April 5, 2012

Coaching Spotlight - Matt Moore

Balance, Aggression, and Competitiveness are on the forefront of Coach Matt Moore's mind.

Matt Moore is in his first year as Offensive Line and Tight Ends coach at Middle Tennessee State University. He also holds the title of "Running Game Coordinator." This title is deceiving; he is not just picking running plays. Moore gave a brief description of what the title of "Running Game Coordinator" really means.

"I'll be in charge of various personnel issues on what formations we are going to run," Moore said. "If I'm on the headset and the Offensive Coordinator says "Hey, give me a run" I have to think on my feet and give him our best run play for the particular situation."

There seems to be a substantial workload on the new coach, but his past experiences and successful track record prove he is up to the challenge.

When he was under passing guru Mike Leach at Texas Tech, Moore had to be constantly challenging his O-Line to hold blocks and give time for the quarterback. Texas Tech has always been renowned for its spectacular offensive firepower, and the O-Line played a large role in that success.

When Moore looked back on his experience at Texas Tech, he discussed a couple philosophies Mike Leach instilled in him. Moore looks to translate those philosophies to the gridiron.

"One of the major things Coach Leach instilled in me is that it is not the complexity of the offense that makes it good," Moore said. "It is being able to do the little things right."

When Moore coached with Leach, Leach had a small index card with about five to ten plays on it. Amazingly, that index card would, at times, produce 50 to 60 points per game.

Moore plans on incorporating philosophies like this one, among others, into the Blue Raider offensive scheme. However, instead of a pass-happy offense, Moore envisions a balanced attack to keep defenses on their toes.

"It is all about taking what the defense gives you," Moore explained. "If they give us the run all day, that is exactly what we will do. A balanced attack is important as long as you are using it correctly."

A balanced, aggressive offense all starts with the big guys up front. Without the offensive line, the offensive attack would fall apart. Unfortunately, offensive linemen are often looked over and do not receive a lot of the spotlight. Moore vows to make sure his offensive line will stay motivated the entire game.

"It is the only position on the field where you win or lose every snap," Moore said. "Every down, those five guys have to win or lose a block. I keep them motivated by using that competition to their advantage."

Coach Moore describes the O-Line's job as "A Battle Inside the War," which is completely relevant considering the challenges these guys face every single down. The pressure the offensive line faces is enormous.

To pour salt on the wound, distinguishing the quarterback's signals from the defense's can be a challenge in and of itself. Everything is so cluttered at the line of scrimmage; it is easy to mistake a linebacker's calls for your quarterback's. Coach Moore discussed those difficulties further.

"People do not understand how hard it is to decipher your quarterback's voice over the other cadence," Moore said. "There is a linebacker right across from you, screaming out signals to put his defense in place. It is even tougher because most of the time, teams use the same signal words."

If the quarterback calls out "55 Ringo" while the linebacker calls out "69 Lingo," along with the screaming fans, it seems virtually impossible to decipher the code.

Coach Matt Moore has been coaching all his life. His experiences with Mike Leach have improved his offensive knowledge, and Moore's individual strategies will also assist him. Combining the two seems like a lethal combination that defenses will not want to handle.

Only time will tell if Matt Moore can motivate Middle Tennessee's offense back to the top of the Sun Belt Conference.

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