|Former UCLA teammates, Pac-10 rivals reunited in Carolina|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 10 November 2007 00:23|
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -Drew Olson's tiny locker is tucked away in the auxiliary area of the Carolina Panthers locker room. Matt Moore's space is on the main row of quarterbacks, next to veterans Jake Delhomme, Vinny Testaverde and David Carr.|
Because of the injuries sustained by the three veterans, Moore practiced with the first team this week and could start Sunday against Atlanta. Olson is on the practice squad, with an outside shot to be brought up to the 53-man roster.
How the roles are reversed from college, when Olson beat out Moore for the starting job at UCLA, leading Moore to leave school and eventually transfer.
``It's hilarious, but it's cool, you know?'' Olson said. ``It's good to be back with Matt and seeing him play well and getting a chance to play. It's unique.''
Olson and Moore grew up in California, were part of the same recruiting class at UCLA and were even roommates for a time. As freshmen in 2002, they thought they would be behind returning starter Cory Paus.
But Paus got injured, and Olson came in. Then he got hurt and Moore started a game and played in six.
Moore was picked to be the starter the next season, but got hurt early. Olson took over and was eventually anointed the long-term answer. Moore left school, unsure if he wanted to play football anymore. He eventually transferred to Oregon State, where he became the starter.
``We were talking yesterday it was the best thing for me to go up there,'' Moore said. ``He supports that and I supported him throughout his college career. All I can say really is we're good buddies and we kind of understand each other's situations so it's really not an issue.''
Going to another Pac-10 school meant the two would meet up again. And Olson would win that matchup, too.
Olson, a senior, threw for 262 yards and a school-record six touchdowns with no interceptions in the No. 8 Bruins' 51-28 win over the Beavers in 2005. Moore, a redshirt junior, threw for 279 yards, two TDs and two interceptions.
``It was a good day,'' Olson said. ``Those are fun games and we'll always remember that stuff. We always joke about it and just have fun with it.''
Despite Olson's success over Moore at the college level, Moore was considered a better pro prospect. At 6 feet 3, Moore is at least an inch taller than Olson and has a stronger arm.
Olson went undrafted in 2006 and spent last season on Baltimore's practice squad. He was then cut by the Ravens in training camp. Moore also wasn't drafted in the spring, but the Panthers signed him in September after he was cut by Dallas.
With the injuries to Delhomme, Carr and Testaverde, Moore has played in three games. He's completed 3 of 7 passes for 79 yards and an interception.
Neither thought they would be together again. But on Tuesday, the Panthers signed Olson to the practice squad.
``I was actually excited. I actually called him up. We went out to lunch,'' Moore said. ``All that stuff a long time ago really wasn't a big issue. But I'm glad he's here. It's nice to have a friendly face around. We're buddies, so it should be fun.''
The two said there is no animosity. They were seen joking this week - when Olson came from his cubicle in the back to the front of the locker room to see Moore.
``It's never been a personal thing,'' Olson said. ``It never has been, and when we played against each other in college it was big hugs and smiles. It's always been friendly and always will be.''
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