Dave Moore decided to walk away.
Tight end Dave Moore, who joined the Buccaneers in 1992, ended his 15-year career at One Buc Place with a press conference alongside Bucs general manager Bruce Allen. In doing so, he also assumed a new role with the franchise as the team's radio color commentator.
Moore ended his career on a high after making his first Pro Bowl appearance in Hawaii in February. He said he still felt like he could play. But after an injury-riddled 2006 — which included his first ambulance ride with a punctured lung and playing with a stent above his bladder on Thanksgiving Day — Moore decided to make the transition into the broadcast booth.
"After 15 years there comes a point where, do you walk away or do you limp away?" Moore said. "Physically I feel good, and I think an opportunity presented itself (with the Bucs), and weighing all things, it's that time."
Moore was Miami's seventh-round pick in 1992, the last year of the 12-round draft. Allen, in fact, was his first agent. From that humble beginning the University of Pittsburgh product carved out a career doing whatever it took to remain on the roster — tight end, H-back, special teams or long snapping.
"His career represented consistency, but also the type of leader and teammate he was," Allen said.
Moore played more games than all but two tight ends in NFL history (220 games) and played 13 of his 15 years in Tampa Bay (190 games, second on the team's all-time list).
"The kind of player I was, I had to pay attention to the details," Moore said. "The bigger, stronger guys can kind of get away (with things), but I was undersized and I had to be very good at technique, learning defenses and anticipating what was going on around me."
Moore finished his career with 207 receptions, 2,028 yards and 28 touchdowns. His best season came in the final season of his first stint with Tampa Bay in 2001, as he caught 35 passes for 285 yards and four touchdowns. Moore became a cap casualty after that season and moved on to Buffalo for two seasons (2002-03) before returning to Tampa Bay.
No longer a full-time starter, Moore's greatest value the past three seasons was as the Bucs' long snapper, a position he never tried until his seventh season and never performed full time until he returned to Tampa Bay before the 2004 season.
Current Bucs Alstott and Anthony Becht, along with coaches Richard Bisaccia and Art Valero were in attendance, along with Moore's wife, Ann, and his two children, Halee and Jake.
"He's a great friend and a great player," Alstott said. "Anytime you can play 15 years in this league and announce your retirement, instead of them (the team) announcing yours, it's a great accomplishment. I'm happy for him."
Moore will remain a big part of the Tampa area, aside from his new radio duties. Moore is involved with several area charities. He has business interests, including his Clearwater restaurant, Island Way Grill, which he co-owns with Alstott.
But Moore appears to be looking forward to working with play-by-play voice Gene Deckerhoff in the booth this season. Moore did some radio before he left Tampa Bay in 2001, providing commentary for two different programs.
After the Bucs approached him, he actually did a practice game with Deckerhoff in which the pair turned the volume down and announced the game.
"Once I got the flow of what Gene was saying and how much time I was going to get, I really enjoyed it," Moore said. "Now I can still hang with my guys on the plane, and I don't have to put in 80-to-100 hours per week as a coach."
Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for BucsBlitz.com and for the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Charlotte Harbor, Fla.