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fordfixer
10-09-2009, 02:27 AM
Steelers' Moore proving more and more valuable
Friday, October 09, 2009
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09282/1004126-87.stm

Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Ham telephoned yesterday on another matter. Eventually, the conversation turned to his old team. Who doesn't sit up and listen when one of the NFL's all-time greats talks about the Steelers? Without prompting, Ham brought up "that little No. 21." He gushed about third-down back Mewelde Moore.

"He's a guy who's really stood out for me because he's such a productive player," Ham said. "When they need plays made out of the backfield, he makes them. He just does all the right things out there."

Turns out Ham isn't the only member of the Moore fan club.

It's a sizable group inside the Steelers' locker room.

"This guy is a professional," coach Mike Tomlin said.

"A rare cat," offensive coordinator Bruce Arians called Moore because of his "unique skill set" -- his ability to block blitzing linebackers and beat linebackers, safeties and even the occasional cornerback on pass routes.

"The Chain Mover, we call him," quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said.

It's hard to say Moore is the most reliable player on a team that has tight end Heath Miller and defensive end Aaron Smith, whose performances always seem to be somewhere between terrific and extraordinary. But he would be in the top five. Earlier in the season, when some NFL scouts were knocking starting running back Willie Parker for losing a step and backup Rashard Mendenhall for being a No. 1 draft bust, they said Moore is too important on third downs and in the two-minute offense for the Steelers to use him in the featured role even if he might be their best runner.

Want a guy to pick up that blitzer looking to knock Roethlisberger into next week? Moore is your man. "He's so good at it that I don't ever have to worry about his guy because I know he's going to block him," Roethlisberger said.

Need a man to catch a 9-yard pass on third-and-8? Moore is the guy, at least when wide receiver Hines Ward and Miller are covered. Five of his 11 catches this season have gone for first downs, including the third-and-4 play he turned into a 19-yard touchdown against the San Diego Chargers Sunday night by bowling over safeties Eric Weddle and Steve Gregory. Seventeen of his 40 catches last season produced first downs. "He just understands the passing game so well," said Ham, who isn't too old to remember how difficult it was for him, as an outside linebacker, to cover that kind of back. "He doesn't just flare out to the side. He understands how to get open, and he's got good body control and good hands to go with it. A lot of running backs don't have all that."

Moore was more than serviceable last season when the Steelers needed him as their primary back because of injuries to Parker and Mendenhall. He rushed for 99, 120 and 84 yards in consecutive games against Jacksonville, Cincinnati and the New York Giants. The only concern with him is that he might be worn down if he has to do it week after week.

Against the Chargers, Moore showed still another talent. He took a handoff from Roethlisberger and threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Miller to give the Steelers a 35-14 lead. "He might throw it better than me," Roethlisberger said, grinning.

Let's not get carried away.

Still ...

When they need plays made out of the backfield, he makes them.

"Seems like he's either making a first down or scoring a touchdown," Arians said.

The Chain Mover.

Tomlin said he is not surprised. He pushed to bring Moore to Pittsburgh after the 2007 season. They were together with the Minnesota Vikings in '06, Tomlin as the defensive coordinator and Moore as an underused third-year back behind Chester Taylor on the depth chart.

"I saw him deal with the adversity of not playing as much as he would have liked," Tomlin said. "It didn't change his attitude or how he prepared. I gained so much respect for him during that time. He never was anything but a real pro."

Moore delivered when his opportunity came with the Steelers. It would be inaccurate to call him their most important veteran free-agent pick-up. That would be Pro Bowl linebacker James Farrior, their undisputed team leader. But Moore is right there in terms of significance with safety Ryan Clark and center Justin Hartwig.

"A guy at his position, maybe you think they're a dime a dozen," Arians said. "Then you get one like him and you realize, 'Man, this cat is pretty special.'"

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09282/10 ... z0TPwursG2 (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09282/1004126-87.stm#ixzz0TPwursG2)

flippy
10-10-2009, 01:17 PM
I'd like to see him on the field on more downs.

M&M in the backfield together.

Moore and Mendy.

C'Mon Bruce, I could come up with some unique plays with that combo....

stlrz d
10-10-2009, 01:45 PM
I saw plenty of this guy in MN before the Steelers signed him and he's always been a guy who contributes beyond just doing a job. If you do a search way back when...you'll see that I knew this guy was a good signing by us and that he'd be a good contributor.

Chalk him up as one of the overpaid janitor's guys. ;) :P

fordfixer
10-10-2009, 03:19 PM
I saw plenty of this guy in MN before the Steelers signed him and he's always been a guy who contributes beyond just doing a job. If you do a search way back when...you'll see that I knew this guy was a good signing by us and that he'd be a good contributor.

Chalk him up as one of the overpaid janitor's guys. ;) :P
I all most expected to see a merge sign :lol: :lol:

RuthlessBurgher
10-10-2009, 03:34 PM
It's hard to say Moore is the most reliable player on a team that has tight end Heath Miller and defensive end Aaron Smith, whose performances always seem to be somewhere between terrific and extraordinary. But he would be in the top five.

This passage got me thinking about who those top five most reliable Steelers would be.

I agree that Aaron Smith and Heath Miller would be #1 and #2. Both give 100% effort 100% of the time, and are underappreciated nationally. The #3 spot would have to go to Hines Ward. Although he dropped a couple of passes in our last game, he's still the guy you want catching the ball in a pressure situation, or blocking downfield for one of his teammates. I'd give #4 to James Farrior, even though he looked as though he may have lost a step when allowing the late 4th down conversion against the Bengals (he may just have happened to take a poor angle to the ball on that particular play, though). Although Harrison, Woodley, and Timmons are have more dynamic potential, Farrior is the steady rock in the middle of our defense. I'd give Moore the #5 spot because he always shows up when called upon and seems to do everything we ask of him well. Guys like Ben and Troy are certainly more valuable, but they aren't necessarily the definition of a reliable, dependable type, since they tend to take more risks (Troy's rather unconventional approach to the SS position makes him truly great, but can occassionally get him out of position, and Ben can sometimes revert back to a gunslinger mentality in which he start throwing interceptions).

AngryAsian
10-10-2009, 04:51 PM
Last year, after seeing his performance in the night game against the Ratbirds early in Oct. 2008, I was sold. The guy carried this team for a stretch of games until Willie was able to get healthy enough to come back. The production would be more boldly highlighted if we actually used the 2 minute drill more often (Ben's most comfortable set, IMO). I think he's our version of players like Brian Westbrook or Marshall Faulk. I think his hands are phenomenal and adds to our spread formation with true threat coming out of the backfield.

Not hating on Willie, but if he has dwindled in skill set, and will likely not be reinserted into next year's line up. Having Mendy and Moore would be a potent one-two punch. This would give him increased snaps, which is very good thing. What has always boggled me is that, taking into account last year and this year's production, why wouldn't we use Moore, well.... more? He not only has the confidence of his teammates but the preparation regime of someone you know will always bring his 'A' game week in and week out. As Flippy said, Moore and Mendy. (sounds like a 70s sitcom with Robin Williams, :x )

Shoe
10-10-2009, 08:22 PM
Our Kevin Faulk.