- Field Yates, ESPN Insider
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BOSTON -- With just one play, defensive back Sterling Moore not only altered the fates of two franchises on the brink of a berth to the Super Bowl, he also cemented his place as a favorite amongst Patriots fans.
But despite now being popularly known as the player who dislodged a Joe Flacco pass to Ravens wide receiver Lee Evans in the closing moments of the AFC Championship game last season, Moore insists he’s the same guy who came to New England after being released from the Raiders practice squad late in September of 2011.
“Nothing's changed,” Moore said. “I’m still the down-to-earth kid I always was and always will be. Just glad that I got a chance to come out here and be that person and show everybody who I really am.”
Who he was on the football field in 2011 was a player versatile enough to see meaningful snaps as both a safety and a cornerback.
Learning the nuances of two positions was a tough task for Moore, who said, “It’s a struggle every day to have to go in there and learn multiple positions and multiple techniques, but that’s what’s expected of you.”
He’s found that tapping the wisdom of his experienced teammates has helped to ease the task.
“You kind of rely on guys that have been in the league for a little bit. I’m always asking questions to the older guys, guys who have been in the system here for quite a few years. Those guys, they welcome me with open arms, no matter what position I’m playing.”
Moore worked primarily as a cornerback during organized team activities this offseason, but he remains committed to playing wherever the coaching staff desires.
“I’m going to do whatever it takes to help the team, same thing as last year, came in had to learn all the positions. Still doing the same thing this year; nothing’s been set in stone as far as what position I’m going to play.”
Fortunately for Moore, he won't have to take on as much learning on the fly, as not only is he experiencing his first offseason in New England, he’s also taking part in his first offseason as a pro, having been signed as an undrafted free agent during the lockout-affected 2011 summer.
The benefits of an offseason are innumerable, including the chance for Moore and his teammates to come together as a whole.
“It’s just good to be around the guys and build that team camaraderie, because we have a lot of new parts on the team,” he said. “It’s good to be out there. The coaches are yelling, which isn’t too good right now, but it’s good to be there and kind of build the camaraderie."