Training camp is still young, but one rookie on the Giants' defense is off to a rousing start. DE Damontre Moore, the team's third-round selection in April's draft of Texas A&M, is flying all over the place in non-contact drills. People are taking notice.
Defensive line coach Robert Nunn was asked today how much Moore can handle at this point in time...
"So far, we haven’t found that limit yet," said Nunn of the 20 year-old Moore. "He’s been very good in the past, he’s handled everything we’ve given him, both in OTAs and starting off training camp. I think he’s going to give us a lot of versatility and do some different things for us and I really see him contributing as a rookie. He’s got some growing up to do, he’s got to help us on special teams, he’s got to contribute on special teams when he’s called to do so but the guy is off to an outstanding start and we have to see what happens when the pads come on. He’s off to a pretty good start."
Moore isn't concerned about the upcoming padded drills. In fact, they can't come soon enough for him he said, but he prefers to hone his skills with the pads off...
"I feel like you can make a lot more progress without the pads than on because you’re not focused on hitting as much. You’re more focused on technique and doing your assignment and getting that down and then once the pads come on, then the aggression and all of that stuff comes in later. So I feel like you get a lot more done without the pads, honestly."
Moore is a pure pass rusher and is working on a bevy of moves, but he says he doesn't want to be known as "one-trick pony" that can't play the run.
"I feel like I have to work on it just as much as anything else in my game. This is a whole different level, a whole new league. The competition is bigger, faster and stronger and at the same time I have to get bigger, faster and stronger and just improve my game so I can be well-rounded."
The Giants will settle for the one trick for now, a gifted pass rusher to fill the void left by the departure of Osi Umenyiora and the injury to Jason Pierre-Paul. Moore is not simply a 'joker' or a 3-4 OLB as some have labeled him. He can play in the 4-3 scheme that the Giants employ.
"Number one, why we thought he could do it was when we saw him on tape against SEC opponents, he showed up every time he did have his hand down," Nunn explained. "He’d show up and pass rush. He’s always close to the quarterback, he’s always a physical player, he came in here in the OTAs and minicamp, he showed that again. He’s got some rookie in him, there’s no doubt, but it’s the good kind of rookie. He’s someone you have to tell to slow down, you never have to tell him to speed up. He’s off to an outstanding start and, like I said, I really believe the guy is going to contribute early."
Moore knows he's onto something, but he wants to continue to display his wares and absorb the rest. He's going to bring his A game to Quest everyday going forward.
"All I know is they say just get up there, go hard, go get the quarterback and just work your butt off. That’s what I’m trying to do each and every day," he explained. "I’m pleased, but I try not to focus on it. Go out there and do it and right after that learn from it and then I just throw it out of my mind and just try to go out there and do it again."
People who are concerned with the pass rush may have their fears allayed once they see Moore and the energy he brings to the Giants' defensive equation. It's early, but it's still good to see the Giants' front office hasn't lost their touch when it comes to finding pass rushers.