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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Dre Moore trying to overcome a disappointing past



Few Bucs draft picks in the last several years have been as disappointing as defensive tackle Dre Moore.

While this year's fourth-round pick, receiver Mike Williams, is closing in on a starting job, Moore -- a 2008 fourth-rounder -- failed to make the final roster that year before appearing briefly in seven games last season. It was a precipitous fall for a guy who coaches once said had Warren Sapp qualities.

But after revamping his physique and working himself into much better condition, Moore is at least making things interesting in this training camp.

He faces longer odds to be in the rotation after the team drafted two high-profile defensive tackles, but coach Raheem Morris says there's something different about Moore.

"Dre's looked as good as I've seen him look in his (three) years here," Morris said. "He's lighter, he's playing with better pad level, better base and he's listening to everything that we're saying. He's not going to go away easily."

It seems the club's decision to stockpile defensive line talent sent a message to Moore.

"He sees the writing on the wall," Morris said. "We wanted competition and we got it. And Dre has absolutely stepped up the challenge. I'm very proud of what he's done in this camp. I look forward to seeing continued growth from him. He's going to go out in a preseason game and prove himself. That's what he's waiting for."

That chance comes in just more than a week. The Bucs open the preseason against the Dolphins a week from Saturday. Look for Moore to get a good deal of playing time as coaches try to evaluate his progress and that of the players he is competing with.

Moore is in direct competition for playing time/roster spots with Ryan Sims and Carlton Powell. The remaining three defensive tackles on the roster -- Gerald McCoy, Brian Price and Roy Miller -- will take the lion's share of the snaps and available roster spots.

[Last modified: Thursday, August 5, 2010 5:02pm]


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