Browns tight end Evan Moore met with reporters this afternoon and said he plans to sign his one-year restricted free-agent tender on Friday once NFL rules allow him to do so.
Moore said he's excited to return to work after the league's long lockout ended earlier this week. He had surgery to repair a sports hernia in the offseason, but he's feeling fine now.
"I’m ready to go," Moore said. "It hasn’t been an issue all offseason. (I) participated in our unofficial team workouts, and I’ve been training for the last six or seven months nonstop, so I feel good."
Those unofficial workouts were the players-only training sessions organized by quarterback Colt McCoy. Moore praised McCoy for the leadership he's shown this offseason.
"I think he’s himself more," Moore said of McCoy. "I think Colt is kind of a natural born leader. So when he first got here, in hindsight, I realize that he was definitely uncomfortable not being a leader and not being able to voice how he feels about things and push guys in a certain direction. Now I think he’s just himself, and he’s comfortable. You can tell it’s not forced. He organized our offseason workouts. He basically ran our workouts, and that’s what you want your quarterback doing."
McCoy, 24, is younger than several of his teammates. However, Moore said McCoy's age doesn't prevent him from commanding respect as a leader.
"Ben (Watson) and I our tight ends," Moore said. "Your tight end is not supposed to be your offensive leader that’s bringing the team up. By default, you want your quarterback leading your team because he’s leading us on the field. But it has to be a natural fit. It can’t be something where he is forcing himself to be a leader. I think it’s kind of an unspoken thing. You see a comfort level with Colt, and then the older players, you kind of look at it and say, ‘Hey, if he can do it, that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Let him do it.’ I think, like I said, it’s a good fit. It’s a natural thing for him. We’re excited that our quarterback is taking it upon himself to get us ready."
Moore is eager to learn more about his role in coach Pat Shurmur's West Coast offense. He believes he'll line up at tight end and occasionally at wide receiver.
“That’s a common thing in the league today," Moore said. "All these tight ends, I know people like to talk about how I’m almost a receiver, but most of the tight ends in the league today are almost receivers these days. I played in Green Bay with Jermichael (Finley), and that’s pretty much all he does. It’s something that you just want to take advantage of mismatches, and you end up having to split a guy out to do so, then so be it. But I’d imagine it’s gonna be a little bit of both once we hit the ground running on Saturday.”