“I Didn’t Understand The Game Probably Until Last Year”

December 12th, 2015
Cornerback Sterling Moore told quite a story yesterday

Cornerback Sterling Moore told quite a story yesterday

Odell Beckham, Jr., Dez Bryant, Julio Jones? Covering these dudes hasn’t been too much for the Bucs’ lockdown cornerback, Sterling Moore.

Moore joined Buccaneers Insider Live yesterday and opened up on his rise to the premier role in the Tampa Bay secondary.

The 25-year-old, soon-to-be free agent explained how his game is uniquely on the rise. A guy who didn’t play football until his senior year of high school, Moore said he’s not a traditional learner and is blooming late in his NFL career, which began as an undrafted free agent in 2011.

“Honestly, I didn’t probably understand the game until last year,” Moore said. “I didn’t know personnel.  I knew when there was three wide receivers in, but that’s about it. I couldn’t tell you personnel. I couldn’t tell you things like that. I couldn’t tell you route combinations. So, last year things finally started to click.”

That’s a pretty stunning revelation, and it’s compounded by the fact Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht have labeled Moore an extremely intelligent player.

Moore arrived in Tampa this offseason rather cocky, stating he was an outside cornerback and shouldn’t be pigeonholed as a nickel back.

On finally getting a start at corner following the ludicrous Tim Jennings Experience, Moore said the waiting game was difficult.

“It did take a while,” Moore said. “At times, it was frustrating. You know, especially the games where I wasn’t playing.

“I just needed a shot to do that.”

For those who lost track, Julio Jones, the NFL’s leading receiver, caught just one ball in the second half with Moore shadowing him against the Bucs on Sunday.

Joe’s really intrigued by Moore and how his future plays out. The guy’s going to have incredible contract leverage if he closes out this season strong.

9 Responses to ““I Didn’t Understand The Game Probably Until Last Year””

  1. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    I would re-sign him, but that wouldn’t keep me from drafting a CB in the first 3 rounds this offseason.

  2. No_Bucs_Given Says:

    I wouldn’t annoint him as a lockdown CB just yet…

  3. James Walker Says:

    We already drafted a CB in the second round named Banks. It is looking more that CB can be picked up off the street. CB are becoming like RB because of the rules changed that has made the NFL a pass friendly league means college talented CB is not guaranteed to be successful in the NFL.

  4. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    To me

    …..Moore is the steal of the free agents

  5. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    James, CB is no different than any other position. Most good players are found in the first 4 rounds. You can’t say because Banks isn’t working out that we should never draft a CB. The pass-happy NFL means that a good CB is more important than ever. More likely to draft one than fight 31 other teams for players that no one drafted.

  6. Dean Says:

    Most of us figure that top 3-round draft picks are going to automatically add to our team and talent. Such is not the case. Almost 50% of first rounders flop. So, when you look at Banks as a loss, it may not be accurate. He could just have peaked as a good backup.
    There are always other surprises like Kwan, who is a first-2nd round starter, taken in a later round. So, you keep trying and live through the disappointments and revel in the surprises.

  7. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Well considering the draft I gotta say Dean FTW!!!

    So, you keep trying and live through the disappointments and revel in the surprises.

  8. godzilla13 Says:

    Sterling Moore was playing physical with Julio and came up again with critical stops when he needed to. Can’t imagine where this team would be right now without him. Moore and Chris Conte have been the surprise players in the FA class of this year. Henry Melton has been decent and we know where George Johnson stands. We will find out over the next four games if Bruce Carter is a bust or not? Jude Adjei-Barimah was all over his receivers before going out. I still would like to see us start pressing receivers more. I just hate seeing receivers wide open over the middle on go or slant routes. Get the CB’s on the line and play “smash mouth,” literally. Keep blitzing, especially against Brees. Ever notice all the good things that happen when we blitz? I would be hard pressed to think of a really bad play given up while we blitz? What Marinelli did to the red hot Redskins, running the same defensive philosophy in Dallas…with tons and tons of pressure on Cousins, made their defense look great.

  9. Mike Johnson Says:

    If I were the Bucs..Sure I’d draft a CB..but not in the 1st or 2nd rd. Good CB’s can be found in later rds. We’d better concentrate on a Def Lineman or End. And somebody to replace Mankins and Cherlus on Offense who are starting to get a little long in the tooth.