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Thread: Brandon Moore leads...........

  1. #1
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    Brandon Moore leads...........

    Jets' Brandon Moore has grown into invaluable team leader

    Guard Brandon Moore has developed into the sage of the offensive line for the Jets. Tim Farrell/The Star-Ledger

    Jets guard Brandon Moore eyed up Matt Slauson in the huddle before the rookie’s first NFL snap back in 2009.

    An injury to Nick Mangold had forced Slauson into the game and into a position, center, that he’d never played.

    He panicked about making his first call to identify the middle linebacker and imagined his first snap missing the quarterback’s hands.

    And there was Moore — “Meat,” as his Jets teammates call him — just looking through Slauson, making the nausea in his stomach even worse. Three years later, Moore would come to be the man Slauson idolizes most in the NFL, a husband and father Slauson wants to pattern his own life after.

    But back then, it was time to get his first piece of advice. Moore, laconic and ornery, had survived everything the league had thrown at him, and when he spoke to Slauson, it tended to resonate.

    Without a hint of sympathy, Moore broke the silence and said, “Don’t screw this up.”

    Thankfully, Moore has become a little more descriptive and substantive with his advice over the years, which he hands out regularly as the resident sage of the Jets’ offensive line.

    The weeks where his teaching shines are no more visible than last Sunday’s 252-yard rushing performance against the Indianapolis Colts, and this Sunday, when the Jets will try to keep that momentum going against the New England Patriots and the fifth-best run defense in football.

    From a castaway defensive linemen to Pro Bowl guard, Moore has earned the respect of those players who stay locked with him during film sessions and the trust of his coaches, who consider him a confidant during troubled times.

    Each week, Moore’s individual grades from position coaches are a launching pad for the other guys to tease and mimic, reading the accolades aloud like a jealous sibling on report card day.

    “You come across those guys every once and a while in your career and you’re glad to have them,” offensive coordinator Tony Sparano said. “A player like Brandon, he gets it. He understands that there’s a reason why and there’s a difference in the little things when you win or lose.”

    NEVER GIVING UP

    As a substitute teacher in 2002, Moore often would head down to Ivan Zimmer’s classroom by the guidance office on the first floor of Calumet (Ind.) High, the last door before the exit outside.

    Moore was 6 feet, 3 inches tall and weighed 305 pounds, working the district from the spring of 2002 until Christmas that year, one who spent the day keeping kids quiet for a per diem and the night preparing his body for another run at the NFL.

    Zimmer had heard of Moore, just like a lot of people around Gary, Ind., who paid any attention to football or wrestling. Today, Zimmer jokes that, next to Michael Jackson, the Jets guard is the most famous native — the difference is, Moore eventually would come back, even purchasing a set of jerseys for his alma mater at West Side high.

    Back in Zimmer’s classroom, though, Moore was just an idealist. He was cut from the Jets as an undrafted free agent. They’d flipped him from defensive tackle to guard, too. He sought out Zimmer, Calumet High’s football coach, to confide his goals of eventually making it back to the NFL.

    “It wasn’t, ‘If I’m going to make it,’ ” Zimmer said by phone last week. “It was, ‘I’m going to make it back.’ If you’re using the word ‘if,’ or ‘might be,’ you’re giving yourself a door, giving yourself a way out. And he didn’t do that.”

    Moore was signed again by the Jets around Christmas that year and cut once more before being signed for the last time and beginning a streak of what on Sunday will be 128 consecutive games started — one in which he would be recognized as one of the 10 best pass-blocking guards in football every year from 2008 to 2011, per isolated statistics. According to Pro Football Focus, Moore has given up just four sacks in the past five seasons.

    One of the main reasons is the “punch” Moore developed over time, coaches said. Moore said he sold out his body and mind the last time he was offered a contract and stayed for hours after practice working the bags and sleds.

    He learned to jolt oncoming defenders in a way good boxers stun opponents with an unexpected hit, Sparano said. Very rarely are his arms able to be swiped away. Moore’s locked grip forces defensive tackles and linebackers into an awkward position and allows Moore to gain control over anything coming through his gap.

    “I was focusing in on the things I would have to do after practice,” Moore said. “I was focusing in on what I needed to do during team drills, whether it was my footwork or hand placement.

    “I just think about all the work it took to be able to get on the field and, you know, play guard.”

    APPRECIATIVE COACHES

    Three times a week, the offensive linemen have a players-only meeting, a session that usually starts between 6 and 7 p.m. — the last responsibility they have before leaving the facility at night.

    Slauson holds the remote control and spins through the film. Moore tells him when, and why, to slow it down. There, they can see the mistakes that filter through after coaches’ meetings, group sessions and walk-throughs.

    “I don’t really think I can put a number on all the good advice he’s given me,” right tackle Austin Howard said.

    Sparano said he was thankful knowing it was Moore sitting next to Howard — a new addition to the line this year — in those meetings and that it’s Moore standing next to him on game day, playing the guard position right off Howard’s hip. He can often see Moore relaying advice on the game tape and the tangible effect it has on the next play.

    Coach Rex Ryan was just as thankful knowing Moore is in the locker room, especially after the season crumbled in 2011, forcing a different level of leadership to surface outside of film sessions and huddle chats. Moore was one of the first people Ryan consulted because of an inherent trust he felt from the day they met.

    Though he doesn’t do it often, he knows Moore, as prickly and short on words as he is, has a way of conveying a truth to Ryan that puts everything in perspective — a way of telling him not to screw it up that makes perfect sense.

    “For whatever reason, I know what he’s all about,” Ryan said. “I know if I want a straight answer, I’ll go to him. He’s not quick to volunteer any information, but he’s there.

    “I truly think he’s a leader of this team, without question.”

    Conor Orr: corr@starledger.com; twitter.com/ConorTOrr

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apache 51 View Post
    Jets' Brandon Moore has grown into invaluable team leader

    Guard Brandon Moore has developed into the sage of the offensive line for the Jets. Tim Farrell/The Star-Ledger

    Jets guard Brandon Moore eyed up Matt Slauson in the huddle before the rookie’s first NFL snap back in 2009.

    An injury to Nick Mangold had forced Slauson into the game and into a position, center, that he’d never played.

    He panicked about making his first call to identify the middle linebacker and imagined his first snap missing the quarterback’s hands.

    And there was Moore — “Meat,” as his Jets teammates call him — just looking through Slauson, making the nausea in his stomach even worse. Three years later, Moore would come to be the man Slauson idolizes most in the NFL, a husband and father Slauson wants to pattern his own life after.

    But back then, it was time to get his first piece of advice. Moore, laconic and ornery, had survived everything the league had thrown at him, and when he spoke to Slauson, it tended to resonate.

    Without a hint of sympathy, Moore broke the silence and said, “Don’t screw this up.”

    Thankfully, Moore has become a little more descriptive and substantive with his advice over the years, which he hands out regularly as the resident sage of the Jets’ offensive line.

    The weeks where his teaching shines are no more visible than last Sunday’s 252-yard rushing performance against the Indianapolis Colts, and this Sunday, when the Jets will try to keep that momentum going against the New England Patriots and the fifth-best run defense in football.

    From a castaway defensive linemen to Pro Bowl guard, Moore has earned the respect of those players who stay locked with him during film sessions and the trust of his coaches, who consider him a confidant during troubled times.

    Each week, Moore’s individual grades from position coaches are a launching pad for the other guys to tease and mimic, reading the accolades aloud like a jealous sibling on report card day.

    “You come across those guys every once and a while in your career and you’re glad to have them,” offensive coordinator Tony Sparano said. “A player like Brandon, he gets it. He understands that there’s a reason why and there’s a difference in the little things when you win or lose.”

    NEVER GIVING UP

    As a substitute teacher in 2002, Moore often would head down to Ivan Zimmer’s classroom by the guidance office on the first floor of Calumet (Ind.) High, the last door before the exit outside.

    Moore was 6 feet, 3 inches tall and weighed 305 pounds, working the district from the spring of 2002 until Christmas that year, one who spent the day keeping kids quiet for a per diem and the night preparing his body for another run at the NFL.

    Zimmer had heard of Moore, just like a lot of people around Gary, Ind., who paid any attention to football or wrestling. Today, Zimmer jokes that, next to Michael Jackson, the Jets guard is the most famous native — the difference is, Moore eventually would come back, even purchasing a set of jerseys for his alma mater at West Side high.

    Back in Zimmer’s classroom, though, Moore was just an idealist. He was cut from the Jets as an undrafted free agent. They’d flipped him from defensive tackle to guard, too. He sought out Zimmer, Calumet High’s football coach, to confide his goals of eventually making it back to the NFL.

    “It wasn’t, ‘If I’m going to make it,’ ” Zimmer said by phone last week. “It was, ‘I’m going to make it back.’ If you’re using the word ‘if,’ or ‘might be,’ you’re giving yourself a door, giving yourself a way out. And he didn’t do that.”

    Moore was signed again by the Jets around Christmas that year and cut once more before being signed for the last time and beginning a streak of what on Sunday will be 128 consecutive games started — one in which he would be recognized as one of the 10 best pass-blocking guards in football every year from 2008 to 2011, per isolated statistics. According to Pro Football Focus, Moore has given up just four sacks in the past five seasons.

    One of the main reasons is the “punch” Moore developed over time, coaches said. Moore said he sold out his body and mind the last time he was offered a contract and stayed for hours after practice working the bags and sleds.

    He learned to jolt oncoming defenders in a way good boxers stun opponents with an unexpected hit, Sparano said. Very rarely are his arms able to be swiped away. Moore’s locked grip forces defensive tackles and linebackers into an awkward position and allows Moore to gain control over anything coming through his gap.

    “I was focusing in on the things I would have to do after practice,” Moore said. “I was focusing in on what I needed to do during team drills, whether it was my footwork or hand placement.

    “I just think about all the work it took to be able to get on the field and, you know, play guard.”

    APPRECIATIVE COACHES

    Three times a week, the offensive linemen have a players-only meeting, a session that usually starts between 6 and 7 p.m. — the last responsibility they have before leaving the facility at night.

    Slauson holds the remote control and spins through the film. Moore tells him when, and why, to slow it down. There, they can see the mistakes that filter through after coaches’ meetings, group sessions and walk-throughs.

    “I don’t really think I can put a number on all the good advice he’s given me,” right tackle Austin Howard said.

    Sparano said he was thankful knowing it was Moore sitting next to Howard — a new addition to the line this year — in those meetings and that it’s Moore standing next to him on game day, playing the guard position right off Howard’s hip. He can often see Moore relaying advice on the game tape and the tangible effect it has on the next play.

    Coach Rex Ryan was just as thankful knowing Moore is in the locker room, especially after the season crumbled in 2011, forcing a different level of leadership to surface outside of film sessions and huddle chats. Moore was one of the first people Ryan consulted because of an inherent trust he felt from the day they met.

    Though he doesn’t do it often, he knows Moore, as prickly and short on words as he is, has a way of conveying a truth to Ryan that puts everything in perspective — a way of telling him not to screw it up that makes perfect sense.

    “For whatever reason, I know what he’s all about,” Ryan said. “I know if I want a straight answer, I’ll go to him. He’s not quick to volunteer any information, but he’s there.

    “I truly think he’s a leader of this team, without question.”

    Conor Orr: corr@starledger.com; twitter.com/ConorTOrr
    Good stuff. BTW getting my hockey fix Wednesday: Albany Devils vs Connecticut Whale.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlton View Post
    Good stuff. BTW getting my hockey fix Wednesday: Albany Devils vs Connecticut Whale.
    Gotta take care of the fix, this sucks.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apache 51 View Post
    Gotta take care of the fix, this sucks.
    So depressed. I won't hijack the thread, but after such a tremendously successful post season as far as ratings go last year they are really setting themselves back.

  5. #5
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    One of my 2 favorite Jets on the roster right now.

    Brandon Moore has overcome every obstacle in his path to get where he is - and he deserves to be there.

    He is the consummate pro.
    Last edited by ARodFLKeysJetsFan; 10-21-2012 at 03:32 AM.

  6. #6
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    I agree with ARod. Undrafted in 2002, debuted for the Jets back in 2003; and has been here ever since. He's been a steal over the years. Just my personal opinion, but he's one of the most underrated Jets there's ever been.

  7. #7
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    He gets grossly overlooked by the media pundits, but that's because you never hear anything bad ever coming from that side and thats a good thing.

  8. #8
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    Ring Of Honor Candidate

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