April 13, 2009

Moore settling in at tackle position

MADISON, Wis. - Spring practice did not go the way newcomer Daniel Moore would have hoped a season ago. Just a handful of practices into the schedule the junior college transfer suffered a torn MCL and had to miss the remainder of spring. With a healthy knee this spring, the senior is making strides as an interior defensive lineman.

After a recent practice, BadgerBlitz.com caught up with Moore. The following is a question and answer with the Illinois native:

I see you guys (the defense) were a little spirited there. You didn't let the offense score there at the end (of Thursday's practice), how exciting was that for you guys?

Moore: I mean, it's pretty exciting but as coach said, it's only one day. That's something we've been working on as a defense, trying to pick up the level of our intensity and just kind of feed off each other and just celebrate together as a team.

Was there some of that lacking last year at points?

Moore: No, I really don't think that was lacking last year. But last year is last year and we're moving forward and just trying to get better one day at a time.

Is it kind of hard to emulate game situations when you are just in practice like this and only in the spring?

Moore: I mean, it's always hard to emulate the game because the game is different. You know, you got the fans and a game is the game and practice is practice. But you practice you practice to prepare for those games. You try to practice how you play.

How is spring ball going for you in general?

Moore: Spring ball, it's going pretty good. I'm trying to get comfortable. I'm really just trying to work on my fundamentals and get my technique down pat. That way I can get comfortable and just get inside and start to be a factor. Going from outside to inside is different. I'm really just trying to get comfortable.

Have you played inside before?

Moore: Yes, I've played inside before but not at this level. This is a completely different monster at this level. Playing inside, one false step, wrong hand placement is the different between a lost gap and getting reached.

Is that the hardest part, you'd say, of the transition?

Moore: Just the fundamentals from the outside to the inside.

It seems like there has been a lot of focus on attention to detail this spring so far. Is that accurate?

Moore: It really is, it really is. Attention to detail because it's the little things. It's the little things that add up. And it's the little things like a guy out of place here or a false step here, that's the difference between winning and losing.

Last year you guys lost three senior starters on the defensive line. How do you go about replacing them?

Moore: You know, you really can't replace guys like that but guys have to step up. Matt Shaughnessy, Jason Chapman and Mike Newkirk, those are guys that are going to be missed. Guys that were great while they were here. All we can do is focus on who we have now and try to get better one day at a time and take it from there.

Do you like the depth the d-line has? It seems like there is good rotation and not much of a drop off with how you guys have it going right now.

Moore: Yeah, coach Charlie Partridge is doing a pretty good job getting us rotated in and getting guys from outside to inside and switching positions and different things like that. That's something he wants from his d-lineman, is a little bit of versatility.

I know it's not fall by any means and it's still a ways away, but is that something you guys are going to work on game by game, moving people inside and outside?

Moore: I'm not really sure, game-by-game is kind of game-by-game. Watch film, game plan and different things. But coach wants those options if need be.

Has anyone stood out to you? You guys have some young guys in there, the Patrick Butrym's, some of these other guys. Has anyone stood out to you on the d-line?

Moore: J.J. Watt. He's really stepped his game up. That's a guy that I can honestly say has really been eye-catching in spring ball.

What is it about him?

Moore: Just big, strong, physical and nasty.

How did you like that new program with strength and conditioning?

Moore: I loved it. Herbie (Ben Herbert), he's a great guy. He makes sure our body is feeling good. I really like it. It's a different tempo from J.D. (John Dettman). J.D. is a great strength coach, legendary. But Herb, he's bringing a new feel to it.

Did you bulk up at all, did you add any weight?

Moore: I added about 12 pounds. I'm about 282, 285. I kind of want to get a little bit bigger, but as long as I'm moving and still able to hold my gaps and weight is not a factor, then I want to be at a weight that I'm comfortable playing at.

In the inside, is there any of those offensive guards that stand out more than any of the others?

Moore: All of them are pretty tough. They like to hold a lot, but we can't say they're holding, it's just football. All those guys, they're going great.

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