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Carolina Panthers

Moore on the mend


CHARLOTTE – It's been a season filled with uncertainty for Panthers quarterback Matt Moore, and it could be an offseason of uncertainty as well.

One thing, however, is for certain: Moore would like to be a Panther next season.

"Absolutely. There's no doubt about that," Moore said. "That would be the No. 1 goal.

"If it's up to me, I'd be here. This is my home now. The people here have been great to me football-wise. In this building, everything has been great. I've had good experiences here."

Moore, who is eligible to become a free agent after the season, made his first public comments Wednesday since season-ending shoulder surgery nearly a month ago. Moore said he's recovering slowly but steadily from the torn labrum in his right shoulder that he suffered Nov. 7 against New Orleans.

"I feel great," Moore said, adding that he hopes to be able to start throwing in March. "My range of motion is good. We're just working slowly on getting some strength back. I'm taking it slow, day by day, but it's getting better."

Moore opened the season as the Panthers' starting quarterback but struggled, getting intercepted three times in the end zone in a season-opening loss at the New York Giants.

His struggles continued the next week, prompting the Panthers to turn to rookie Jimmy Clausen as their Week 3 starter. Clausen started the next three games before head coach John Fox turned back to Moore, who responded to the second chance by leading Carolina to its lone victory, 23-20 over the San Francisco 49ers.

Moore followed up the first 300-yard passing game of his career with a pedestrian performance at St. Louis, then he got hurt the next week.


Moore has learned about himself during his time away from football. First, he learned that he could handle surgery -- the first time he's been under the knife in his life. He's also learned that life after surgery, during the season, can be a bit strange.

"It's kind of awkward," Moore said. "Physically I think I knew what to expect, but you're not prepared for all this down time, all this time of not being with the team like you normally would be. That's been interesting."

Through it, however, Moore also has gotten confirmation of where his heart lies.

"The desire and the want-to is still there," he said. "When you can't do it, it's not fun. That reminds you to keep working hard and know that it will all be good again someday soon."

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