The Miami Dolphins are on a three game win streak. Earth shattering news I know. It’s not the fact they have a three game streak considering they have beaten the Chiefs, Redskins, and Bills. It’s the way they have beaten these teams. From special teams play to offense and defense, the team has simply played complete football. It’s impressive. On defense Karlos Dansby has stepped into the shoes of leader. On special teams Chris Clemons took the spotlight on Sunday. Offensively you look at the QB and say Matt Moore? Really?
So when is it time to start thinking that Matt Moore could be the answer for the Miami Dolphins? How about right now.
It’s not a popular subject by any means and in fact, the mere mention of the Dolphins future QB living on today’s current roster will bring a little laughter, a little sarcasm, and a lot of “oh God please tell me you’re joking!” Truth be told, if the Dolphins keep winning then they will win themselves out of the Matt Barkley and Landry Jones sweepstakes (if they both declare for the draft). The reality is this however, Matt Moore will be the starting QB heading into training camp next season barring a trade.
Moore has been wildly inconsistent in his pro-career. Last season he led the Carolina Panthers to a two win season. The team was a total mess from top to bottom and had lost both starting running backs and two of their starting WR’s at some point through the season. More importantly the team itself was set up to fail by owner Jerry Richardson. Richardson was done with head coach John Fox. The two had butted heads more than once and when Fox decided he would not summarily start younger players over his veterans Richardson stepped in and traded the veterans forcing Fox to use unproven players.
The bickering continued all season long. Richardson who does not like to pay coaching contracts for coaches who are not there allowed Fox to finish out his deal and then simply declined to renew it. Fox of course is in Denver and Ron Rivera is in Carolina. The point is, Matt Moore’s entire career has been littered with up’s and down’s by not just his performance but by his surroundings.
Back in March, I listed Matt Moore as one of the off-season QB’s to watch as the Dolphins would look to the free agent market for competition for Chad Henne. I had him rated over Vince Young, Kyle Orton, and Matt Hasselbeck. Truth be told, I liked what I saw in the kid…I live in NC and see the Carolina games and highlights weekly. Moore possessed something that can’t be taught and it’s now showing more steadily in Miami as he is getting more and more acclimated to the system.
The kid has poise.
He doesn’t get rattled in the pocket while under pressure. Sure he makes mistakes but all QB’s do especially the young ones. But more makes plays as well. He can move around in the pocket and can move around out of the pocket. Particularly he is getting better at throwing the ball while on the run and is also taking more time to plant his feet and then throw as opposed to wildly tossing it downfield into tight coverage.
Moore has a long way to go before he becomes an elite or even mid to top end QB but he is still learning the game and is getting better each week with his progressions. Evident by his decisions to stay in the pocket and letting plays develop in front of him. Still, like all youngsters he needs to improve in most areas. He has a bad case of “happy feet”. He doesn’t settle at times like he should and his dancing in the pocket can at times make a ball sail from his hand missing his target. While he doesn’t seem to focus and lock on one player, he still telegraphs his intentions from time to time by giving a more half-hearted glance in another direction then coming back to his primary a second later.
Moore stands to gain the most from this season without questions. With rising stars on Defense, like Jared Odrick, the Dolphins offense is who scores points and on offense the rising stars thus far have been Daniel Thomas and especially the play of Charles Clay. Matt Moore should start being mentioned in that small list. With Chad Henne out of a contract at years end, this team is now Matt Moore’s for better or for worse.
Given the fact that Miami is three games out of the Luck drive and six games behind the last Wild Card spot, it’s safe to say that barring a miracle, the team will win enough to finish around 7-9 putting them almost assuredly out of the opportunity to draft Matt Barkley or Landry Jones. Oddly enough, as it is, the man who can control where the Dolphins draft is the same guy who would stand to lose his job if the Dolphins did draft a top end QB. Matt Moore.
Moore’s continued game play at this level will act as a form of job security. Perhaps not long term but at least into next season where he will have the opportunity to start the year in better shape than the team started this year. If the Dolphins continue to win under Moore and win offensively the way they have been putting up numbers, Matt Moore may very well be here to stay.