Kenny Moore Defining Consistency, Dependability For Colts In 2018
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INDIANAPOLIS – The question to Bill Belichick was about a former player of his, one that the Patriots had cut before any regular season game and had gone on to find success with another team.
Expecting an expansive answer from the greatest coach in NFL history was a hope, but not likely.
Instead, when Belichick heard the question about Kenny Moore---who the Patriots signed as an undrafted free agent in 2017 and had on their roster until preseason cuts later that summer---he was in a talkative and complimentary mood.
“Kenny is a good football player,” Belichick said back in October, when his Patriots were preparing for Moore and the Colts. “Very instinctive guy. He has a real good feel for routes and anticipates route combinations, sees the quarterback, sees routes, sees the ball well. He’s able to play inside and outside which he’s done for the Colts. I think that speaks to his intelligence, instincts and awareness. He’s a tough kid. He’s a good tackler. That enables him to play inside and be part of the Cover 2 scheme that they use to jam receivers and be involved in a lot of run support and be involved in perimeter tackling plays.
“I like Kenny and really respect how hard he works. He’s one of those guys that came into the league without a lot of notoriety but has earned a spot in the National Football League and has continued I’m sure on a daily basis, just to work hard to maintain that. That was one of the things that attracted us to him. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to keep him on the active roster. It was a good move, good pick up by the Colts. I think he’s a good poster boy for that type of unheralded guy that comes in and works hard and earns it. I’ve been impressed with Kenny. I was impressed with him when we had him and have been watching film. He’s a good player. He’s done a good job with the Colts.”
To hear Belichick talk about a player like that is an indication of how solid of a football player the Colts have in their second-year corner out of Valdosta State.
The Colts claimed Moore after preseason cuts in 2017.
After primarily being a special teams player in his rookie season, Moore is without a doubt one of the Colts’ most important players this year.
Following an offseason in which the Colts didn’t do a whole lot in bolstering their cornerback group, it was Moore (and not Quincy Wilson) who emerged as the team’s No. 1 cornerback.
Not only has Moore been the team’s best corner in 2018, he’s also the starting nickel/slot corner, showcasing versatility that is so key in today’s pass-happy NFL.
Look at what Moore did on Saturday.
Moore had 6 tackles, 2 passes defensed and 1 interception against the Texans.
But how about the 2 pressures and 1 sack he had as a routine blitzer? Per Next Gen Stats, Moore had 15 pass rushes on Saturday, the most for any NFL defensive back since 2016.
Without Moore, there’s no way the Colts could have implemented and executed as successful of a game plan as they did against Houston.
Moore's stat line last Saturday with at least 5 solo tackles, an INT and a sack marked just the 4th time a defensive back had accomplished that in the playoffs since 1999.
Ask the Colts coaching staff about Moore and they gush about the person and worker, more so than the player.
“Just Kenny Moore the man,” Matt Eberflus first says. “You look at who he is and what he’s all about and what his character is. You can’t say enough about him. From the onset when we came here last year in February and into spring and all those things he has done a great job of exceeding expectations in terms of what our standards are, for what we are holding our guys to and the guys are holding each other to. In terms of hustle, in terms of intensity, in terms of doing things the right way and being a smart football player. He’s got high, high character and he’s been a really good player for us.”
“Versatile and consistent and then just a leader,” Frank Reich says about Moore. “I just remember early on in the season, even in the offseason, the way our defensive coaches would talk about Kenny, you could tell early on he was going to be this kind of a player, this kind of a leader. He was consistent in the offseason, he was consistent in Training Camp and he’s been consistent all year. I just think he has grown as a player, as a leader. He’s just playing with a lot of confidence. You just feel his presence out there with the plays he’s making and with how he carries himself.”
This is textbook from Kenny Moore.
Jams early, then gets into his zone read. Terrific on 4th-and-4.
This was Watson’s first interception since November 18th. pic.twitter.com/OkHVjBcTdX
— Kevin Bowen (@KBowen1070) January 6, 2019