What other team has their third string quarterback getting so many major headlines?
They said he has no arm.
They said he is too small.
But his strengths are intelligence and pinpoint accuracy.
They said similar things about Phil Simms and Joe Montanna.
Simms was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of Super Bowl XXI. He set the record for highest completion percentage in a Super Bowl, going 22 for 25 (88%). Montanna powered the 49ers to victories in four Super Bowls during the 1980s, including consecutive wins in 1989 and 1990.
As KTVB reported, Moore is too good for the Detroit Lions to ignore, having made their 53-man roster last week.
As with Simms and Montanna, Moore had tremendous college production. This tremendous athlete finished his career with Boise State University in 2011, having walked away 50–3 (.943) -- the unofficial all-time record for wins by a starting quarterback in NCAA Division I FBS.
As a junior, he finished fourth in the balloting for the 2010 Heisman Trophy.
But the road for this underdog has been peppered with criticism. For example, take a look at these tweets from January 2012:
"He looks like a high school quarterback, skinny arms. Has a weird deliver. Left handed, the ball spins the wrong way,"scout on Kellen MooreAnd ...
— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) January 23, 2012
Kellen Moore's arm being exposed today. Slow on outside deep throws, floating passes deep. Kirk Cousins does look crisp, driving ball wellBut similar criticisms were said of Moore before his remarkable and legendary run at Boise State.
— Eric Galko (@OptimumScouting) January 24, 2012
Fast-forward to August of 2013: Lions coach Jim Schwartz told reporters that Moore was "a very improved player ... He has played well when given the opportunities and has improved a lot from over the course of the season last year, but then particularly in our offseason program and training camp. In all facets his understanding of our offense, his understanding of what defenses do, and also physically, he's improved."
And he has only become better. According to KTVB:
In the first preseason game, Moore kept his new competition on the sidelines. With Detroit trailing Cleveland 12-6 and just 2:14 left in the fourth quarter, Moore led the Lions on a four-play, 50-yard scoring drive in 1:09. Boise State's all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns threw a 21-yard strike down the left sideline to wide receiver Corey Fuller with just 1:05 remaining in regulation.
The Lions won, 13-12. ... Moore shined again in fourth and final tune-up contest prior to the regular season. Moore took almost every snap over the last three quarters of a 23-0 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Aug. 28. Add it all up and Moore completed 68.6-percent for 361 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in four relief appearances. His 108.4 quarterback rating was the fourth best in the NFL for passers with at least 50 attempts.
At the 2014 NFL combine, it emerged that Moore is a strong leader who has great poise in the pocket. Moore has a quick pass set that is balanced and under control. He gets rid of the ball quickly and picks his spots effectively. A very accurate thrower both short and long, Moore understands route progressions and is steady under pressure. He knows how to put touch on the ball. Just like he often did at Boise State, this unique QB scans the field with laser-like perfection to locate his second and third options.
With an eerie similarity to Simms and Montanna, he has all the intangibles and is a quarterback that is under control.
Kellen Moore will prove his critics wrong once again.
Boise State University, Detroit Lions, Michael Strickland, Michael Strickland Idaho, Michael Strickland Bois, www.michaelrstrickland.com