Ex-Lions coordinator Moore in key role for Cardinals at 79

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Bruce Arians and Tom Moore

Allen Park – In two months, former Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Tom Moore will turn 79. But unlike most people his age, Moore isn’t enjoying retirement, he’s still coaching, as an assistant head coach and offensive consultant for the Arizona Cardinals.

And don’t think Moore’s title is ceremonious. He’s still actively involved in the Cardinals’ game-planning on a week-to-week basis.

“I mean, he’s my sounding board,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. “I bounce everything off Tom and he’s the first one (at the building); he’s in at 4:30 in the morning and he still draws cards for the red-zone period. And if they don’t get that coverage right, boy, they’re going to get an ass chewing.”

Moore’s work ethic at his advanced age doesn’t surprise Jim Caldwell, who worked with Moore for eight years at Indianapolis.

“He said to me after he had been out (of work) for a little bit, might have been a year, he told me, ‘Retirement’s overrated,’ and he was on his way back,” Caldwell said. “Tom’s a great coach and loves this game and has certainly been a real factor in this game for a long time.”

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Caldwell, 62, was asked if he has the same philosophy on retirement.

“It hadn’t even crossed my mind, not one bit,” he said.

Moore coached one of the most prolific offenses in Lions history in 1995, with running back Barry Sanders racking up 1,500 yards on the ground and receivers Herman Moore and Brett Perriman becoming the first teammates to each record 100 receptions in a season.

Moore, along with Arians, refined the scheme in Indianapolis with quarterback Peyton Manning, resulting in nine straight playoff appearances and a Super Bowl championship. Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter got his NFL coaching start on that staff and has said Detroit’s current scheme is largely based off Moore’s foundation.