Colts’ Tom Moore officially retires _ for now

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Jim Irsay is staying busy during the NFL lockout.

Veteran offensive assistant Tom Moore has retired. Two other front office people are leaving, too, and the owner of the Indianapolis Colts has decided to keep training camp at Anderson University _ if there is a camp.

Word of Moore’s retirement came Wednesday, one day after Irsay said Peyton Manning had undergone a second surgery on his neck.

Team officials had removed Moore’s name from the coaching staff listed on the team website and he reportedly met with Tennessee officials about the offensive coordinator’s job. The Jets also reportedly invited Moore to New York him to discuss their red-zone offense.

“He’s just at a point where it’s extremely stressful physically,” Irsay told The Associated Press. “It’s been pretty taxing the last couple of years and he’s at a point where he’s worn out and tired at the end of the year.”

Given Moore’s recent history, he could come back. Again.

Two years ago, in May, he and then-offensive line coach Howard Mudd both announced they were retiring after league owners changed the NFL’s pension plan. Less than a month later, both returned to the team.

Irsay, for one, isn’t ruling it out.

“At this point, in talking with him, he is retired,” Irsay said. “But he’s on the fence a little.”

The 72-year-old Moore started his coaching career in 1961 at Iowa, his alma mater. After stops at Dayton, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech, Moore landed at the University of Minnesota coaching a little-known quarterback, Tony Dungy.

In 1977, Moore and Dungy both started their NFL careers with the Pittsburgh Steelers _ Moore as the receivers coach, Dungy as a defensive back.

Moore won two Super Bowl rings with the Steelers, then was promoted to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 1983. In 1990, he took over as offensive coordinator with the Vikings. After four seasons in Minnesota, Moore moved to Detroit and he constructed one of the league’s most dynamic offenses.

In those three seasons with the Lions, Barry Sanders ran for nearly 5,000 yards and Detroit became the first team in league history to have two receivers with 100 receptions.

He went to New Orleans in 1997, then joined the Colts as their offensive coordinator in 1998 _ the same year Manning was the No. 1 overall pick.

Moore was the only offensive coordinator Manning ever worked with in the NFL until he relinquished the play-calling duties and title of offensive coordinator to Clyde Christensen last season. Moore stayed as the team’s senior offensive assistant.

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