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Wink Martindale Compares Rod Moore To 5x All-Pro, "Smartest Safety I've Ever Coached"

Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale is new to Michigan, but not to football, not by a long shot. He's seen it all and done it all and he thinks he has a special player in Rod Moore.

Michigan's new defensive coordinator Wink Martindale has coached  football for a long, long time at all levels and knows a special player when he sees one and he's got one in safety Rod Moore.

Rod Moore

"Rod Moore is...I'm not talking about play wise or anything else, but smart wise and football knowledge wise, he reminds me of Eric Weddle and he was one of the smartest safeties I've ever coached," Martindale said of Moore. "I called Weddle and told him about [Rod]. That's exciting to me."

Moore has been described that way before. Jim Harbaugh has called Moore a coach on the field. Steve Clinkscale and other Michigan defensive back coaches have said that they wish they had a whole team of Rod Moores. 

Moore is not the biggest player on the field, he's not the strongest player on the field and he's not the fastest player on the field, but he plays bigger, stronger and faster than he is because of how smart he is. The coaches at Ohio State couldn't see that in Moore even though he was in their backyard. Wink recognized it immediately.

"There's a lot of checks that have to be made on the field," Martindale explained. "If a team goes hurry-up, call the defense. You can't be wrong. Rod is that smart."

Martindale went on to talk about how connected Moore and fellow safety Makari Paige are. He believes that his defense is extremely connected up the middle at all three levels with guys like Kenneth Grant and Mason Graham up front, Ernest Hausmann and Jaishawn Barham in the middle and Moore and Paige on the back end. He also specifically mentioned Will Johnson as a smart, elite player and said that he's going to be a high, high draft pick when the time comes.