More Moore, Please

Anatomy of a Play, Greg Smith, Inside the Game, Oakland Raiders

UPDATED: See below, Baldy’s “Anatomy of a Play” analysis of Denarius Moore.

Denarius Moore is fast.  And who likes ‘em fast?

The Raiders.

Speed is a prerequisite for any Al Davis receiver.  (Cliff Branch, Tim Brown, etc, etc, etc.)  What’s surprising is not Moore’s 4.45 wheels, but rather his overall high level of play this early into his rookie season.

Denarius Moore's TD pass vs Bills

Oakland’s 5th rounder broke out in the wild Week 2 loss in Buffalo, with 5 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown.  In Week 3, he turned around Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie a few times, racking up 4 catches.

Moore was mostly contained by the Jets, however, until he cut through New York’s defense on a reverse for a 23-yard touchdown.

Now that he is officially a trend (In the NFL, 2 weeks = trend), I took a closer look at Moore’s last two games:

Most rookie receivers show a lack of open field awareness, struggling with the relationship of time and space.  They run into coverage, instead of finding voids.  They cut back into linebackers, instead of taking on cornerbacks.  They mistime their jumps on downfield throws.  They break too early or too late on routes, and they telegraph where they are going.

But so far it appears that Moore has skipped much of the rookie learning curve.

Denarius Moore (AP)

He is playing at a pace akin to the Panthers Steve Smith and the Eagles DeSean Jackson in their breakout seasons, with an awareness of where defenders are and with utter fearlessness when taking them on.

Of course, it’s only two games.  I’m not saying he’s a Pro Bowler or anything, but I’m curious to see how Head Coach Hue Jackson and quarterback Jason Campbell can maximize his skills in future games.

Jackson has already flat out said Moore will get plenty of chances:

“Give it to 17, Denarius Moore.  Let your players make plays.  I’m going to create an environment where our great players can do something special.”

Sounds like a coach who is excited about his player.  And Raiders fans should be excited too.  They’ve got a fast guy who can really play.

Check back to TCIPF for Brian Baldinger’s “Anatomy of a Play” breakdown of the Raiders Denarius Moore.

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