Morgan Moses feels 'comfortable' at right guard
For the past two weeks, true freshman Morgan Moses has been practicing at right guard, one spot on the offensive line to the left of his original position of right tackle. Moses said Wednesday that the switch was a mutual decision made by he and the Virginia offensive coaches and that he felt "comfortable" playing his new position during the nearly 30 reps he received last Saturday at Georgia Tech.
"There's more help on the inside," Moses said. "You're stuck on an island when you're on the outside."
Virginia's pro-style offense requires its guards to pull a little more frequently than in other offensive schemes, but that's no problem for Moses, who -- despite being listed at 6-foot-6 and 350 pounds -- "is light on his feet for a big guy," according to Offensive Line Coach Ron Mattes.
Mattes said Wednesday that he was pleased with how Moses performed Saturday when replacing fifth-year senior B.J. Cabbell -- who has started all five games this season -- in the lineup. Mattes said Moses pulls well and gets out into space quickly on running plays. For now, he believes Moses will fit in quite nicely at the guard spot.
"We'll move him out (to tackle) eventually," Mattes said. "There will be times when we need him to play tackle and times when we need him to play guard. I know he wants to play tackle, but for the good of the team we had to put him at guard and plug a few holes. We're trying to get our best guys on the field, and right now, Big Mo, he's one of the best options we have. And we'll use him wherever we need him."
Moving Moses to guard also was done, coaches and the player said, in order to get him on the playing field sooner. Coach Mike London made it clear from the outset of the season that Moses would compete in games during his first collegiate season, and prior to last Saturday, Moses's opportunities had been fairly sporadic.
London indicated this week that Cabbell and Moses will split time at the right guard position this Saturday against North Carolina. Mattes said Moses also has continued to take practice reps at tackle, a position of uncertainty for the Cavaliers right now as they look to reshuffle the line in the wake of junior left tackle Landon Bradley's hand injury. Bradley had surgery Monday and will miss the next few games while the hand heals.
Moses said he had never played guard before in his football career until he made the switch at the beginning of last week. But he's enjoyed the position so far.
"Pulling around the edge is something that I like to do, so it was real good," Moses said. "I feel comfortable at it. It was a good experience."
Mattes said there are more calls made on the interior of the offensive line, but he's not worried about Moses being able to pick up on that part of his new position.
"One thing about Big Mo is he's a very smart football player," Mattes said. "You tell him one time, and he pretty much gets the blocking schemes. There are some guys that take a lot of reps, and he's not really a high-rep dude. You show him on the board, you show him some film work, and he picks it up pretty well."
| October 14, 2010; 11:18 AM ET
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