Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Dre Moore out to make better second impression

“I’ve been waiting for the better part of a year to make a second first impression,” says second-year Bucs defensive tackle Dre Moore, a 2008 fourth-round draft pick out of Maryland.

DIRK SHADD | Times

“I’ve been waiting for the better part of a year to make a second first impression,” says second-year Bucs defensive tackle Dre Moore, a 2008 fourth-round draft pick out of Maryland.

TAMPA — Everyone knows what they say about first impressions.

But if that saying were true, then there probably would be no point in having defensive tackle Dre Moore on the Buccaneers' roster.

His debut as a 2008 fourth-round draft pick was so forgettable, he didn't even make the final roster. Instead, he was reduced to the practice squad along with mostly undrafted prospects. It was a surprising result given the rave reviews the organization gave Moore upon his arrival, referring to him as an interior pass rusher in the Warren Sapp mold.

But a new coaching staff and a new, focused attitude have combined to give Moore an opportunity to change opinions and, more important, his fate.

"I've been waiting for the better part of a year to make a second first impression," Moore said.

There are reasons the Bucs think Moore is different. He is in dramatically better condition, something that is evident by a glance; his effort has improved; and football seems to rank higher on his priority list.

"When I became the head coach, I had a heart-to-heart with Dre," said coach Raheem Morris, promoted to his post in January. "We went in my office, and I told him I did not like him very much last year. But I said, 'I'm willing to look at you for you this year.' I told him to go out there and get better, and he's done that.

"I see effort. He's giving me everything he's got. He's showing some splash plays. He's still got miles to go, but the jump from last year to this year, man, it's not even close."

The Bucs plan to use Moore in their rotation of defensive tackles. Moore is probably trailing rookie Roy Miller for the third slot, but wherever he's slotted, it's hard not to envision him making the team and playing important snaps.

That's a much different outcome from 2008.

"I think the best thing that ever happened to Dre was getting cut and being put on the practice squad," defensive line coach Todd Wash said.

"He knows how much that affected him as a football player and how we looked at him. I kind of felt that he thought that, being a draft pick, he would have a place on the football team and he just went through the motions. But now he knows it's tough on the street.

"So, he's become more of a student of the game; he's more focused in meetings. I love the guy, but sometimes he just was a slacker. It took him more time to grow up, but we've seen him mature, and now we're seeing the importance that football has to him."

Moore said he was overwhelmed by everything last year, from learning the playbook to living on his own in an unfamiliar city.

Physically, he points to his intense offseason work remaking his body as a key. He looks downright svelte now. Morris said — with a straight face — that Moore "couldn't even do a pushup" when he arrived in May 2008, in part because of a shoulder injury suffered while at the University of Maryland.

"I wanted to be here and put the work in, and I really put in a lot of work in the weight room," said Moore, 24. "I probably weigh 330 (pounds) right now, but I feel good."

Moore has made some head-turning plays in the preseason, including a quarterback hurry against Tennessee that redirected Kerry Collins into defensive end Stylez White for a sack. But making up for that bad first impression will take more than a couple of highlights.

"But I just want to ride whatever momentum I can get," Moore said. "What I'll say is that I didn't pack it in after last year, so I'm not going nowhere now."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Dre Moore out to make better second impression 08/30/09 [Last modified: Sunday, August 30, 2009 11:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. RHP Alex Cobb feeling safer as Rays make playoff push

    The Heater

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing in the fourth inning of the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla. on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.
  2. HomeTeam 100: Players 61-70

    Footballpreps

    Jefferson wide receiver Dontavius Smith during the game between Jefferson High School and Jesuit High School at Jesuit on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, in Tampa, Fla.
  3. A second chance at life, away from the game he loved

    The Heater

    Dylan Delso, a catcher for the Tampa Bay Rays' Gulf Coast League team, displays his scar at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla., on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. On June 25, 2016 Delso fell backward down a flight of stairs, suffering a nearly fatal head injury that put him in a coma for eight days. He's finally back on the baseball field after a miraculous recovery.
  4. Rays morning after: Steven Souza Jr.'s status is a major concern

    Blogs

    The Rays will know more about the status of RF Steven Souza Jr. later today after reviewing results of a scheduled MRI and exam of the left hip he strained in Wednesday's game on an awkward slide into second.

    Steven Souza Jr. strained his left hip in Wednesday's game on an awkward slide into second.
  5. Lightning's Ondrej Palat happy with new deal, new talent

    Lightning Strikes

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18) works to play the puck against the Winnipeg Jets during first period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Tuesday evening (01/03/17).