Monday, December 07, 2009

Evan Moore

On a day when the Browns didn't suck nearly as much as fans thought they would, perhaps the biggest question on everyone's mind was "who the hell is this Evan Moore guy?"

Until Saturday, Moore was a member of the Browns practice squad. However, after his performance yesterday, it's very unlikely he'll be back there anytime soon. Moore caught six passes for a team leading 80 yards, and with the exception of a fourth quarter ball that hit him in the helmet, pretty much snagged anything that was remotely catchable. In fact, he probably made more tough catches in a single afternoon than Braylon Edwards made during his entire career with the Browns.

So who is this guy? Well, according to the Stanford media guide, he was a high school All-American in football and basketball, played basketball on Stanford's #1 ranked team during his freshman year, was voted the Stanford football team's most outstanding sophomore, and was an honorable mention All-Pac 10 that season.

So how does a guy like that end up on the NFL's Island of Misfit Toys? Well, Moore dislocated his hip during the first game of his junior year. That hip injury was very serious (one media report used the word "horrific"), and cost Moore his entire junior season. He returned the following season, but the hip injury was just the first in a series of injuries that have plagued Moore ever since. After returning to the team in 2006, Moore suffered a stress fracture in his foot that limited his playing time that season.

Moore had a good, but not outstanding senior season in 2007. His size, athleticism and the flashes of brilliance that he'd shown during his playing career at Stanford still managed to put him on the NFL's radar screen. However, he didn't have the speed to play WR at the professional level and he'd never played a down at TE, so Moore went undrafted. The Saints signed him as a free agent, but quickly released him. The Packers picked him up, but the injury bug bit again, and Green Bay put him on injured reserve after he suffered a pre-season knee injury. Green Bay waived him prior to the start of the 2009 season, and he was signed to the Browns' practice squad in early November.

This morning's Plain Dealer pointed out that yesterday was Moore's first professional game. What's more impressive is that yesterday's game was the first football game of any kind that Moore has participated in since 2007. Based on Moore's performance, it's highly unlikely that it will be his last game.

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