In the Right Place at the Right Time
by Brian North

Chris Moore has had a pretty good career for East Carolina. The senior linebacker holds the single game record for tackles with 24. He is 8th on the Pirates all time tackles list with 329 (and counting), and is on the Butkus Watch List for the top linebackers in the nation. But ask the Havelock, NC native the biggest difference in his and his team's performance this year, and he will tell, the Pirates are smarter and better coached this season.

Chris has been a seek and destroy player for three years, but new defensive coordinator Greg Hudson has made Moore try to do less. For the past three years, the middle linebacker has run all over the field trying to find the person with the ball. But this year, he is learning to take care of his assignment and have trust in his teammates. In other words, be in the right place at the right time.

"Coach Hudson broke it down to me," Moore told me recently. "He said we can win with you or win without you. It really hurt, but he was telling the truth. He said the plays will come to you, just do your job. I know before I was trying to do too much, just running around just trying to make tackles everywhere. I wasn't focusing on what I was doing. I understand the game better now. Coach Hudson breaks the film down to me a lot better so I understand the game better. I have so much respect for Coach Hudson, he's my buddy, I can even say I love him."

The love fest between coach and player comes from a player with future coaching aspirations. Moore hopes to return to Havelock someday after his football career comes to an end and teach other young linebackers about being in the right place at the right time.

But for now, Moore is all about putting up numbers in the one category he and the Pirates haven't been as successful in. Wins. ECU has celebrated a victory just seven times in Moore's three previous years. But a change in philosophy could help. "I would rather have 10 tackles  in a win, than 18 tackles in a loss." So far so good. But Moore is looking for more, and being in the right place (Wake Forest), at the right time (6:30 Saturday) will certainly help.

Brian North