He’s been an outside linebacker and an inside linebacker for Buffalo in less than two full NFL seasons, and he’s switched back and forth a handful of times. This week however, Arthur Moats will get the opportunity to rush the passer a bit.
“I’m going to get some rushes this game,” Moats told reporters following Friday’s practice. ”That’s what they said. So we’ll see how it goes on Sunday.”
Since training camp Moats had been lined up at inside linebacker, where the coaching staff felt his physical stature was best suited. He played defensive end at James Madison in college, but projected to LB in the NFL. At 6’0″ he’s a few inches short of the prototype size NFL clubs look for in an OLB in a 3-4 defense. But Moats did make an impact last season as a rush linebacker with 24 tackles on defense and 2.5 sacks in four starts.
Buffalo’s pass rush has not been all that productive thus far this season with just two sacks in three games. Part of that is due to the focus on run defense facing two high-powered rushing attacks in Kansas City and Oakland as well as a passer that doesn’t allow the pressure to get to him in Tom Brady last week. But it’s obvious the coaching staff is exploring their options to see if they can find a pass rush combination that works.
Moats feels pretty comfortable moving back outside after playing there last season and reviewing some of the coverages and concepts while he was out early in the year with a knee injury.
“As far as the rushing side of it, that’s pretty simple,” said Moats. ”It’s the blitzes and different coverages I have to learn. Overall just from being inside I feel comfortable with it. It’s not like it’s foreign. It’s something that’s going to come back quickly.”
Head coach Chan Gailey realizes Moats has bounced back and forth a lot in his short NFL career, but can’t be certain as to whether Moats will have a permanent home any time soon position-wise.
“You’d like to find a permanent home for everybody,” Gailey told Buffalobills.com. ”It’s easier on them and easier on us. But to have a guy that is versatile helps your football team. You get some injuries and all of a sudden you’ve got a guy that can give you an edge rush if you need it. He can play back behind the line if you need it. You take advantage of what the positives are if you have them.”
As for Moats he’s not worried about where he’s lined up as long as he’s getting the opportunity to play.
“I stopped even thinking about it,” said Moats laughing. ”I’m just looking at myself as a renaissance man. If they need me to play inside, I’ll play inside. If they need me to play outside, I’ll play outside. That’s the way I look at it.”
Tags: Arthur Moats, Chan Gailey
Posted in Inside the Bills