Low-key Moore looks to build off strong first year at Oakland Raiders 

click to enlarge Denarius Moore - US PRESSWIRE FILE PHOTO
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  • Denarius Moore

Denarius Moore, despite his short time in the NFL, appears not to be much of a stickler for media

But that, however, isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Thus far, the second-year Raiders wide receiver has let his gridiron play speak for itself. And to keep a job in the pros, the ability to continuously score far outweighs one’s ability to constantly chatter.

As a rookie last season, the 23-year-old led Oakland’s injury-depleted offense in touchdown receptions with five, ranked second in receiving yards with 618, and placed third in receptions with 33.

“The way things are lined up, he’s the guy,” Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer said, who threw three of those five touchdowns to Moore last year. “He’s our ‘X’ receiver, and I’m excited for him. I know he’s excited about this year and he’s got a lot to prove.”

Palmer’s expectancy comments had the potential to make any young receiver nervous. But if there was indeed any pressure, it was seemingly deflected by Moore’s calm and quiet demeanor.

“That’s something that I put upon myself,” Moore said. “Continue to work hard to be that person [Palmer] wants me to be, and the coaches want me to be, and help put the team on our shoulders and help carry on.”

But aside from expectations or second-year experience, the obstacle of learning coach Dennis Allen’s new offense still lingers.

“We have a different offense, so my head is still spinning,” Moore said. “But me having a year up under my belt. ... I think it’s easier on that behalf right there.”

Moore’s play last year in special teams, in addition to his receiving, ranged from the routine to the spectacular. But in football, there is always a next step.

“I think this year he can kinda really put it all together and be a complete player,” Palmer said, emphasizing the importance of Moore improving his short-yard game. “He’s so explosive. He can do so many things down the field.”

But if Oakland is to thrive in the AFC West, it cannot live on Moore alone. An apparently healthy Darren McFadden will provide a backfield threat along with a receiving one. And a rookie wide receiver with good hands, Juron Criner, won’t hurt either.

But there’s a certain quality that separates a good receiver from an ordinary one. And Moore, for the moment, appears to have it. Perhaps there’s something about eyeing a perfect spiral that renders a receiver insensitive to the wallop he may receive when he leaps for a football. Moore’s numbers suggest he saw many spirals last year.

And next year is right down the field.

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