I don’t pretend to know more than NFL player personnel executives. They’ve certainly forgotten more football than I’ll ever know. But that doesn’t mean from time to time a fan can’t out-smart a paid professional.
Many members of Raider Nation were completely confused by many of the decisions made when the Raiders broke camp and cut the roster down to 53. Among the most troubling of all was the decision to cut promising rookie Sterling Moore for underachieving vet Joe Porter.
Porter parlayed a blocked kick in the preseason finale into a spot on the roster. Meanwhile Moore flashed all kinds of potential yet was shown the exit.
As inexplicable as that move was the Raiders went out and topped themselves. Initially they brought Moore back by adding him to the practice squad. As injuries in the secondary began to pile up you’d have thought he might get his shot at playing. Instead Oakland again parted ways with the Bay Area native choosing instead to bring in other options at DB. Eventually Porter was also released giving way for one of the many DBs that suited up in Silver and Black.
Well, it didn’t take long for another team desperate to add to a weakened defense to sign Moore. Just in case you checked out of the NFL once the Raiders’ season concluded then you missed that same Sterling Moore coming up big for the New England Patriots in the AFC title game.
Now before burying the Raiders for their lack of vision it is only right to offer an honest critique of Moore.
From what I saw in the preseason there was no doubt there was plenty to work with as far as his talent level goes. He was clearly not ready to play in a man-intensive scheme like Oakland’s which is why Bill Belichick quickly moved Moore to safety when he first arrived in New England.
While his cover skills were lacking what impressed me most about Moore was how he broke on the ball. You saw that on display last night as Moore made a couple of big breakups on passes that would have otherwise turned the tide of the game.
But that is all in the past.
Who knows what the future holds for Sterling Moore? For all we know we might have seen the pinnacle of his career as an undrafted player. Still, you can’t help but wonder why an organization like Oakland that prides itself in developing talent at DB would be so quick to take a flier on Moore. Not saying the guy would have made Oakland’s defense better by leaps and bounds but there was no reason not to give him an extended look. Now the entire football world will be able to see what he can do on the game’s biggest stage.
No matter how you slice it the Raiders just wet the bed on this roster decision. They held onto Nick Miller for years yet couldn’t give Moore one season to potentially develop. Things that make you go…hmmm…