Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Buccaneers’ ageless coach Tom Moore has shot at another Super Bowl

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Tom Moore is in his sixth decade as an NFL coach. Thirty-nine different quarterbacks have thrown touchdown passes on his watch.

Moore, 82, worked for Steelers head coach Chuck Noll in Pittsburgh, where he was Lynn Swann’s receivers coach. Noll died in 2014, and Swann, since retiring as a player, has gone through careers as a TV host, a politician and the USC athletic director.

Moore was Barry Sanders’ offensive coordinator in Detroit and Peyton Manning’s offensive coordinator in Indianapolis. Sanders is in the Hall of Fame and Manning will be voted in this week.

Moore, meanwhile, is still doing what he always has been doing: Coaching.

Super Bowl LV will be his fifth time coaching in the sport’s biggest game.

He’ll have none of that.

Moore, who once told a reporter he’ll never retire because that would mean “hanging around old people,’’ said: “There is absolutely nothing about not working that turns me on. I want to coach as long as I can, as long as someone will hire me. I want to come back next year, and the next year, and the next year and the next year.”

Tom MooreGetty Images

Win or lose on Sunday, expect Arians to invite Moore back for next season.

If you listen to the Tampa Bay players, you realize that, among Moore’s countless gifts as a coach, perhaps the most impressive one is his ability to relate to the younger generation of players despite being old enough to be their great grandfather.

“He’s kind of a football encyclopedia,’’ Brady said.

“Coach Moore is an NFL history book,’’ Bucs receiver Mike Evans said.

see also

How Bruce Arians became the ultimate ‘Riverboat gambler’

Bruce Arians called a fake punt in his first game…“That’s another form of the wisdom that a guy like Bruce Arians has: To say, ‘I know all of our young bucks think they have all the answers because they’ve got Google and YouTube, but these old hats, man, there’s a lot of jewels there that you can learn from.’

“When you and I grew up, we got our information from the older generation. This generation does not need us for information. They have information at their fingertips. But what they still need the older generation for is for interpretation, because life experience and their wisdom is not equal to the information that they’re consuming. They don’t know what to do with it.’’

Enter Moore, whom Arians calls “a sage’’ and “a true legend.’’

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Tom Brady and Bruce Arians’ relationship wasn’t quite what it seemed

There were the comments after losses that caught the attention…

Arians’ history with Moore began when they first worked together with the Colts in 1998. He said his plan, if he ever became a head coach, always was to hire Moore as an assistant. He recalled randomly bumping into Moore at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., one year and asking him how he was doing.

“I just birdied 17 at TPC Sawgrass,’’ Moore told Arians.

“I asked him what he was doing and he said he had both of his knees replaced and told me, ‘I feel fantastic; I really want to coach again,’ ’’ Arians said.

When Arians was hired by the Buccaneers last year, he again called Moore.

“A lot of people can hardly wait to retire,’’ Moore said. “I’ll never retire. I’m 82 years old, feel like 52 and act like 32. I’m going to work because I enjoy working. Eventually nobody will hire me.’’

If and when that time comes, it’ll be their loss.

“The game of football has probably kept Tom Moore young,’’ Pennington said. “It still challenges him mentally. It’s a great marriage for both Tom and the Bucs.’’

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