During the 2012 preseason there will be certain players that we'll go back and specifically watch for during the games, trying to get a feel for who will help this team in 2012, and who needs to go home. Prior to the first preseason game against St. Louis, I shared eight players that I would be watching during the game, all eight of which will be reviewed extensively on Colts Authority, along with several other players. The previously reviewed players are listed here:
A utility back, a career backup, and knowledgeable veteran.
Moore came from Pittsburgh this season, entering his ninth season, following his former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians to Indianapolis. Moore has started fifteen games over his eight-year career, and has averaged about 62 rush attempts per season. Even that is a bit of a misleading stat, as Moore has attempted 35 or less runs in five of the last six seasons.
While Moore hasn't been a heavy lifter, he has been efficient, averaging 4.4 yards per carry over those last six seasons, including over seven yards per carry last season (albeit on just 22 carries).
So, for a player who hasn't been asked to carry much of a load, but may be effective in this offense, how will he fit? We start to get an answer to that question when reviewing his film from Sunday.
Moore's easily most impressive part of his game is his pass protection, of which he has great technique. He wasn't challenged to make any particularly challenging reads, or lateral movement to pick up blitzers, but he impressed nonetheless.
While all he had to do was stand and wait for the linebacker to come to him on each play, he did so very effectively, stopping the blitzers in their tracks on four of the five times he was held back in pass protection. On the fifth time, the pass was made before the linebacker got to the pocket.
While I think Donald Brown is more than serviceable as a blocker, Moore does have a bit more strength than Brown, and is a better one-on-one blocker, one of the best in the league. I would like to see a bit more from him in moving around in the pocket, as he didn't get a chance to showcase that on Sunday, but other than that I have zero qualms about his role as a pass protector.
In the passing game, Moore was mostly a non-factor. He went out on five routes, four of which were out in the flat. On those passes, Moore wasn't targeted, simply because Luck didn't have to go to his safety blanket, finding plenty of room downfield.
Moore was the target of a designed screen for him though, that went for nine yards. Moore made the easy catch without a hitch, and quickly turned and moved up the field. He didn't seem particularly explosive, but was quick and efficient in taking what the defense gave him.
The most unimpressive part of Moore's game was his rushing attempts. Moore had two attempts for just four yards, one on a dive and one on an inside draw.
On both plays, Moore seemed to just run straight into a pile without making any attempt to cut or burst through a hole. While I usually will place blame on the offensive line before the running back, it seemed Moore had room to make a cut, or bounce it outside, he didn't, and just plowed ahead. Another misgiving I had was the lack of "churning" I saw from him. What you'll see from a lot of power backs, and something I was surprised to see from Donald Brown last season, is an effort to keep the legs moving after contact, which can gain an extra yard or two. I didn't notice it much from Moore on his runs or pass play.
Pass Protection Snaps: 5
Block Attempts/Successful: 4/4
Pass Routes: 5
Yards Receiving: 9
Overall, I thought Moore was better than I expected, but my opinion of his place on the team didn't change. His pass protection is extremely good, and he was much quicker than I expected him to be.
However, he isn't going to be a home run threat, and isn't very evasive (seems to have poor balance). He didn't make good cuts, or really any cuts, and shouldn't be the primary back. However, as a third down back, or just a placeholder until Vick Ballard or Delone Carter develop.