Bryan Morgan ignite every offensive play with his snap to the quarterback will be forced to adjust in 2011. Morgan, who will graduate from Duke in May, started on the inside of the Blue Devil offensive line in each of the past 36 games over three seasons, but surrenders the role to a familiar face, former starting guard Brian Moore.DURHAM, N.C. – With graduation comes change, and Duke fans accustomed to watching
For the past two seasons, Moore lined up directly to Morgan’s right in Duke’s formation.
“Things have gone pretty well,” Moore said of the transition following Monday’s practice. “It hasn’t been a huge adjustment because we’ve put in some work over the past few years. It was good to play two seasons at guard, but I think everyone knew I’d eventually end up at center.”
Moore has the luxury of refining his new trade under the direction of Blue Devil offensive line coach Matt Luke, who started at center and served as a team captain during his playing days at Ole Miss. In addition, Moore credits Morgan for showing him the ropes over the past three years, especially in the area of protecting the quarterback.
“Brian’s really had an excellent start to spring ball,” Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said. “Assignments, snaps, et cetera. And with all of these gun snaps, people take that for granted. When you’re up there at center, and you’re having to snap the football, step, block, put your hat in the right places, it is a challenge. And our run game, not just the drop back pass, but our run game is coming out of all these snaps. Those gun and pistol snaps are critical for the timing of our offense.
“I always want to see us work four and five guys constantly at center, and Coach Luke is great at this,” Cutcliffe continued. “Before this year, Brian Moore had a ton of practice snaps – live practice snaps at center – and we will continue on that path because we will be working not only Brian, but also Conor Irwin, Joey Finison and Dave Harding. You never want to get caught without a capable center so we’re always going to have four or five and we’re going to bring in one of these young ones coming in. I feel good about what Coach Luke has done to help himself in that regard.”
After redshirting as a freshman in 2008, Moore claimed the starting slot at right guard a season later and earned Freshman All-ACC honors from Sporting News. He started all 24 games at right guard over the past two seasons, playing a total of 1,731 snaps along the offensive front, and helped Duke rank among the ACC’s top three teams in sacks allowed per pass attempt in both 2009 and 2010.
“Brian’s learning to see the big picture from being a vocal leader, to understanding both sides of the line, to learning to ‘snap-then-step’ rather than just ‘step’,” said Luke. “We’re pleased with his progress.”
With his work ethic as a foundation, Moore has the confidence of his teammates that the transition will be a smooth one.
“Brian likes to work,” said Duke quarterback Sean Renfree. “He’ll be ready.”