Q&A: Safety William Moore’s growth could be stunted

Falcons safety William Moore, right, picks up a fumble by Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis. Associated Press

Falcons safety William Moore, right, picks up a fumble by Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis. Associated Press

BIRDLAND — Falcons safety William Moore battled through an injury-marred rookie season in 2009 before coming on strong after taking over for Erik Coleman in the second game of last season.

He finished last season tied for the team lead with five interceptions and was fourth on the team with 72 tackles.

Moore, a second round draft pick in 2009, is one of the young Falcons who’s most affected by the NFL lockout. Defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder often praised Moore’s effort and ability. But he would contend that once Moore attained a better understanding of the pro game, he’d have a chance to blossom into a star.

A lot of that teaching and film study would have been going on during this offseason. Instead of receiving additional coaching from VanGorder, secondary coach Tim Lewis and defensive backs coach Alvin Reynolds, Moore is trying to improve with the help of his teammates.

Before a recent seven-on-seven practice in Buford, Moore reflected on last season, his plan to improve and how he wants to develop into one of the top safeties in the league.

Q: Do you and Thomas DeCoud have the potential to be one of the best safety tandems in the league?

A: I definitely think so. DeCoud is a great leader. I look forward to growing with him.  At the corner position, I feel like we are stable enough to feed off of those guys. DeCoud is a great athlete. I have to feed off of him. He’s my leader.

Q: How’s your offseason been going?

A: It’s been going excellent. I’ve been doing as much as I could with this lockout going on. As a player, I’m getting better. I’m steady learning the playbook. I’m reading. This time shows how much dedication that you have for your job.

Q: How did you feel last season went for you?

A: Of course, I’m not satisfied. I feel like it went very well as far as what I put into the offseason after my rookie season when I got hurt. I was happy with the year.  It was nice to be mentioned for a lot of accolades, but I think I helped the team a lot. I’m looking forward to getting better.

Q: How tough was it taking over for a veteran like Erik Coleman?

A: It was big turn around for me, especially going from special teams the first game to starting the second game and every game after that. I look forward to it. It wasn’t a surprise for me. I just stepped in and took over where I could.

Q: Did Coleman (who’s since been released and has signed with Detroit) still help you out with learning the position?

A: I took a lot from Erik on and off the field. Erik was a great guy. He’s a great pro. He’s the true definition of a pro. He taught me a lot.

Q: Can you develop into one of the league’s top impact players at safety?

A: Safety is a critical position in the NFL as you see with the Troy Polamalus, Ed Reeds, Eric Berrys. I definitely want to be mentioned in that group of impact safeties that can come in and change the ball game. I love to fit the run and now I’m just working on getting back and getting some interceptions to help the team.

Q: What are some things you need to improve on to get to that impact level?

A: Last year, I played with a lot of hesitation. I think in my next season, I’ll definitely go out there with less hesitation. I’ll go out there and play at tad bit faster. In the NFL, that one second can change the whole ball game.

Q: Do you attribute the hesitation to recognition? What you were seeing?

A: Definitely, I was playing against quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers. He could look you off one second and then he’ll come back to you. Without that hesitation and great film study, I’ll just be there waiting on him. You can’t take the bait.

Q: Who was the toughest quarterback you faced last year?

A: I have to go with Aaron Rodgers. Besides the Super Bowl, even if he didn’t win the Super Bowl, I would say that about him.

Q: What are you all missing with the workouts?

A: Of course, the coaching. We need that out here. Especially for a young player like me, the coaching is important. Just the coaches pushing us to go the extra mile sometimes.

Q: Is it tough to replicate the organized team activities?

A: We know we have to take it seriously. We have to coach ourselves right now with this lockout going on. I’m glad to see guys like Julio [Jones] come out here and get better. Nobody made him come out here.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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47 comments Add your comment

Marcus

June 13th, 2011
5:37 am

somewhere in the top 5…..

DOL,
which teams (beside from the Falcons) based on youth, would be most affected by the lockout?

Do players have personal film cuts from last year to study, even if absent a coaches prodding and perspective on areas of improvement?

Paddy

June 13th, 2011
7:10 am

Wm Moore sounds like a true pro and I, for one, am glad he is a Falcon!

Fulton

June 13th, 2011
7:46 am

Spoon should be healthy and better this year too which should free up William Moore to get more interceptions this year.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 13th, 2011
8:16 am

Marcus — The teams most affected are the ones with new coaches, new coordinators and new quarterbacks. Another young team like Tampa Bay could be hurt, too. They all do have cut ups from last year.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 13th, 2011
8:18 am

Stay on the topic today. The blog is about William Moore’s growth pattern. Not the Saints or BVG’s worthiness.

Delbert D.

June 13th, 2011
8:32 am

Moore is going to be a good player. I wonder how much communication is going on between the offense and defense about stuff that could benefit the younger players.

BirdDog

June 13th, 2011
8:56 am

Moore is fast and a big-time hitter. I like his potential a lot more than Decoud.

Re Larry

June 13th, 2011
9:09 am

Well said. You left out the fact his coach is addicted to hydrocodone and his QB has a nasty, hairy mole on his face.

LED

June 13th, 2011
9:10 am

Is william moore healthy right now? No groin issues?

TheManMike

June 13th, 2011
9:10 am

D.O.L. – GREAT line of questions, man. A bevy of information, I love it! I have been a fan of WillMo since we drafted him. He’s a hard hitter and I can see him really taking the next step this coming season, especially since he realizes his timing was off a bit….WOW, great insights.

I hope the rumors of a mid-July end to the lockout are true….

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 13th, 2011
9:12 am

LED – Yes, he is healthy and has been at all of the 7 on 7 practices.

TheManMike — Thanks. I have also followed WillieMo since his Missouri days. Mid-July would be near perfect timing.

Chris

June 13th, 2011
9:18 am

Toward the end of the year last year Moore was starting to make some pretty big hits. Just watching how he attacked the RB or WR I could definitely see fines and suspensions coming his way if he keeps it up. I wonder if anybody is watching that or reminding him of the new rules. I love him as a player, just want to make sure he is available for 16+ games.

Claws of the Scorpion

June 13th, 2011
9:21 am

DOL,

Any news on Akeem Dent? Is he really a backup to Lofton?

Mel

June 13th, 2011
9:39 am

First off thanks for having a session with someone that we dont here about as much but have a lot of interrest in. What I would like to know, Orlando is based off your knowledge of him as a player from College to now. What areas do you see that he has improved on the most, and what have you seen thus far from him that has impressed you in the practices that they are holding? Do you see him stepping up more from a maturity standpoint and knowledge standpoint from your view?

The Judge

June 13th, 2011
9:40 am

Why didn’t you ask Moore about his arrest a couple of months ago?

Mel

June 13th, 2011
9:41 am

Judge why be an a** why do we even have to go there?

Ken Strickland

June 13th, 2011
9:48 am

Individual members of our secondary are starting to come around and have an impact. The biggest improvement will be realized when they all come together as a unit. We’ve had past issues with the play of our safeties for yrs, but that seems to be rapidly becoming a thing of the past.

WMoore is the future of our secondary, therefore the future of our secondary is bright. We’re starting to see a quick, fast, aggressive and hard hitting physical secondary, and DEF overall, develop.

TradeMe

June 13th, 2011
9:51 am

Will Moore remain on Special Teams, since he has been upgraded to starter? What grade would you give our secondary based on last years performance? Thanks DOL.!

BOB

June 13th, 2011
9:59 am

As important as the growth abd development of players like Moore, Spoon and DeCoud is, if the Falcons are to win championships, they have to have a playmaker and game changer on the defense. these guys have All Pro potential but the team needs a guy like Aminudu who not only is a 3 time All Pro but a civic minded player on the order of Warrick Dunn. Expensive; yes. But Championships don’t come cheap. Ask Mark Cuban was it worth the money.

PMC

June 13th, 2011
10:02 am

I think he’s uses his agression well. He’s a good tackler, honestly though I hope he continues to improve in coverage and can work on being a ball hawk. I’m hoping that the team won’t need Moore and Decoud to be the pass rush for the team going forward. Seriously though, he took HUGE strides quickly. I’m glad he’s on our team.

cwltank

June 13th, 2011
11:04 am

I think Moore was the a great selection for the Falcons. The secondary has gotten better, & this year they will be expected to improve that passing defense. We have speed in the secondary & hopefully they grow together.

[...] continue reading… [...]

Rikus

June 13th, 2011
11:44 am

I’m not sure that his growth will be “stunted.” Of course, a young player like Moore will benefit from more time with the coaches. However, there’s no teacher like real experience, and it is the experience of starting last year that Moore will build upon. That said, I really hope training camp doesn’t get truncated by the lockout. Go willy-mo!

panic

June 13th, 2011
11:47 am

our intire defense has 5 players going into yr 4 all starters berrman,decloud,lewis,lofton,grimes.we have 6 players going into yr 3 moore heads up this list with owens,sid,walker,jerry,and adkins then our younger group of up and show us something plz is franks,spoon,peters,schillinger this is all growth that has happened in only 3 yrs very quick rise for such a young hungry group.MR MOORE will help lead this defense as the other players around him all reach the magical yr 4 when that happens we will see if our
defensive unit has truely arrived OUR2010STATS 22nd pass 10th rush

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 13th, 2011
11:55 am

TradeMe – I thought they made major strides, but top flight QBs still passed for a lot of yards on them. I’d have to say C-plus.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 13th, 2011
11:58 am

The Judge — I had already spoken to him and his agent about it. It wasn’t a big deal. He forget that he had two tickets. He paid one and forgot
about the other. He paid it the next day and had his license restored. Didn’t consider it a worthy question. (especially since I just paid my speeding ticket in Cobb County).

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 13th, 2011
11:59 am

Claws of the Scropion — Need to get an update on Dent. Yes, T.D. has told us he’s Lofton’s backup and a core special teams player.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 13th, 2011
12:01 pm

Rikus — Good point about the playing experience.

panic

June 13th, 2011
12:43 pm

panic

June 13th, 2011
12:55 pm

#56 on nfl rank William Moore ATL SS 72 comb 59 total 13 asst 0.0 sack– 13 pass def 5 int 1 fumble rec 0 td

JSS

June 13th, 2011
12:58 pm

D. Orlando Ledbetter
June 13th, 2011
11:55 am
“TradeMe – I thought they made major strides, but top flight QBs still passed for a lot of yards on them. I’d have to say C-plus.”

First truly honest observation in a very long time…
Here is the proof:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1YZjiGkkag
Let the defending and name calling commence… Don’t make me pull out Green Bay games 1&2, the truth is just that…

PreyDawg

June 13th, 2011
1:11 pm

D-Led- I cant get into it man. I want to be excited about Moore. I really like him. One of my favorite Falcons. But I dont believe we are going to play man. If we miss a whole season I am done. And I have been hard core for 32 years.

Anything new on the negotiations?

PreyDawg

June 13th, 2011
1:12 pm

Sorry, I kept saying, “man”. I was ticked off.

[...] Atlanta Falcons [...]

Larry

June 13th, 2011
3:18 pm

Mr. Ledbetter,

Are we becoming a tad too controlling here? Is the lockout getting to you?

Why are you deleting non profane, or non derogatory blogs just because YOU find them off topic?

Don’t go too far with the censorship and arbitrary control behavior or not only will you find less and less people buying your paper edition of the AJC, you’ll end up losing your on line readers too!

This is called job security, Sir, and you can increase your on-line customer base or alienate it!

The good news is you’re in control, so use your omnipotent control wisely!

Larry

June 13th, 2011
3:24 pm

D. Orlando Ledbetter
June 13th, 2011
11:59 am
Claws of the Scropion — Need to get an update on Dent. Yes, T.D. has told us he’s Lofton’s backup and a core special teams player.

Perfect example above.

A nice, sincere question by a reader that you even replied to, yet by your definition this is off topic to Dent was “off topic” based on your headline of “Q&A: Safety William Moore’s growth could be stunted.”

Be consistent with the strike zone if you do not want to anger the pitchers (customers).

Dan

June 13th, 2011
7:04 pm

Nice story but I’ve got a good topic for you and a reason to get this NFL lockout over with and start playing some games in the fall. I just read where the Braves all time record reached .500 for the first time in 88 years. This article got me curious as to how long it would take the Falcons to get to .500 so I did some calculating and if my math is correct and the Falcons average 10 wins a season they would reach .500 in 26 years, ending the 2037 season with a record of 549-549-6. So pass this on to ownership, coaches and players…we’ve got a long way to go and we can’t get any wins if we’re not playing.

Stevie B

June 13th, 2011
9:01 pm

DOL- Nice write up man. Thank you

Stevie B

June 13th, 2011
9:08 pm

By the way. I am sure I speak for most of us in here. I get sick of seeing nothing but antagonizing remarks by those who have nothing better to do. What they don’t understand is this is not a democracy, its a personal fan blog, and you can delete anything you want. IGoodluck finding one that doesn’t delete inflamatory and pointless comments. Thanks for for the sensoring, it makes for better FAN reading.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 13th, 2011
9:41 pm

Stevie B — Thanks for your kind words. Yeah, I’m kind of getting tired of the senseless remarks, too. I let it go on for awhile. I’ll cracking down on them.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 13th, 2011
9:43 pm

Dan — Thanks for that note on How long it would take the Falcons to reach .500. I might just do it and give you credit!!!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 13th, 2011
9:45 pm

Larry — Thanks for you note. I think you know the flow here.

Larry

June 14th, 2011
4:01 am

DOL,

Can you include in your “sensoring” those 19 year olds with just one more year to graduate from the Atlanta Public School System?

No, it’s not a democracy, but it IS a business relationship between two parties–the writer, and the reader–where either side can choose to part ways.

“I’ll craking down on” him too!

Big Dude

June 14th, 2011
12:24 pm

Larry,
Let me help you make your choice…. Leave.
It’s DOL’s blog. He can do what ever he feels necessary.
Go finish off your MD 20/20.

Larry

June 14th, 2011
12:36 pm

Big Dude,

No!

And if you try to make me I’ll turn you into a little dude to match your little brain and your lifeless little pee pee!

Stevie B

June 14th, 2011
4:19 pm

Larry,

Thanks for the insight. You are the best.

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