Defensive back Sterling Moore saw a big change in a short amount of time - an undrafted rookie last year, he landed in New England after his hometown Raiders cut him loose, and when Moore got his NFL start, in prime time against the Jets, NBC didn't even have a photo of him for its usual introductions.
By the end of January, however, everyone knew who Moore was, after he knocked a potential game-winning touchdown out of the hands of Ravens' receiver Lee Evans in the AFC championship game.
He insists now that he's still the same humble kid who grew up in northern California, taking pride in tweeting pictures of his "dining table" and TV stand - both of which were cardboard.
On Saturday, Moore and teammate/friend Shane Vereen were at Madison Park High School in Roxbury taking part in the New England Patriots Alumni Club "Football for You" event, taking children through drills and spending a few moments talking to them about how they got to the NFL.
The 5-foot-10 Moore, who started three games at safety but was moved to cornerback, his position throughout college, by the end of the regular season, said he's happy to have his first full offseason, and is still learning multiple positions in the backfield.
"Coming in this offseason, you don’t know really what to expect, but it’s our first one, but we’re having fun out there, it’s just good to be around the guys and build that team camaraderie because we have a lot of new parts on the team. It’s good to be out there; coaches are yelling, which is not too good right now, but it’s good to be out there and build the camaraderie," Moore said.
As for his positions, the SMU product said, "I’m going to do whatever it takes to help the team, same thing as last year – I came in and learned all the positions, still doing the same thing this year, nothing’s been set in stone as far as what position I’m going to play, they hold me accountable for multiple positions, and it’s a struggle every day trying to learn multiple positions and multiple techniques, but that’s what’s expected of me."
Having more responsibilities ups the difficulty factor for the young player, but he also knows he has teammates to turn to for help when needed.
"It’s a lot of focus and you rely on guys who have been in the league for a little bit, I’m always asking to the older guys or the guys who have been in the system here for a few years, so those guys, they welcome me with open arms no matter what position I’m playing," he said. "We have a great group of guys in the backfield and we’re always willing to help each other out."
Moore, Vereen and the rest of their Patriots teammates will be on the field again Tuesday for the first day of mini-camp, which goes through Thursday.