Moats, signed by the Steelers as an outside linebacker in free agency, is currently working in team OTAs trying to pick up the Steelers defensive schemes. This is hardly a new experience for Moats, who went through three defensive coordinators in his four years with the Buffalo Bills, having to adapt on nearly a yearly basis to a new scheme.
In an interview with Steelers.com, Moats spoke about the challenge of learning another defensive scheme, and how his experience in this particular situation has helped him.
"I feel like my situation in Buffalo helped me out a lot," said Moats. "I was constantly learning something new, so it definitely helps with the adjustment. I just have to get the terminology down here."
"You have to put your time in, though. You can’t come out here halfway studying the defense and expect to come out here and perform at your best. With the veterans here they are communicating well and they are making the process a lot smoother for me."
In addition to learning his new role in a defense famous for its complexities, Moats has been spending as much time as he can with his new team mates and fellow linebackers, getting to know them better and trying to pick up some tips.
"You are building that chemistry now," said Moats. "We are not trying to be good here. We are trying to be great. We feel like if we want to take it to that next level we have to work extra. If we just sat out here and did the minimal requirement, we are going to have minimal success. We want to take it to the next level and that is why we want to work that much harder."
Drafted out of college as a defensive end, Moats was moved to inside linebacker by the Bills and then out to outside linebacker, where he currently resides on the Steelers depth chart behind Jarvis Jones and Jason Worilds.
With such sparse depth at a critical position in the Steelers defense, it is likely that Moats will see at least some snaps on defense in 2014. In the worst case scenario, an injury to either of the starters, he may very well be pushed into a prominent role.
Hopefully, for the Steelers, Moats' previous experience in acclimatising quickly to new schemes means he will be prepared if and when he is called upon.