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Q & A with... Ernest Moore

On Wednesday, as a part of my new job as preview columnist of the College Sporting News, I was fortunate enough to be able to go to Patriot League Media Day and interview players, coaches, and the commissioner of the Patriot League, Ms. Carolyn Schlie Femovich. My full report on the goings-on at Media Day were detailed on College Sporting News, including this exclusive interview with the commissioner about all the topics surrounding the future of the league.

In attendance from Lehigh were head coach Andy Coen, senior QB Sedale Threatt and senior FS Ernest Moore. I took time to sit down with Ernest and talk to him a little about the upcoming season.

CB: Last time I saw you play was in the spring, when you delivered that big hit... Fans in the stands heard that loud crushing sound of pads!

EM: I wouldn't say it was a monster hit, but I appreciate you saying that. I try to do what I can do.

CB: As captain, you're the true leader of this defense now. What have you done in the preseason to prepare for the upcoming year?

EM: It's like a four-step process. You have your winter conditioning, the spring game, summer contitioning, and finally preseason camp. In winter, I let my body heal a little bit from the long season. In spring, I focus on lifting, getting my technique and stuff better through the spring game. And in summer, I've just been working out, working hard, running, and watching film here and there. Just improve as much as I can. It's all about improvement, watching yourself, finding what you do wrong, and trying to improve on that.

CB: What does playing in the Patriot League mean to you?

EM: I think it's an honor. I was one of those guys that got overlooked in the recruiting process, and I hadn't heard much about the Patriot League coming into my freshman year. Once I got in and started playing I found out that it was a very competitive league - and it's getting better each year. Look at Holy Cross - when I was recruited, they were rebuilding. Now, Holy Cross has a top QB [junior Dominic Randolph] and they're ranked in a few polls. Bucknell's improving and have a bunch of returning starters, Colgate's always strong, Lafayette is good... It's a real competitive league now, and I love the competition.

CB: You're originally from Detroit. When you go back home, do you think high school students look at Patriot League schools as a option for college?

EM: I think it has expanded. Especially with Lehigh, we recruit all across the nation now. We're bringing in guys from California, Nevada, and Florida this year, and a few guys from Michigan.

CB: You were on the field the last time Lehigh played in the playoffs in 2003. Do you mention that to your teammates?

EM: Yes, I played in that game on special teams. It was a real intense game. There were only a few other games that have been that intense - Delaware, Villanova, and the games with Lafayette and Colgate. The James Madison playoff game at Goodman was a great feeling. I hope we can get back into the playoffs this year. We just have to execute and come out strong and be focused for eleven games. Hopefully we'll be blessed with the opportunity to be the automatic qualifier, and then take it one game at a time.

I don't talk about it really to my teammates. We're always talking about Patriot League championships. That's one of our goals every year - to win the Patriot League and make the playoffs.

CB: Last year, the whole defense was adjusting from the 4-3 to the 3-4. As a safety, is it still a big adjustment to that system?

EM: Initially, yes because you have to get used to the fronts. By now, though, I'm as comfortable as I've ever been in a 4-3 defense. When you grow up, in little league, high school, you run a 4-3 defense and that's what everyone knows. All of a sudden you get thrown into a 3-4 it's kind of confusing at first. But you have great coaches like coach Kotulski who is a great teacher, and I think we'll be better this year for it.

CB: Finally, how do you approach the game of football?

EM: The best way to answer this is on a game-by-game basis. I watch as much film as I can during the week, balancing that with classes and practice, and when the game comes I try to give myself time to get ready to go and play fast and hard. That's it!

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