Moore Happy to Learn He is on the Ted Hendricks Watch List
At the end of the football season, the Ted Hendricks Foundation recognizes the "Defensive End of the Year." Previous recipients of the Hendricks Award have included: Terrell Suggs (Arizona State), David Pollack (Georgia), Elvis Dumervil (Louisville), LaMarr Woodley (Michigan) and Chris Long (Virginia).
SCPlaybook caught up with Kyle Moore and notified him that he was on the 2008 Pre-season Watch List. Moore was surprised but honored to have been mentioned for the award. Clay de Leon met up with Moore for a Q & A session.
You are on the Watch List for the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award, are you aware of that?
(Smiling) "No, I am not. Okay, that's cool, a great honor, then! Really, I am not focused on any awards, I am focused on getting 10 sacks this year, that's what I really want to do, that's my goal, at the minimum, 10 sacks and hopefully I can break the record. It comes with more effort and hard work at practice every day and at workouts."
So what is the record?
"I really don't know (chuckle), but I just want to break it. Whatever it is, I just want to break it. Whatever it is, I am going to try to reach it. I started off slow these last three years, I want to go out with a bang this year."
You didn't really start off slow last year; you started the season with a couple of turnovers (interceptions).
"Yeah, that was cool, dropping back, you know, we changed our defense to a 3-4 to stop some of that, but we went back to the ‘same-old' 4-3 defense. It ended up an ‘old' defensive end getting a couple of picks on that hitch route. That was a good thing; we proved to Coach (Nick) Holt that we could do it. We finally did do it. That was a good thing that happened to us last year."
"I've been doing a lot of work in the off-season with a lot of different guys, so it's going to help me when it comes to the season. I've been working on a lot of technique stuff that I've been working on this summer."
Your personal goals are to get the record and the 10 sacks, what's your team goal. What do you want the team to do?
"The team goal is always the Pac-10 championship. Our goal really, is to ‘finish' every game. We can't let a team slip through the cracks and beat us. Every team is going to bring their A-plus, plus, plus game, so we have to match the intensity every game. That's what I want to work on as a team goal. Just to come out and finish every game, come out and play how we know how to, every game. We can end up at that big game in Miami."
You're going to be one of the senior leaders on this team. Has that hit you yet?
"Man, that's crazy, you know because you see all the guys that were here when I was a freshman, you see them growing, and now it's me. It's my last year; we need to teach the young guys how we work. Come out here at workouts and practice, we need to show them how we work so we can leave that legacy. We got to show them how we do things so they know to do it so they can do it when it's their time to become seniors."
So you're like a role model for some of the younger players.
Yes. We're basically role models.
Is this going to be your 4th or 5th year?
"It's my fourth year. I'm going to be a true senior."
So are you going to graduate?
"Yes, I'm going to graduate next spring in sociology."
You're going to be a sociologist?
"Yeah, well, maybe a social worker, anyway…(laughing) I wanted to be a ‘Com (Communications) Major,' but it's cool."
You're looking at making it to the pros?
"Yeah, I mean, if God blesses me to do that, to stay healthy all season long, I'll have the opportunity to do that. I'm not looking to do that now. I'm looking to finish this season. I love playing for USC right now. I'm trying to continue to be a Trojan and hopefully I can become an All-American. That's another goal I have, to become an All-American and get them sacks."
"My main focus is to help this team to be the best team that has been here at USC."
As far as your technique for getting those sacks, have you been talking to people about that?
"Technique is really what it is. Because when you're tired, it's going to be the factor that's going to help you to beat that guy. When you are actually tired. After 11 or 12-play drives. It's not like the first drive. Sometimes the drives get a little longer. Technique is really the main thing that's going to get you by them."
"That's really what I've been working on. Trying to fight through being tired. When you're tired you lose your technique and when people get hurt. People get by you and people get the best of you. That's when you lose your technique. So I'm trying to sharpen up my technique more and more every day."
They're bringing back the ‘elephant' this year with Clay Matthews. How does that effect your play?
"That's going to effect Everson (Griffen) a little bit more. That's a ‘Leo' position. It's basically a 3-4 defense, dropping in another linebacker. A linebacker can drop back a little better than a defensive end, but we proved, obviously, that we can do the same thing. I've played a lot of ‘3' technique. It's going to be a lot of 3-4 defense, a lot of ‘stick-defense,' me being on the other side, Clay being there. If they run that 3-4 defense, we do a lot of switching on the ends."
"It's going to be a little different, but we'll see what happens in camp. As of right now, that's all I know."