Hard-hitting Moore aiming to change style

December, 11, 2013
12/11/13
8:00
AM ET
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Hard-hitting Atlanta Falcons safety William Moore vowed to be a changed man after being fined a total of $74,550 so far this season for illegal hits.

Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan already noticed a difference in Moore’s play. Nolan pointed to last Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers as proof.

"There was a play where [Paul] Worrilow knocks the ball down on a seam route, right down the middle of the field where ... and William kind of pulls off,’’ Nolan said. "In a normal situation, I think William’s going in headfirst. So I think he’s learning. I think he’s getting better. Probably saved himself 15 grand, maybe. Maybe Paul saved it for him because I think if Paul hadn’t knocked the ball out, [Moore] would have made sure that he did.

"I'd liked to think he’s getting better, but I know what his intent is. William’s intent is to play football and be physical. If they all looked like me, nobody would be watching the game. William’s an exceptional athlete with a lot of power and explosion, and people like to watch him play.’’

Moore explained part of the reason he has made a conscious effort to change his tackling style. He recently had a conversation with Tennessee Titans safety Michael Griffin, who was suspended for one game this season following a collection of illegal hits.

"I’m good friends with Mike and actually talked with him about it,’’ Moore said. "He just straight up told me just be careful. He told me to be careful as far as leading with my head and stuff like that. He told me to try and play within the rules.

"He was frustrated and all that; not so much with the decision from the NFL, but that it’s the same game we’ve been trying to play since Day 1 – being physical. And for this type of stuff to happen ... nothing against the NFL because they make the rules and we’ve got to follow by them. But it’s kind of difficult to adjust to them after playing 15 years of football. You know, just playing one way.’’

Moore escaped a fine after he was flagged for a hit on Buffalo Bills receiver Robert Woods a few weeks ago. Now he has three games left in the season to avoid the same.

"Guys will adapt, man, without a doubt,’’ Moore said. "We’ll change the way that we run through. It will take a season or two, an offseason to try and work on it. But, we’re going to have to adapt.’’

Vaughn McClure

ESPN Atlanta Falcons reporter

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