In an interview for the Ninety-Nine Yards podcast, I spoke exclusively with safety for the Indianapolis Colts, Corey Moore. The full podcast can be heard here but should you wish to listen to the interview only I’d suggest skipping through to 25:26 where the interview begins.
Liz: Joining me now on the 99 Yards Podcast is Safety for Indianapolis Colts, Corey Moore. Welcome, Corey, how’s it going?
Corey: Thank you for having me. This is going wonderful. How about yourself?
Liz: Yeah, really good, thank you. I’m really happy to have you with us. I thought we could start off by looking at your career. Perhaps you could talk me through how you have developed as a player from college at Georgia to enter in the league with Texans to where yoHu are now with the Colts.
Corey: Yes, it’s been an up and down roller coaster, but every roller coaster is fine in my experience. Coming out of the University of Georgia, I didn’t go to the draft, I didn’t go to the combine, so that kind of struck, I’d say, a good nerve in me to work even harder and have fun with it. My first year in the NFL, I was a practice squad guy on the Houston Texans and that year really was for me to figure out things on how the NFL worked. It was a very fun process, I think to my experience because I used that time to actually get better at the small things. Throughout the season, I wasn’t active so I would stay out the practice, watch extra, extra film, stay after practice, run extra, yes and do something according to my footwork to better it.
Then my second year rolled around and I happened to make the squad and was active. And to be honest, I wasn’t expecting to start. My boss said I was going to end being a special teams guy servicing the team any way that I could. And I happened to start eight games, nine, seven games, somewhere in that nature. But it was a really fun year. I think I established myself very well. And then I fell, got my first interception in the playoffs, man but it was a really fun year.
My third year, I happened to have an MCL tear at the end of the year, but that year still was pretty fun to start at seven games. And it was a growing process about third year because it didn’t go as I wanted to, but it really taught me valuable lessons in life on when things don’t go your way, you just work a little bit harder, you become a better person inside and out, and you learn the business on how it works. So it was a very fun year.
My fourth year, I’m here now with the Indianapolis coach. Great organization, great organization. And it was a blessing because the Texans released me and they picked me up right away and it’s been going fine. We started off pretty shaky at the beginning of the season, losing I think three or four straight but now we got the ball rolling, man, and we’re gonna keep it rolling. Heading to, playing Jacksonville this weekend in Jacksonville. So my story, man, it’s a pretty, as I say, neat story. I started off as a practice squad. I was a trial guy. Most people don’t know I was a trial guy, but I made the squad. So anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
Liz: Yeah, absolutely. If you work hard, good things will come. And here you are.
Corey: Yes, you’re so correct.
Liz: And I guess looking at the team for a moment. So you’re having a nice season so far and currently, the team is second in your division. What do you think your defensive group has done differently, which has surprised people the most this season?
Corey: Oh, I think we just really came together as a unit; offensively, defensively, special teams, just the whole team just in general. But talking defense was, we came together as a defense a star honing into our keys, better communication across the board, man and we just made up our mind that we want to win, man. We’re going to do whatever it takes to win. If we got to hold the ball on field goal or, man, if they asked us to do something crazy, run through a wall, we’re going to do it because we want to win. So I think that’s the biggest thing, just coming together and just talking about what we’re gonna do and just doing it.
Liz: Absolutely. And what have you found the differences to be playing under an experienced fellow, Brian at Texans, to what some would say as a rookie head coach in Frank Rake?
Corey: You know what? Those two guys they’re two different people. A big props to coach O’Brien. He’s a great coach. Been with the Houston, Texas I think for five years now. But cause Frank, man, he’s taught me a lot, man. He’s a positive guy and him coming from a Philadelphia, I think he brought the mentality, man, here to the Indianapolis Coast and is showing, he always preaches, ‘get 1% better every day.’ And that’s what we try to do in practice because that’s where it starts. And we attack practice like it’s a game. And again, it comes pretty easy sometimes because you work so hard and practice and you see it over and over and over. And as soon as you get to it and again be like, Oh, well, this is it, this is what I’ve been working for, this is what I’ve prepared for.
So I think Coach Frank, he does a great job of getting us prepared for a game in every aspect that you could possibly get ready for a game. So, Coach Frank, he’s doing a great job with this man and where everybody’s bought in, everybody’s bought in and we’re keeping the ball rolling.
Liz: That’s brilliant to hear. Clearly that’s, you know, shows the success of your season so far. It was obviously the right move for him. Looking at kind of offensive coordinators across the NFL, it seems that they’re embracing the college system. How do you as a defensive unit deal with that?
Corey: Oh, the college system, it’s really a good system if you really just hone into it and you buy into it because not a lot of thinking going on, just getting to your coverage, your leverage, your assignments and doing that. And that gets guys to play faster, get Scouts to communicate faster and you’re all on one page and that makes the defense run even faster. So you play faster, more aggressively and the offense madness, it’s so simple. Opposing teams they think cause this is a simple tight defense that you can actually like have success on their buddies. It’s all about what you do whenever you run a type system like this. So it’s very fun to play and you have a lot of turnovers so we’re just going to keep the ball rolling.
Liz: And obviously they’ve been a number of changes with rules over the years. Do you think that they’ve gone too far in terms of tilting the field more towards the offense and also, what do you find is the hardest role to play within?
Corey: Oh man, I can go all day, on and on about how the rule has changed because it changed worldwide. I mean, starting from Peewee league onto professional rules have changed and it has gotten softer in my opinion because there are calls in there are plays that happened during the game that you can’t control is man on man, sometimes, the guy ends up on the wrong end of the bargain and it’s bad. You know, you have some hits that are illegal and sometimes offers the guys, you ask them like after, ‘You good?’ And they’re like, ‘Yeah, I’m good.’ Well that shouldn’t be a flag because it’s just football.
So there are so many rules that have been implemented over the past few years that have been questionable in my opinion. So you got to play within the rules, play a game within the game as I was always taught, man but you never let up. You never let up on how aggressive you claim. So I think that’s the biggest thing about football; you can’t substitute the aggressiveness so it’s very devastating at times as a defensive guy.
Liz: And when it comes to your role, what is your favorite thing to do? Would you prefer to cover a man one-on-one, play the center field role of safety or come up into the box and provide support against the run?
Corey: You know what, I like to keep all those things in my package and doing them all the best of my ability. I think as I’d say hitting someone, I mean, you are covering someone, I think that’s pretty fun. I can do that; no problem man. But when you hit someone and you force a fumble or you make the crowd go crazy or you show your other defenders that you can hit hard, that sends a message just across the board and once you turn it on to him and you see a guy who hits hard, you’re like, ‘Man, it’s going to be a long game.’ So I think hitting hard and making the offenders feel me, I think that’s what I like best.
Liz: And what does a typical day look like for you? Perhaps you could talk me through your routine.
Corey: Oh wow. Typical day, Wednesday through Friday, I’m really up here early. I’m here at 6:20 in the morning, I grab some breakfast because I’ve learned throughout the years, man, my four years being in a league, that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and you kind of get educated on that organization that you become. But at 7:00 AM, 6:45 when meeting with my DB coach, going over game plan, just going over film and seeing the tendencies that I saw the night before and the night before that game when the coach watch film. I would say we’ll watch film from like 6:45 to 7:15, 7:30, sometimes 8-8:15 is when we have special teams; special teams meeting, defensive meetings, position meetings; all the way up until roughly around like maybe 12, 12:30 ish. Then practice starts around like 1:15, 1:30. We were out at practice for a good hour and 45, two hours, depends on how the practice goes. And then we come back here meet from 3:45 till 5:45 and we have walkthroughs. And after that, man, I actually stay or get hour and a half, two hours, maybe three. Sometimes I leave the building 8:30, sometimes nine.
So my day, it’s pretty full. It’s, yes, you have to be passionate about this business. You gotta love it but it’s fun. You run into people in the locker room, you form a brotherhood. And the biggest thing is winning. Production and winning in this league, man, I think we’re doing a good job around here and winning games together, man and pulling it out the hat no matter how it gets done but we find the ‘W’ around here. So that’s my day pretty much here in Indianapolis.
Liz: And when it comes to game day, do you have any pregame superstitions or certain things you’ll do for each game perhaps?
Corey: Oh, well, I kiss my little girl and try to sing to her before I leave from her because she has the most beautiful smile in the world, man. She gets my day going. Her giggle gets me going. And before the game, I eat ice and some gummy bears to get my blood sugar up as I’ve been doing that since I’ve been in high school. So that’s the kind of ritual that I’ve been going on. But mainly, man, just turn on some tunes, free my mind and again, focus really for the game. So I try to keep it simple, you know, try to keep it simple, not try to get too honed in the game. If you try to get too honed into the game and then you’re too out of shape going into the game. So I just try to keep it mellow before the game starts.
Liz: And finally, who is the hardest player to tackle in the NFL? And who is the best player you’ve played with?
Corey: Who’s the best tackler? Who’s the hardest tackler?
Liz: Who’s the hardest person that you’ve tackled and which is the best player generally that you’ve played with?
Corey: Oh, okay. I think the hardest tackler that I’ve had to tackle this year would be, I would say Isaiah Crowell. He was a Running Back out of New York Jets. I played with him in college, actually, man, he’s a really good Running Back in the NFL, but he’s very hard to hit, man and I happened to get him in open field one time, but he’s pretty hard to hit. And the best player I’ve ever played with…Wow! I play with numerous guys that I could throw in there. I would first off say, Andrew Luck; he’s an incredible guy to play, the best guy I’ve ever played with. JJ Watt. And Malcolm Mitchell, I played with him in college, but he was a receiver at the Patriot Ledger. So big ass pretty special.
Liz: Well, Corey, it’s amazing to hear your passion for all of this. I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with me. Thank you so much and best of luck for the rest of the season.
Corey: Thank you for having me on, Liz.
Photo copyright: Indianapolis Colts.