Kellen Moore, like so many other Americans, is trying to get a job. He has to be at the top of his game, literally. Along with a few thousand other young men, Moore is attempting to secure a rare spot in the National Football League. He's sweating it out this summer in Allen Park, Mich., home of the summer training camp for the Detroit Lions, hoping to nab a third- or even second-string quarterback slot with the NFC North squad.
Moore, 23, is starting over to a large degree. He's trying to prove himself on the heels of becoming the most successful quarterback in NCAA Division I history, finishing his career at Boise State with a 50-3 record.
"I stay in touch with everyone at Boise State," said Moore, but conceded that he doesn't have much time for squeezing small talk into a 13-hour workday.
What's your training camp schedule like?
I get up at 6:15 a.m. We start meetings at 7:30. Practice gets going from 9:30-12. After lunch, there's more meetings, weight lifting, walk-throughs in the afternoon, and a couple of more meetings after dinner. We're usually done about 8:30.
We'll wait and see. I think [all of the quarterback candidates] will have the opportunity.
What did you know about the Lions before you went to Detroit?
Like everyone, I watch the NFL and followed the Lions' progression and how they made the playoffs last year. I certainly followed [former Boise State teammate] Titus Young after he came to Detroit.
Speaking of Young, have you been throwing to him yet?
I throw a couple to him now and then but not much. He's on the first-team offense.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of being an undrafted free agent?
It's a different way of getting into an opportunity. Honestly, at this point it really doesn't matter. The number-two quarterback here, Shaun Hill, came in undrafted and he's currently in his 11th year in the NFL. There are different ways of making a career and my goal is to be one of those success stories.
I've heard it said that NFL training camp is like learning a new language.
Is there such a thing as a team playbook anymore or is it digital?
For the most part, it's on your iPad now. I think, more than anything, that's to protect their information. The playbook takes some getting used to, all the verbiage. But the more you're around it and the more you practice, the more comfortable you become.
How overwhelming is it to start from scratch?
It's not too bad. Football is football. There are only so many plays, so many schemes or styles. You revert back to some of your college days and connect to plays that were similar. Then you revise it by understanding the new verbiage that is taught here.
You recently turned 23. How did you celebrate your birthday?
In Hawaii, on Maui with my wife.
Some of the Detroit media has been writing some nice things about your time in training camp. Do you read or listen to media accounts of your progress?
Not really. We're here for such a long time each day. I get back to my hotel, call my wife, call my parents, watch a little Olympics and go to sleep.
On a scale of one to 10, what's your confidence level right now?
It gets better each day. The first time you run a certain play, you're a bit tentative. Then you get comfortable and your timing gets better and your confidence builds.
But take a guess, between one and 10.
I don't know. Let's say seven.
The Lions' final preseason game is Thursday, Aug. 30, one day before Boise State plays at Michigan State. There's a pretty good chance that quite a few Boise fans will be in town for your game.
Absolutely. After our game, Titus and I may jet up to Lansing, Mich., to watch the Broncos. That could be a lot of fun.