Coming into this Raiders training camp, the expectation was that Denarius Moore would assume the top receiver role and be the leader that the coaches, his teammates and fans would like him to be. Instead, there has just been more of the same inconsistency that’s plagued him in his two years as a pro.
Well a lot of it is going to be on Denarius. To me, it’s that whole character issue, becoming a self-starter, becoming a self-motivated person, and a lot of that comes with maturity. I think he’d be the first guy to say we’re constantly on top of him and it’s hard to give someone like that any base, so we just coach him up, but I think he’s becoming a more mature player and more mature person, so I think that’s going to help as well. A lot of players will tell you, if they’re fortunate enough to stay in the league for any length of time, they will all tell you, ‘Boy, I wish I had been more mature as a younger player.’ And I think that maturity will happen for Denarius.
Moore impressed a lot of people in his rookie season as a fifth-round pick in 2011 by putting up 618 yards and reeling in five touchdowns. Last year his role in the offense increased and those numbers inflated to 741 and seven, but he was painfully inconsistent and began to have a problem with drops. With Darrius Heyward-Bey off dropping Andrew Luck’s passes in Indy now and Jacoby Ford seeing the trainer’s table more than playing field still, many Raiders fans are expecting—hoping!—2013 can prove to be a breakout year for Moore. But based on Olson’s inner-reaching Dr. Phil analysis it sounds as if the only person holding back Moore back is himself.
Who among the receivers is Olson impressed with? Try Rod Streater, the former undrafted free agent who surprised everybody with 584 yards last season as a rookie.
I think when you’re talking about self-starters and self-motivated people, Rod Streater is that guy in that room to me. He’s the leader in that room just based upon his work ethic, his preparation and the way he approaches the game. I’m happy with Rod Streater.
Sure, Streater has quietly impressed in camp. But maybe this is also another way for Olson to motivate Moore. Knock the hotshot receiver with heaps of potential down a few pegs by publicly questioning him and praising his undrafted understudy. Sounds like something a parent does with his children. Except instead of the media being involved, chocolate ice cream would. Or, what do I know. In the interests of the entire world, I don’t have kids.
Regardless, I think we all can agree it’s time for Moore to step up.