In the meantime, he’s trying to do his best to make his mark on special teams, and that’s just what he did in last Sunday’s game at San Diego with a spectacular tackle on Chargers kickoff returner Richard Goodman.
And if you didn’t think Moore was taking his special teams work seriously, all you had to do was watch his reaction after the play.
Moore will go as far as tell you that play meant as much as catching a pass for a first down.
“Oh yeah, man, definitely,” he said. “Any big play that you can make, whether it be a big tackle or fumble recovery or anything like that, it’s just like making a touchdown to me. My role basically is playing special teams and I’m going to do it to the best of my ability and play as hard as I possibly can and make as many plays as I can — tackles, blocks, it doesn’t matter. I’m just out there trying to play hard and win.”
Moore made the Dolphins roster as an undrafted rookie free agent last year largely because of his speed, and that speed serves him well on special teams.
“The guy plays fast, so when he plays fast it’s just in a complete different level than some of the other people,” said Head Coach Tony Sparano. “He can cause problems that way, make them have to account for him.”
On the San Diego kickoff, Moore’s speed helped him be the first Dolphins player downfield and he then beat a double team before upending Goodman at the Chargers 16-yard line.
“That tackle, what I liked about Marlon is they actually tried to double him on that play,” Sparano explained. “First guy down the field draws a double team in some of those returns and Marlon got down the field fast, he got the double, and then actually avoided the double, got back on track and then kind of shot his gun there, which was good to see. He had to restart to do it. Defensive players can do that, but not always offensive players.”
The play has been the highlight of the young season for Moore, who has yet to catch a pass or even be targeted.
The highlight of his rookie season was a 57-yard touchdown at Oakland when he took a short pass near the sideline and outraced the defense after the Raiders cornerback took a bad angle on him.
After finishing with six catches for 128 yards and that one touchdown in 2010, Moore had to fight for his roster spot this summer. That’s because all five wide receivers were back from last year’s team and fourth-round pick
At roster cutdown time, the Dolphins decided to keep six wide receivers — the usual number is five — because they liked their half-dozen too much to let any of them go.
But Moore has been watching while
Make no mistake, though, Moore is ready, willing and able to help on offense whenever the coaches decide to turn to him.
“Even though I’m not involved in the offense that much, you still have to be tuned in and stay ready because you never know what might happen, Lord forbid, an injury or anything like that,” Moore said. “Right now my role mainly is special teams, but when we’re on offense I’m still right there by (assistant wide receivers coach Ike Hilliard) ready to go and if he throws me in, looking at B-Marsh and Brian and Davone, if they need a break or anything like that, I’ll be ready to spell them.
“I want to catch the rock. I want to make plays in all phases of the game, but right now my calling is special teams. Just be ready for all when it comes.”