Five years ago, when Matt Moore entered the league with the Carolina Panthers, then-Head Coach John Fox gave him his first chance to start in the NFL.
On Sunday, Fox is turning his offense over to second-year quarterback Tim Tebow, who will be making just his fourth career start for the Broncos.
Does the excitement and buildup for Tebow’s 2011 season debut resemble the attention Moore received when he took over?
“I’m going to say probably not,” Moore said with a laugh.
In a conference call with the Denver media, Moore spoke about his relationship with Fox as the Dolphins quarterback gets set to face his old head coach in a Week 7 matchup with the Broncos.
“I’ve been through a lot of different situations with him,” Moore said. “I was with him for four years. I loved playing for the guy. We had a really good relationship, kind of went through it all. We experienced some playoff runs and experienced some down seasons, but I’m really appreciative of not only the Carolina Panthers, but Coach Fox as well, for kind of giving me that shot, that start to kind of get out there and play some football.”
Now Moore is getting his shot in Miami, taking over for injured starter Chad Henne.
In his second start for the Dolphins, Moore will be up against a familiar face on the opposing sideline, but he doesn’t expect any familiarity with the Denver defense, despite spending time working against Fox’s defensive system in Carolina.
“There is a new coordinator, and I’m sure that they are mixing it up,” Moore said. “I played against it for four years, but I think, obviously, you’ve got to be ready for anything.”
Miami Head Coach Tony Sparano is tasked with preparing his defense for a new-look Broncos offense.
Tebow ignited a second-half comeback last time out against the
Chargers, but that’s all Sparano and his defense has to work with when reviewing film of the 2011 Denver attack under Tebow’s lead.
Sparano said he doesn’t expect to see too many changes schematically, but Tebow’s running ability will add a new challenge for the Miami defense.
“Teams don’t change a whole lot of what they do with their approach but with Tim – the ability to move and extend plays, get out of the pocket and his ability to run – those are the things that you have to be concerned with,” Sparano said in a conference call on Wednesday.
“Watching this group play, they’ve got some explosive people and now with the quarterback and the way he runs and he extends plays, that makes them even more explosive.”