One of the NFL rumors for this week is about New England Patriots cornerback Sterling Moore. Moore played mainly safety in 2011 but is expected to see expanded time at the cornerback position in 2012. With a combination of inexperience and injury, Moore has been given a chance to prove himself throughout the team’s training camp and so far has risen to the challenge.
Moore went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft out of Southern Methodist University signing for the Oakland Raiders shortly after. However, he never got a chance in Oakland getting released early in the 2011 season. Moore then signed with the Patriots practice squad in October. After playing a few games at safety he was released in December. He resigned with the Patriots just four days later and the next week was added to the active roster. Moore’s biggest moment in 2011 came late in the AFC Championship game against the Baltimore Ravens when the rookie knocked the ball out of receiver Lee Evans’ hands keeping the Ravens from scoring the go-ahead touchdown and going to the Super Bowl.
The Patriots have had many problems in their defensive secondary. Starting cornerbacks Devin McCourty and Ras-I Dowling are both coming off of injuries and it’s still unknown how effective they’ll be though both are expected to start the season fully healthy. Originally projected to be first-round draft pick, Alfonzo Dennard slipped to the seventh-round because of a pending court appearance where he was drafted by the Patriots. Dennard suffered a hamstring injury during training camp which has set him back slightly.
When Moore did play in 2011 he impressed and convinced head coach Bill Belichick to give him a shot at the team. Considered on the bubble for a final roster spot, Moore has proven himself worthy of that and then some. If he continues the play he’s shown so far in camp, he should expect significant playing time. Though he won’t be starter, he will be a valuable cornerback off the bench for the Patriots in 2012.