Watching Mewelde Moore spark the Steelers game-winning field goal drive in Indianapolis Sunday night with his 22-yard scamper into Colts' territory after a short reception reminded me of his 24-yard catch and run on 3rd down in overtime that set-up a very important early season win over the Ravens at Heinz Field back in 2008.
It's debatable whether or not Moore would even be on the Steelers' 2011 roster if rookie Baron Batch hadn't been injured and lost for the season in training camp. And though I am not happy that Batch was injured, I am glad that Moore is, once again, with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In addition to making key 3rd down catches out of the backfield, Moore has filled in as the team's starting running back on occasion. When Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall went down with injuries in the '08 season, Moore didn't just fill in as the starting tail back in Cincinnati, he had one of the finest games of his career, rushing for 120 and 2 touchdowns to go along with another score through the air.
In 2009, Moore even threw a touchdown pass in a game against San Diego. Moore can also return punts. Antonio Brown may be the primary punt return specialist this season, but Mike Tomlin has been known to send Mewelde in to receive punts when the situation calls for being smart with the football. Don't be surprised if coach Mike sends Moore in again this season in similar situations.
People have said that the only reason Moore is on the team is because he and Tomlin have a history and the head coach is comfortable with him. So what? It's important that a coach has players around that he can trust.
In championship seasons like 2008, it's often role players that provide key moments that are sometimes overshadowed by the superstars and their exceptional play over the course of the year.
If it wasn't for Moore's key contributions in 2008, who knows how that year would have turned out for the Steelers.
Depending on how 2011 unfolds, we might look back on Moore's huge play from Sunday night and wonder the same thing.
He's not the franchise back, short-yardage specialist, or rookie sensation. He's just Mewelde. Number 21 in your program.
It's always good to have Moore.