“Sunday, having to go in, it took me a series,” Moore said. “That first series we had two runs and the pass on third down that wasn’t very good. And then after that, I settled down a little bit. So I guess I needed that little time to feel everything out and get in the rhythm of the game. But once that second drive hit, I felt pretty comfortable.
“The preseason did not go very well for me personally. So to go out and get the win is a big deal for my confidence and to still know I can do this, you know, let’s these guys know that if, God forbid, Ryan isn’t out there, we’re going to be all right.”
Moore’s value as a backup extends beyond the comfort coaches must feel when he has to play. Despite not starting, he is a leader on the team. Players respect him. They value him.
“He’s upbeat, he’s positive, he likes the game,” coach Joe Philbin said. “I can tell he’s a little bit of a gym rat. He’s a fun guy; he can make fun of himself and not take it too seriously. He’s a good guy, a good guy to be around. You like having him in the locker room, you like having him on the ballclub and he’s a good football player. He’s been impressive from Day One.”
Most impressive has been Moore’s relationship with Tannehill. The two were competing for the same job in training camp. But even then, Moore helped Tannehill as much as he could — at one point even advising him to slide rather than take a hit.
That selfless advice, by the way, could help keep Tannehill in games and Moore on the sideline.
“We were in a competition, but it wasn’t a hostile environment,” Tannehill said. “We were competing and, obviously, both fierce competitors, but we helped each other along the way at the same time. Once I was named the starter, he really stepped his game up and told me that he’s going to be there for me. He’s going to do anything that I need him to do.
“He helps me in the film room. We’re constantly talking through defenses, talking through plays. He’s my eyes on the sideline for me. When I come off, he’s there to tell me what he’s seeing from the sideline. He’s about as supportive as a backup quarterback could possibly be.”
That doesn’t mean Moore is happy not playing. He wants to play a lot. He apparently wants to win a lot more.
“The main objective here is to win ballgames, you know what I mean?” he said. “The only way we’re going to win ballgames is by scoring points and throwing touchdowns. And I can’t do that from the sideline so I want him to do it. I want those things to happen.
“You want to play every Sunday. … But I go back to, Ryan is the starter for this football team and I’m the backup. And that’s the way we’re going about business.”
The perfect backup.