Moore Making Most of Opportunity

Talk to any of Matt Moore's Dolphins teammates and there's one consistent point that gets mentioned about the team's new starting quarterback. "He's got poise," tailback Reggie Bush says. "We all had a lot to learn on the fly, getting used to a new quarterback. He's doing a great job of handling everything that's been thrown at him."

Indeed Moore has, becoming progressively more comfortable running the Dolphins offense, which is being crafted around his strengths, and structured to hide his limitations.

"He's a professional," offensive coordinator Brian Daboll said. "A tireless worker who asks a lot of questions. If he doesn't get it the first time he keeps drilling it."

Moore has led the team to three straight victories, and during that stretch the former Oregon State standout has completed 70.8 percent of his passes, throwing for six touchdowns and one interception.

More important, he's winning over his teammates in the locker room, who praise him for his huddle demeanor and approachable nature.

"He's a really cool, calm guy," tight end Anthony Fasano adds.

So what's next for this undrafted NFL journeyman, who has thrown for a career-high 1,319 yards in the seven games he's served as the replacement for an injured Chad Henne?

"Opportunities like this in (the NFL) don't come around very often," said Moore, who has a 85.9 passer rating.

"I was fortunate to have some opportunities in Carolina, which led me to this place," Moore said of his 13 starts with the Panthers. "When you get a shot like this you get to step in and do some things, make a name for yourself."

And that's Moore's mission for the final six games. He aims to prove he's an NFL starter, either for the Dolphins, which have him under contract until 2013, or another team. And Moore knows he needs to lead his team to victories to do so.

"You want to play well and show people you can hang around this league for a while," said Moore, who has led the Dolphins to 11 touchdowns in the team's 16 red-zone opportunities the past five games.

He's 3-3 as the starter since replacing Henne, who was sidelined by a separated shoulder to his non-throwing shoulder. Henne is expected to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and it's uncertain if he'll be retained.

"Matt's done a tremendous job right now, and it's all about what you do with your opportunities in our league," Coach Tony Sparano said. "As of right now, he is doing a nice job with his opportunities. Matt will be the first to tell you that we need to continue to get better."

But those ready to anoint Moore as the next Dan Marino might want to slow down because history says he's a fast starter. One that might not have staying power.

At the end of the 2009 season, he led the Panthers to four wins in the season's final five games, all of which he started. That offseason the Panthers cut Jake Delhomme and made Moore the full-time starter.

The next year Moore won one of the six games he started or played for Carolina.


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