Going into this year, one of the potentially brightest spots for the Redskins transition to a new 3-4 defense was the supposed emergence of Kareem Moore as a free safety. The move would allow Laron Landry to move to his more natural position at strong safety and help him avoid some of the coverage mistakes of 2009. That it did, and Landry was having the best year of his young career before it was derailed by an Achilles injury. However, the skins remain desperately missing Sean Taylor in the secondary as Kareem Moore hardly proved to be a viable replacement when he was on the field.
Before the season started, Jim Haslett described and praised Moore for his work in the offseason.
"He’s athletic and he’s big, he’s 215 pounds…He can run. He’s a playmaker. I think he’ll tackle. I’ve seen him tackle. I think he’ll be a good guy in the back end and he’ll give you some options"
We all held our breath, but unfortunately Jim Haslett’s positive thoughts of Moore (particularly thinking he would tackle) never materialized on the field.
Moore was injured in the pre-season so maybe he never fully recovered. Maybe we saw a player that was playing scared or hurt, weary of his injury and afraid that the more physical he played the more likely he was to re-injure it. It’s hard to blame him for not wanting to tear his knee up, but we needed him to come back fast and step up.
Moore looked nothing like we expected him too, only one interception and consistently seen up on his back/stomach after missed tackles and bad angles. We all went in expecting plays like this hit on Chad OchoCinco, not like the consistent bouncing off of running backs that occurred game after game this year. The interception against Sam Bradford was a nice one handed grab, but any starting FS in the NFL you should be fortunate enough to have at least a couple overthrown balls or miscommunications fall into your lap and Moore was never on the receiving end again after week three (although there was the Carlos Rogers esque drop against Peyton Manning).
If there is still a chance that he is the real deal, I am all for not spending a pick on a safety, but it is a position where you can find some steals in the later rounds (Colts stud safety Antoine Bathea and Baltimore’s Dawan Landry immediately come to mind as 6th and 5th round picks respectively in the last few years). I think we all hoped that Moore would be one of those steals but is it time to take a chance on another one after what we saw this season?
All that being said, we need to hold off for now…While it has been a significant weakness ever since the passing of #21, this team has more important holes to fill. I’m choosing to hold on to some of the hype about Moore from last pre-season and am going to attribute most of his troubles to his balky knee. We’re in no position to focus on luxuries at this point in the Bruce Allen/Mike Shanahan era and safety has to be below at least WR, OL, DL, and QB on our wish list. Plus there is always former Terrapin Kevin Barnes, who filled in decently in the waning weeks of the season.
What do you think? Do we go after a FS in the draft or free agency? How high on our needs list is it?
We’ll go into the possible safeties that could be targets in the draft and possible late round steals, in the coming weeks.
Here’s to a great Redskins off season, Go Skins!