s forced departure in the early stages of last Sunday’s 30-9 win at the Jets may have, in the moment, been a huge cause for concern, especially with regard to the outcome an important divisional matchup. But the Dolphins have a luxury with Matt Moore: a backup quarterback whose experience and ability can keep a team afloat.
The team’s ability to maintain its lead and then increase it against the Jets was a testament to Moore’s professionalism and the depth at quarterback
Moore sat down with The Finsiders to describe what was going through his head when Tannehill went down on Sunday.
“I actually went over to ask him if he was going to be all right and didn’t even get there. You can just tell he was not feeling good,” Moore said. “At that point, I knew I had to start warming up and be ready to go.”
It’s difficult for a quarterback, even one with Moore’s experience, to be thrown into the fire without a whole lot of time to mentally prepare. The practice time just isn’t there; it’s difficult to get a real handle on an opposing defense’s scheme when you’re not sure when you’ll play next. Moore, as he has in the past, handled all of those variables adeptly, and the Dolphins offense didn’t seem to miss a beat. This allowed the veteran QB to settle in rather quickly.
“I’d love to say I wasn’t nervous stepping in there and just business as usual, pick up where we left off last year,” Moore said. “There were a little nerves there, but like I said, after that first drive I think we were rolling and everybody was feeling good.”
When Moore was a rookie in Carolina, he played behind Jake Delhomme, a Pro Bowler in 2005. Moore said it was Delhomme — who was a bit of a football nomad before locking down a starting spot with the Panthers — who helped him understand the importance of preparation, even if one’s playing status is unknown.
That’s the way he’s approached the first half of the season, and it paid off on Sunday, when he had a chance to step in.
“There were some things after watching the tape (Sunday) that were kind of funny. I had some footwork issues on some run plays and stuff, and Devlin is in there giving me hard time,” Moore said. “I said, ‘You know what, man, I’m just trying to do my job. It might not be the prettiest things at times, but you prepare to move the offense and things like that.
“That’s all you can do. And if you get the chance to play, go out and do your best.”
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