For Dolphins reporters, the best show of the week isn’t the game. It’s the 20 minutes they get to talk to Clyde Christensen.
Miami’s gregarious offensive coordinator can’t get through a news conference without making a crack about Laremy Tunsil slipping in the shower or joke about thumbing through the classifieds for a replacement offensive tackle or how his backup quarterbacks last year might have been Uber drivers.
On Wednesday, Christensen held court on Matt Moore, “The Gunslinger,” and it was glorious.
Christensen was asked if the gunslinger term might be a pejorative.
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Here’s Christensen’s response, without edit:
“By gunslinger, it's a complimentary phrase, and to me, he doesn't have a fear. For a lot of guys who haven't played in four years, five years would come in there tentative and start taking check-downs. Would come into the second half of the last home game and take check-downs and be conservative and not want something bad to happen.
“When I use the term gunslinger, it's a guy who just comes in and goes. Just goes. It's not that he takes stupid chances. It's not a derogatory. He walks down the Main Street of the Western and he doesn't have any fear. He walks down the Main Street, the guy shows up and they have at it. That's the mentality I think of with gunslinger. Not that you're careless. It's not a negative term to me. It's a positive. There's a bunch of quarterbacks in this league that come into those situations that he's come into scared. Not necessarily scared, but scared to make a mistake. And checking the ball down, being overly conservative, not wanting to get hit. They don't throw that ball up to Kenny Stills in that last home game, take the shot with the guy bearing down on him. That Cover 0 post that he threw that was huge in the Jet game. They don't do that. They want to start slow. If I gave any indication that the term gunslinger was careless or a derogatory ... That definition of gunslinger would be unemployed. That kind of gunslinger would be dead because he got shot. Those guys are all extinct and three feet under now."
Matt Moore is very much alive.
And he’s 1-0 as a starter in 2016 after throwing four touchdowns against the Jets. That performance earned him AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors, the league announced Wednesday.
More praise from Christensen: Moore reminds him of a quarterback who led the Seahawks to the Super Bowl a decade ago.
“He's always reminded me of Matt Hasselbeck,” Christensen said. “From the day I walked in this building, I've always said 'This guy’s Matt Hasselbeck.' He could start for a bunch of teams. He could play starting good football. He's accomplished. He's won some big games. He's got a magnetic personality. He's kind of a live wire and he's a Pied Piper. Players like him. Scout teams like him. Hasselbeck had those same traits, which was really nice. They're just great, quality, quality backups.”
Christensen added: “They're starters in many senses of the world, and then all of the sudden you hit a hiccup. I think last week, the question was are you worried, and I said 'I'm not worried a lick about Matt Moore.' I was more worried about the backup. I have zero worries about him. I saw Hasselbeck do the same thing last year [in Indianapolis]. He really reminds me of him -- a veteran presence. Kind of one of those personalities that people like. He loves football. He loves his job. There's something extremely attractive about someone who loves his job. This guy loves football. This guy loves practice, meetings, games, scout team. Routes vs. air. He likes that stuff. So yeah, if you were asking me to compare him to someone, that would be my comparison. Very, very similar that way. Live wires.”