Moore wants offense to fit the players

Posted by Darren Urban on February 8, 2013 – 1:52 pm

Tom Moore may be 74, but he cautioned Friday not to look at his chronological age. “I feel like I’m about 50,” he said, which was helped tremendously when he got his knees replaced in the offseason prior to the 2012 season. Moore was close to retirement but realized after his surgery it was the knee problem, and not a want-to with coaching, that would have kept him out of the game. He told Bruce Arians that this season — when Moore served for five weeks as a consultant with the Titans — that he wanted to coach again, and Arians knew he would hire Moore if he got a head coaching job.

So Moore ended up in Arizona. When Arians called him to work, Moore said he told his wife, “We just hit the lotto.”

That’s a good starting point to have an offensive mind like Moore so excited to fix what ails the Cardinals. The man who worked under Chuck Noll in the glory days in Pittsburgh once upon a time and the man who was Peyton Manning’s Colts mentor for first decade-plus of Manning’s career now gets a shot whomever will be quarterbacking the Cardinals. A full story in just a bit on the homepage, but first, a few of the key highlights:

— Clearly, the offensive line is important. “Everything in the passing game starts with the protection,” Moore said.

— Moore will join Arians as overseeing the game planning, although other coaches will have their specific duties. An interesting note: Game-planning will actually begin Saturday nights eight days out from the specific game, in order to get a head start on the week. That leaves more time on game-plan Tuesdays to get to important specifics like red zone, two-minute, etc.

— Perhaps the most critical point Moore made, and he made it a couple of times: His system isn’t one size fits all. If a QB is better throwing deep, you tailor the system that way. If he is better with the short pass, you tailor the system that way. You don’t jam a square peg into a round hole. Moore had a great anecdote about a time under Noll when the Steelers’ staff found themselves coaching one of the Senior Bowl squads. Noll found Moore and some other coaches soon after getting the gig working. Noll asked what they were doing. “Game-planning,” was the reply. Noll asked, “How can you game-plan when you don’t even know what the players can do?” With that, the coaches waited, spending a week watching the players on film before going back to the original task.

Obviously there will some things Moore and Arians (and OC Harold Goodwin) want in the offense, but making sure it fits will be important. So too will the protection emphasis.


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58 Responses to “Moore wants offense to fit the players”

  1. By Cards4Ever on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    They’re saying all the right things, anyway. Lets hope they do it.

    D, how has Ryan Williams been? He fell off the face of the earth.

  2. By Darren Urban on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    Cards4 —

    RE: Ryan Williams

    Just saw Ryan today in the locker room. Plan to catch up with him next week.

  3. By erik on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    This coaching staff gets me excited! Moore looks like a man who will command some attention and respect!

    Making your system fit the players?! What a novel concept!

  4. By D on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    Well, most likely they should be able to draft the second best left tackle and the best G if they want to go that route. I think Warmack would be a dominate run blocker in the NFL so if it’s Williams, Beanie or a draft pick I would think this team should be able to run the ball better with focus on the line and the running game

  5. By Chuck 1 on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    With BA, Moore and Goodwin at the top of the Offense food chain, it will be fun to watch the OLine and QBs improve.

  6. By Blake on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    hey darren… do you have a video of the press conference w/ Tom Moore?

  7. By Darren Urban on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    Blake —

    RE: Moore video

    It’s coming. Patience.

  8. By mrpeary3189 on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    Moore looks like a Mob Boss

  9. By nodavis2000 on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    I have to say that I loved to hear what Moore said about the QB: “…you tailor the system that way (to the QB’s strengths). You don’t jam a square peg into a round hole.”

    I know that Whiz always said that they know what works and are sticking to that. I always disagreed with that. Not everyone is Kurt Warner. Every QB is different.

    I was excited when Arians was hired. I was impressed with who they brought on as the coaching staff. Now, I’m getting pumped for next season.
    Go Cards!!!

  10. By djjackson81 on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    Tackle helps the passing game good guard helps the running game hopefully they do both in the draft. They need at least one more running back either draft or FA.

  11. By georgiebird on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    Everyone who likes what Tom Moore has to say should look no further than our defense to see the flip side of his philosophy. Moore wants the system to fit the players and that’s good.
    But on defense, Todd Bowles is going the opposite way in letting the players fit the system. Bowles has more familiarity with the 4-3 so his choice is confusing.
    I realize Bowles has limited time to install a new system. But I think Bowles has been handed a bill of goods on just how good our 3-4 defense is. Once again, as bad as our offense was in 2012, the opposition’s offense-once they got ahead- had no reason to be all out against our defense. This overrating of our defense is going to be a fatal mistake as we prepare for the 2013 season.

  12. By Darren Urban on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    Georgie —

    RE: Bowles

    Bowles does not have more familiarity with the 4-3. His time with Parcells teams in New York, Dallas and Miami were all 3-4 defenses.

    And you are saying the other team did go “all out” against the Cards is just not true.

  13. By sarah on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    Moore is a breath of clean air compared to the offence last year which was so predictable. We had mediocre protection, no real run game, find Fitz or pass short. IT was WC without the timing or protection.

  14. By AndyStandsUp on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    With the way the team is currently assembled and the peg-hole quote from Moore Darren – IYO, are they built for the vertical game Arians is known for?

  15. By Darren Urban on Feb 9, 2013 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Vertical game

    Maybe not. But again, they won’t force it, it sounds like.

  16. By truths4all on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    If Kolb can show he can hit the long pass (not his usual thing), then what Moore just stated opens the door to keep him after they redo his contract since his proven skillset and expertise is running a WCO.

  17. By clssylssy on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    Reading between the lines…”will fit offense around Kolb. Fitzgerald better start playing TE if he expects to get any catches”. This coaching staff is giving the lip service the fans want to hear but how it translates into wins will remain to be seen.
    I just read where Anquan Boldin said that if the Ravens cut him he would retire because” once a Raven always a Raven”…and nothing says “I love you” like a big diamond SB rock! Happy for Q, just sorry Fitz is still left on the sideline and didn’t even get Man of the Year, which he so deserved:(

  18. By NYCardinals212 on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply


    I just finished watching Tom Moore’s introductory press conference, and I find him to be absolutely fascinating. Not a whole lot was said, but I was hanging on every word. I envy your opportunity this season to possibly delve into the nitty-gritty of football with this guy.

  19. By Terry E on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    Arians and his staff have a postive vibe going. You get the idea they know their stuff and are taking some of the mystery out of what we have dealt with for the last 2 years. I like what I am hearing, they are experienced and have a vision of what will succeed. I also am excited for things to come. I have a feeling all phases of the offseason will be fun, free agency, draft, camps, etc..

  20. By Terry E on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    I’m a lttle worried about our wideouts, I have a feeling these guys will find a true deep threat before we head to camp.

  21. By eyeshield21 on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    I am ashamed that the Cardinals would hire this 74 year old coach.i’ve never heard of this geezer until now!We sure messed up by not going after Andy Reid fast enough,same ol’ cards.

  22. By aaron on Feb 9, 2013 | Reply

    Eyeshield –

    I think you never hearing of Moore is a reflection of your ignorance for football more than it’s a reflection of Moore’s success. Do some research.

  23. By Tien on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren do you know if the organization is going to part ways with Doucet?

  24. By Darren Urban on Feb 9, 2013 | Reply

    Tien —

    RE: Doucet

    I don’t know.

  25. By bluepitt on Feb 9, 2013 | Reply

    WOW first thing I have ever agreed with you on! Our O was based on the Throw it to Fitz, Force it to Fitz, try and get Fitz open and on and on, It is a wonder we ever had time to even focus on installing a sound scheem…Oh wait we didnt have any sound…. any thing on O last year did we? Well maby this staff will understand that Larry is a great wepon but not the whole O!!!!! It was like going to war with the best hand gun in the world that only has a 10 round mag, When the other teams had full auto assult wepons with all kinds of different ammo!!!!

  26. By ored on Feb 9, 2013 | Reply

    just the words ‘starts with protection” brings hope of a re-born offense,that alone and we might have kept kw a few years seems like everything they intend is so right,and conmpletely different than what we did last few years,a lifting of the veil and it suddenly becomes crystal clear,o-line promotes ground and passing attack,how novel,to actually try to play to a players intentions mean little unless they form the plan,everyone buys in,and they stick to it.just get one or two difference makers thru the draft and free agency,look what we’re paying for mediocre play from previous free agency,if you’re paying 3/4 for substandard players then ante up the final 1/4 and at least get value for your money.would rather have one stud we pay top dollar than two so so players still being overpaid,case in point look how long and productive j.peppers has been for chicago,big bucks to sign him,but look at what he means to their team,better his contract than two others that come close to his but with nowhere the production.

  27. By Dean Kennedy on Feb 9, 2013 | Reply

    I love how Arians and Co. have been taking oh-so-subtle shots at Whis and his merry band of yes men (Miller) and high-priced frauds (Grrimm). Arians with his comment that the offensive line has talent but lousy technique, and now Moore talking about tailoring the offense to the personnel after Whis and his “I know what works, screw you” attitude. So hopefully the substance follows the words and we get results.

  28. By Louisville Card on Feb 9, 2013 | Reply

    Hi Darren,

    Great article, as always. On a side note do you expect to start seeing some cuts in the next couple of weeks or will they wait till the deadline?

  29. By Darren Urban on Feb 9, 2013 | Reply

    Louisville —

    RE: Cuts

    Don’t know how that will shake out. Would doubt it would be before combine.

  30. By Dynosoar on Feb 9, 2013 | Reply


    Have you listened to and watched the actions of Andy R., he didn’t want to come here. It would not have mattered what the Cardinals did, he’s the one that set the schedule and he’s the one that broke it.

    Is that the kind of man you really want as your teams Coach? With his actions, we could’ve rolled out the red carpet and he’d have still gone elsewhere.

    On the other hand, Bruce Arians just won Coach of the Year and he wasn’t even a Head Coach, just interim. And he’s thrilled to be here. I know who I want as my team’s Head Coach and it isn’t Mr. Reid.

    Bruce Arians, I’m behind you. Cardinals to the playoffs and beyond. Home Field advantage for SB 49.

  31. By cobra on Feb 9, 2013 | Reply


    I agree, Reid was not the answer ever. He reminds me of Buddy Ryan, always standing on his pedesrtal. His ego got the best of him instead of Coaching. Whiz,. unfotrtunately may have made the same mistake. i also beleive Whiz will get another HC opportunity. Now, it we move on to Arians. So far, llike his plan,, we will see?

  32. By Brandon on Feb 9, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren. Do you think mike Adams“ money mike” will get cut. I hope not because he is a really good special teams player.

  33. By Darren Urban on Feb 9, 2013 | Reply

    Brandon –

    RE: Adams

    Adams is a free agent.

  34. By Andy Kw on Feb 9, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    Do you think the Cardinals are looking to draft a QB in the 2nd round? Is Miami (OH) college QB Zac Dysert a possibility if they were to draft a QB?

  35. By Darren Urban on Feb 9, 2013 | Reply

    Andy Kw –

    RE: QB in the second

    Anything is possible.

  36. By Jerrytown on Feb 9, 2013 | Reply

    Andy Reid is a bum

  37. By Andrew on Feb 9, 2013 | Reply

    Hey, Darren. I have been hearing a lot of rumors about Micheal Vick coming to Arizona. Have you heard anything. Personally I would hope not, but I’m just wondering if you have heard anything.

  38. By Darren Urban on Feb 9, 2013 | Reply

    Andrew –

    RE: Vick

    Vick is with the Eagles.

  39. By vegas4u2012. on Feb 9, 2013 | Reply

    @ Eyeshield21- Moore brings tons of wisdom & football knowledge to Arizona,Something you obviously don’t have.Most teams would not have given Reid the control of the organization that he requested,& to our benefit because we ended up with the better coach.Go support your Jags,cowgirls,Raiderettes,Browns,whoever.Maybe that will make you happier.Speaking for most true fans,we won’t miss your input.Keep up the great job Darren. GO BIG RED!!!

  40. By georgiebird on Feb 9, 2013 | Reply

    There is no doubt in my mind that our opponents during the 2011 and 2012 seasons ran a very conservative offense during the 2nd half of most games to just milk the clock. Our offense was so bad that there was no sense of urgency to score once the games had been decided for all intents and purposes.
    Bill Parcells became an advocate of the 3-4 during his career with the Giants-no wonder, he had the greatest set of linebackers in the history of the NFL led by HOFs Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson and near HOF Carl Banks among others. Parcells got into the HOF thru his years with the Giants- otherwise, if you eliminate one outstanding year with the Jets, Parcells is a 500 HC with Jets, Dallas & Pats and he did a bad job with the Dolphins defense as a VP. Some of the Giants’ subs- like Pepper Johnson- were better than what the Cards have.
    Once again, the 3-4 is definitely not a good move for this Cardinals’ team.

  41. By Jeff Ream on Feb 10, 2013 | Reply

    Good luck to you from old friend Jeff and Jean

  42. By AndyStandsUp on Feb 10, 2013 | Reply

    Rumors of Indy FA QB Drew Stanton following Arians to Cards.
    Loved the guy in college with the size and accuracy but hasn’t translated to next level. Would fit though, with the “flooding of QBs” philosophy.
    Question is, who, if the situation stayed static. would be left standing in a game of musical chairs? My guess would be Brian Hoyer.
    Your opinion Darren? And when can FAs start signing?

  43. By Darren Urban on Feb 10, 2013 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Stanton

    My opinion is that new coaches often like to have their own guys (think St. Pierre with Whiz).

  44. By AndyStandsUp on Feb 10, 2013 | Reply

    So that means Dwight Freeny and Winston Justice will be in tow also.

    Cool. I could live with that.

  45. By Rick206 on Feb 10, 2013 | Reply

    @eyeshield21- I suppose you never heard of Dick LeBeau or Jim Johnson either!

  46. By ored on Feb 10, 2013 | Reply

    vikings want to trade harvin,offer doucet and 1 of the 6th rnd picks we got from them,that would jump start our vertical game.

  47. By philly cards on Feb 10, 2013 | Reply

    Andy reid and buddy ryan couldn’t be more different. Andy reid got whiz type success by building around previous guys players. Buddy ryan was always faced with 60 new players and with philly he had a strike season.

    These old guys are correct. Whiz was trying to force his plan on players. He didn’t have vision he was hallucinating by projecting on flawed players. I pitcure him running around cam newton like he was some type guru. He was a joke.

    tom moore is old but older guys either know it or they don’t.he knows it. Where the younger guys are trial and error but we call that innovative.

    We hit the jackpot just wish q would come back to spend with us

  48. By John S on Feb 10, 2013 | Reply

    Just the night and day difference we are going to see in the offensive play calling alone is reason to jump for joy. Looking forward to the new season!

  49. By Brad O'Neill on Feb 11, 2013 | Reply

    its good to see someone in the Organization that thinks tailoring an offense to strengths is a good idea. I hated watching us force our qbs into situations they were unlikely to succeed at because the coach felt they should be able to do it.

  50. By jasonsoroski on Feb 11, 2013 | Reply

    Hearing rumors today that the Cards are interested in Drew Stanton, which kind of scares me.

    His career stats are not that exciting : 5 TD, 9 INT, QBRAT 63.1 4FUM, 2FUM LOST.

    Based on stats – Kolb still looks like the better QB.

  51. By jasonsoroski on Feb 11, 2013 | Reply

    Other than system familiarity, I don’t see him as a real asset. I’m sure he’s a nice guy and all, but . . . .

  52. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 11, 2013 | Reply

    Drew Stanton:

    You bring him in because he knows the system and can help out other QBs with picking up the playbook. I don’t think he is being brought in to start.

    Shaun Phillips;

    Jurecki has tweeted out Phillips is interested in coming to AZ. When you are a FA, I’m sure you say you are interested in every team that runs your style of defense. But even though he is 32 and on the back side of his career, If the price is right the cards should listen. After all, his 9 1/2 sacks last year would lead our team.
    Not a bad idea to bring another vet to a team that might dismiss a couple vets.

  53. By Scott H on Feb 11, 2013 | Reply

    Oh, the irony…here, the Cardinals have hired former Eagles D-coordinator ( Todd Bowles ) to fill the same position here, and some are not really all that psyched about it. Myself included.

    And, now, the Eagles have hired former Cardinals D-coordinator Billy Davis to fill the same position there and Eagle fans are NOT happy, to say the least. And ya know what? I don’t blame them. They have my sympathies. He was TERRIBLE as a D-coordinator here and I would be beyond pissed off if my team had just hired him. What is making Eagle fans even MORE pissed off is the fact that the team took such a long time to fill that spot on the coaching staff…and THIS is what they came up with???

  54. By Scott H on Feb 11, 2013 | Reply

    regarding the QB thing….ugh. There is just NO ONE out there right now who appears to be a clear answer. I mean, tell me that Kolb will stay healthy for 16 games and I could be OK with that. Trouble is, we know that is NOT gonna happen. Beyond that…there is not a name in the discussion that is any more than a question mark.

    Alex Smith would appear to be the best of what is possibly available. And prior to the arrival of Jim Harbaugh in San Fran, Smith was doing a pretty good imitation of Matt Leinart. Seemed like they were trying to GIVE him the job every year…and every year, he would give it back. And he might be the BEST of what is out there right now. Kinda bleak….

    Hate to say it, but this team may have to wait for the next Andrew Luck caliber QB to come along in the draft and do what the redskins did with Griffin, which was give up ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING they needed to to get into position to draft him. There really is NO OTHER WAY to get a stud QB these days. They don’t become free agents and they are not likely to be traded. You want one? You gotta get one through the draft. Period.

    Or, you could hope to get lucky with a Russell Wilson. But this team ain’t exactly known for their luck…

  55. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 11, 2013 | Reply

    Alright, I am going to throw out a QB name for you.

    What if I said we could get a guy who threw for 4000+ yards and 22 TDs. He has a 62.5% career comp %, including last year and throws the ball down field with his big arm?

    Reports are the Raiders are thinking of releasing QB Carson Palmer. Now that is the perfect fit for this team. Sign Carson and draft a guy like Landry Jones to learn behind him. Get rid of the 3 really bad QBs we have.

    Oh, BTW, Arians said the cards offensive line is better than the colts line last year. Interesting enough, since Luck was able to throw for 4300+ yards behind a line worse than ours and besides Reggie Wayne, a bunch of guys you didn’t know. So, how can a rookie with less talent around him and a worse O line play so much better than our QBs?

    Seeing Arians interview with Jude Lacava , he sure didn’t think the oline was all that bad and maybe a little more scheming was needed. The more Arians watches cardinal tape, the more he is going to see 3 things; Batiste was really bad. Kolb stares down wrs and gets hit, protection calls at the line were not good.

    I’d be surprised if there is much changes to the Oline. Get us a QB who can read a defense and gets the ball out of his hands. Nothing is more important for the cards than that.

  56. By Scott H on Feb 11, 2013 | Reply

    Carson Palmer??? Um…see my previous remarks about the lack of decent QB options available at this time. Carson Palmer is the poster child for that sentiment right now. Where are the Cardinals going with Carson Palmer??? We just saw what he was able to do for a bad team. And, well, guess what? The Cardinals were pretty much every bit as bad as the Raiders were last year. So, Carson Palmer goes from one bad team to another and does what, exactly? What fortunes is he gonna change here that he couldn’t change for the Raiders?

    No thanks on Palmer. We’ve been there and we’ve done that. I’m much more interested in a young QB with promise that has chance to grow into something. Not another near the end of the road veteran who’s best days are CLEARLY behind him.

    Don’t be enamored with Palmer’s stats from last year. Again, whatever they were, did they help the TEAM win games? That would be a big, fat ABSOLUTELY NOT. Palmer had some gaudy numbers in a few games because the Raiders were so far behind that they had to throw the ball on every friggin play in the 2nd half to try to catch up. Any Joe Schmo anywhere is gonna have those same numbers when they end up in that situation every week.

    Seriously. Jeff Blake…Dave Krieg…Boomer Esiason…haven’t we had enough of this???

  57. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 12, 2013 | Reply

    Scott H,

    Oh I sat in the stands watching us march old QBs through this team. So that is a legit statement. The big difference is I would still grab a QB in the draft.

    But let me ask you this, what would 4000 yards and 22 tds from a QB who played all year (15 games) meant to this team last year?

    Looking at Larry, Michael, Andre, and Rob, we are very solid at wr and much better than the Raiders receivers. Carson would produce better stats with this group.

    As for playing behind and throwing a lot, didn’t we do that? Yet our stats were bad. Gaudy numbers playing behind? That is a team issue that they were behind. He produced when asked to throw the ball.

    As you pointed out, not a lot of QBs out there. Kolb is a 3 year starter with 3 years of multiple injuries. Even when he is in, he isn’t good. That is who you want to put your trust in?? Then Skelton and Lindley again after the injuries? Clean house, draft a QB and get a proven vet like Palmer to give us a chance till the rookie is ready.

  58. By Scott H on Feb 12, 2013 | Reply

    John –

    OK, some decent points. But I think my main point still stands, and that is the point that none of what Palmer did last year in Oakland resulted in more wins for the team. The Raiders have been winning 4-5 games every year WITHOUT Palmer. So, what good did he really do there??? You say HE produced when asked to throw the ball. But so what? What good are any QB’s numbers when the team is 4-12???

    Carson Palmer isn’t good enough to overcome a REALLY bad O-line and a non-existent running game. Doesn’t matter how good our WR’s are if the QB can’t get the ball to them. You ask what his stats from last year may have meant to this team but I say he would NOT have posted those numbers here.

    Yes, we DID play from behind a lot and none of our QB’s came close to what Palmer did in Oakland. OK, that is true. And understand this – I am NOT putting my trust in kolb for exactly the reason you pointed out, which is the injuries. BUT to be fair, take Kolb’s numbers from the first 4 games and project them out over a whole season. They are just as good – or better – than Palmer’s.

    An interesting dialogue with points to be made on both sides, to be sure. But I still see little up-side to Palmer. We seem to agree that a young QB is needed, probably through the draft, even though there are no sure things there.

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