Eric Moore Enters Training Camp As Patriots’ Man of Mystery


July 23, 2011

Eric Moore Enters Training Camp As Patriots' Man of Mystery As the Patriots head into training camp, the most mysterious man of the bunch just might be Eric Moore, an edge rusher who seemingly came out of nowhere to make in impact last December.

Was it a fluke, or did he find himself after a stint in the United Football League?

Roster Competition
Ty Warren, Vince Wilfork, Ron Brace, Mike Wright, Marcus Stroud, Brandon Deaderick, Moore, Kyle Love, Myron Pryor and Kade Weston will be among the defensive linemen battling for about seven spots. However, Moore could also be lumped together with the outside linebackers because he's a hybrid edge player.

Why He'll Make the Team
The Patriots don't have any pass-rushing extraordinaires, and Moore might have the ability to continue contributing in that department. In four regular-season games last season, the situational edge rusher tallied 13 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one pass defense, and he had at least one sack, forced fumble or recovery in each contest. He attributed that to his stint with the UFL's Florida Tuskers, who gave him ample playing time and a chance to find himself on the field. Moore could really benefit now with an opportunity to run through the Patriots' training camp.

Why He Might Not Make the Team
Moore was on the street in December for a reason. Before linking up with New England, the 2005 fifth-round pick from Florida State totaled 18 tackles, no sacks, no forced fumbles, no fumble recoveries and one pass defense in his previous stops with the Giants, Saints, Rams and Panthers. Sure, Moore found it in December, but the concern would be that it was an aberration.

Bottom Line
It does sound like there's some optimism about Moore coming from the Patriots' camp. Realistically, he could continue progressing as a situational player on passing downs. He'll just have to prove that he can endure the rigors of training camp, where Bill Belichick pushes players to get a complete understanding of their makeup, so much more so than any string of practices in December and January.

Every day through Aug. 1, Jeff Howe will spotlight one player who could potentially be on the Patriots' roster bubble.

Friday, July 22: Cornerback Darius Butler
Sunday, July 24: Wide receiver Matthew Slater

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