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Thursday, December 5, 2013
Mike Smith: Moore trying to hit strike zone

By Vaughn McClure

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith was confident safety William Moore wouldn’t face a suspension after getting flagged for another illegal hit last Sunday. Smith, however, still wants Moore to be careful with his targets.

Moore
Although Moore might have been fined a fifth time for his hit on Buffalo Bills receiver Robert Woods, the NFL typically informs a team if a player has been suspended prior to start of the practice week so that team can plan accordingly.

"William practiced fully, and we fully anticipate him playing in the game this weekend," Smith said Wednesday. "William plays the game like it’s supposed to be played. There are some bang-bang plays that happen, especially in the secondary. And we will continue to work with him on targeting the 'strike zone' which is above the knee and below the shoulders."

Moore said Thursday that he hadn't heard from the league about another fine.

"Just playing football, man," Moore said. "Whatever happens, happens. ... I guess I've got to work on the way I hit and try to fit into the rules. I'm not frustrated at all, because they set the rules way before the season. And I've got follow by them. I'm not special."

He has been fined a total of $74,550 for four illegal hits this season, according to NFL records. Moore was docked $21,000 for violating the new crown-of-the-helmet rule against the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, $22,050 for a hit on Seattle Seahawks receiver Golden Tate in Week 10, and $15,750 twice for hits against Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer, and New England Patriots receiver Aaron Dobson, respectively.

Moore has to be conscious of a suspension, though. Tennessee Titans free safety Michael Griffin recently served a one-game suspension for repeated illegal hits against defenseless receivers.

"I'm going to do what I'm going to do, I'm going to still play the way I've been playing," Griffin told ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky. "And that's my job. At the end of the day, the question is this: either the league is going to take money out of my pocket, or the team is going to release you if you can't get the job done. They're going to find somebody else to come in here that can get the job done.

"You're losing money regardless, however you want to look at it. You tell me. However I need to get the job done, I'm going to get the job done. You can't think about it. The league ain't going to give me money. They're not going to pay me to do the job correctly. I've just got to play."

Smith hopes Moore doesn’t put himself in position to have to address a suspension.

"It’s a concern that William has more than one offense," Smith said. "But he’s working hard to play within the way the game is officiated."