It wasn’t so long ago Matt Moore was not only the starting quarterback of the Dolphins, but also the team’s most valuable player.
In 2011, Moore took over for the injured Chad Henne and rallied the Dolphins to a 6-3 record after an 0-7 start.
That following spring, the Dolphins drafted Ryan Tannehill with the eighth overall pick. Moore hasn’t been seen on the field all that much since.
Last year, he played in just one game, completing 2 of 6 passes in the Dolphins’ 19-0 loss at Buffalo in the second to last game of the year.
“I would love it if we won every game, and I never played,” Moore said. “That means Ryan is killing it. But limited time, getting in late in the year is tough.
“ You know that’s the role of the No. 2 quarterback. That’s just the way it is.”
In Tannehill’s rookie season, Moore played in two games, the highlight coming when he led Miami to a 30-9 win over the Jets after Tannehill was injured on the Dolphins’ second possession.
Although Moore, who turns 30 next month, would love the opportunity for more playing time, he knows his place with the Dolphins is as a backup to Tannehill — who has played in all 32 games since being drafted by the team.
That job includes pushing Tannehill to improve as he enters his third season in the NFL with the Dolphins. If Tannehill falters, Moore is ready.
“The organization has been great, and living here sure hasn’t been bad,” Moore said at the end of the Dolphins’ minicamp last month. “I just do my job and try and succeed. Everyone has that competitor in them, and at this level, you have to understand your role. This is it. I’m here to push Ryan and challenge him and compete the best I can.
“I’ll be ready at a moment’s notice and be ready to do well.”
Moore, going into his fourth season with the Dolphins when training camp opens later this month, said he likes the new offense that coordinator Bill Lazor has installed.
The Dolphins hired Lazor away from the high-powered Philadelphia Eagles, where he served as quarterbacks coach last season.
Lazor is implementing a faster style of play with the Dolphins all needing to be on the same page.
This is the third offense Moore has learned since joining the Dolphins.
“Early on with a new offense means doing a lot of studying, figuring things out, but I think all of us have a better understanding of it,” said Moore, who is in the final year of a two-year deal he signed with Miami.
“You have to give it time, but it’s good to see growth every day, and we have been seeing that. We have time and plenty of reps awaiting us. We have a break before camp, but you can rep it in your mind and stay ready.”
Tannehill said learning the new offense has been a challenge, but he likes the way the way the field is spread.
Going into his third year, this is Tannehill’s first away from former offensive coordinator Mike Sherman — who was also Tannehill’s coach at Texas A&M.
“I like a lot of things about it,” Tannehill said of Lazor’s offensive scheme. “We get the ball all over the field to all of our playmakers and create matchups. That’s fun for me.
“We have the guys that can win those one-on-one matchups. When you can spread them out, isolate them and get those one-on-one matchups, it’s fun for me to distribute the ball.”