Miami Dolphins

Matt Moore’s Monday: Help wife deliver baby, prepare for first start in five years

Wyatt Moore, all 6 pounds and change of him, came into the world late Monday morning.

His father was back at work a few hours later.

There’s no chance Matt Moore would miss his third child’s birth.

But Moore, the Dolphins’ starting quarterback for the foreseeable future, also knew time was short, and other responsibilities beckoned. The Dolphins-Jets game is Saturday, and he’s no longer the backup.

“Obviously, the baby, everybody’s healthy, everybody’s good,” Moore said. “I’m here ready, focused on the Jets. Any time you have a kid it kind of throws a wrench in there.”

Moore added: “[But] it’s been really normal, to be honest with you.”

Normal? Starting for the first time since 2011 in what looks to be the biggest game of his career just five days after his wife gave birth could be a lot of things.

Normal isn’t one of them.

But that California cool vibe is exactly what the Dolphins love about Moore, who will start for Miami for as long as it takes Ryan Tannehill to recover from a sprained ACL and MCL.

“He was no drama,” Christensen said. “He just went in, had the baby, back in the office.”

That’s part of the reason Christensen on Wednesday said Moore is “better than a lot of starters in this league.”

He truly is no-fuss.

Some quarterbacks have a wish list of plays they want called. Moore would rather just do what he’s told.

“I have this fear of asking for something specific and having it not work out,” Moore said Wednesday. “I just let [Adam Gase] call it and we’ll make it work.”

Gase on Wednesday said Moore was “on it” at practice, his first as a starter since Todd Bowles coached the Dolphins. Gase called Moore “a true pro” and views him as a luxury for the club.

But he was nearly some other team’s bauble. Back in the spring, the Dolphins gave real consideration to moving on from Moore after five seasons in Miami.

Moore was an unrestricted free agent and hadn’t even heard from the club about a new deal until early March. The Dolphins had considered signing first-round bust Brandon Weeden before bringing back Moore for a song. He signed a team-friendly two-year contract for just $3.5 million.

Playing behind Tannehill, who before Saturday was the most durable quarterback of the past half-decade, could have made Moore complacent. But he wasn’t, Gase said, and the work he has put in showed up Sunday and again Wednesday.

Now, Moore’s loyalty and professionalism have been rewarded, albeit in circumstances he wishes were different. Saturday in North Jersey will be the first time he has been the starting quarterback of an NFL team with a winning record — ever.

“I think I’ve filled my role the best I could,” Moore said of his career. “I’ve had opportunities to play and it’s gone well. There’s been some tough times but there’s been some good times. This is another opportunity. I’m lucky that I’m surrounded by a great team. There are great guys on offense to work with.”

Jarvis Landry is one of those guys. With 77 yards in the next three weeks, Landry would become just the sixth Dolphins receiver to surpass 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons.

But aside from a few snaps here and there, Tannehill has been the only quarterback Landry has known. The two players have spent untold hours working routes together. Now, Landry must build quick chemistry with Moore.

Unfamiliarity will not be an excuse. Shawn Jefferson, who coaches Miami’s receivers, has hammered home this message to his players this week: You’re paid to catch the ball, regardless of who throws it.

“We have extreme confidence in him,” Landry said. “The thing about Matt is he’s a pro.”

Landry added: “There are no limitations. … Matt has practiced like he was the starter. He’s taken all of those mental reps, and he’s taken some of those physical reps as well. For us, it’s continuing to do the things that we do well, and win one game.”

Adam H. Beasley: 305-376-3565, @AdamHBeasley

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