In his legendary coaching career, Joe Moore molded 52 college linemen into NFL players, some of which went on to Hall of Fame careers. Though Moore passed away in 2003, his former players continue to honor is memory with the Joe Moore O Line Camp.
College football and pro football Hall of Famer Russ Grimm, a former player under Moore, was joined yesterday by some of the top offensive line coaches in the NFL as part of the 7th annual camp held at Moon Area High School. High school players from around the area received on-field instruction by an elite staff that included Pittsburgh Steelers coaches Mike Munchak, James Daniel and Jerry Olsavsky as well as Tennessee Titans assistant Mike Sullivan and Washington Redskins assistant Kevin Carberry.
Grimm revealed that none of the camp’s coaches get paid for the camp, all volunteering their time.
“They come back every year on there own,” Grimm said. “They don’t get paid, no flights. Its like if you can make it back and help out with some of the high school kids here in the area.”
The camp features different drills with each coach working on blocking, technique and footwork. Though the of the goals of this camp is to help make these young men better players on the field, the true goal is to make them even better people off of it.
“The two things this game is for is: #1 make you a better person and #2, make you a better football player,” Grimm said. “So if we straight some of the kids out, get them going we are a lot better off.”
While at Pitt, Moore not only coached Grimm to the college football Hall of Fame, but Mark May, Bill Fralic and Jimbo Covert. The revered coach moved on from Pitt in the mid-1980’s to Temple then Notre Dame, where they won the National Championship in his first season as offensive line coach in 1988. Some of his Irish players also make up the coaching staff for the camp including Aaron Taylor, who started two Super Bowls, winning one as a guard with the Green Bay Packers.
Moore created a special bond with the players he coached, especially Grimm.
“He was like a second father”, Grimm said. “He put in a lot of time to make sure you were the best you could be. These guys come back every year try to make sure some of these guys wanna be the best they can be.”
Playing and coaching football for almost 40 years, the Pitt legend has seen the game evolve in all aspects. For offensive linemen, Grimm thinks the only think that has really changed is the players are much bigger.
“It hasn’t changed much technique wise,” Grimm said. “The thing that’s change is the kids are bigger and stronger. Parents are more aware of nutrition. The kids are better in shape and wanna work at it.”