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His facial expression never changed from that same firm, determined look. His voice never once reached an octave above monotone.
Cullen Jenkins stood there, atop the Giants’ podium, camcorders and cameras staring back at him. Each media member threw question after question his way.
Nothing changed Jenkins’ tone or expression. Then, Damontre Moore’s name was brought up.
“To be honest, I’ve been surprised. Especially with Damontre,” Jenkins said. “His athleticism is hard to compare. From where he was last year, technique wise and some of the things he was doing, to how he came back in training camp… it’s amazing.”
The praise was just the beginning as the veteran continued to highlight the differences between rookie Moore and second-year Damontre. The one that was once considered a one-trick pony is suddenly much more.
Moore is setting the edge, making as many plays on the running back as he is the quarterback and his physicality has reached another level.
“You look at him now,” Jenkins said, “He’s a completely different player.”
What Moore has worked to develop over the offseason is being displayed to all on the Giants’ practice fields. In the team’s five practices, the former third-round pick has a ‘sack’ in four. When the Giants put on shoulder pads for the first time on Friday, Moore recorded two sacks on offensive tackle James Brewer. He had countless other pressures.
“I feel a little more comfortable out there, but as far as different? No, not really.” Moore said last week, “I’m just being the best I can be.”
Defensive line coach Robert Nunn has seen the same thing as Jenkins. This isn’t the same Damontre Moore. Nunn said the end has taken a “step forward” in year two. The Giants hope he’s right.
Mathias Kiwanuka is now 31 and has had never had more than eight sacks in a season. Last year, Kiwanuka was held sackless in four of the Giants final five games. If called upon, Moore is making sure he’s ready. That includes taking a page out of Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders playbook.
Moore is sporting a brand new facemask, one he assures meets league regulations. Is it protective? Sure. But it also looks good.
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) July 22, 2014
“I guess it fits into that old saying,” Moore said laughing. “You look good, you feel good, you play good.”
Thus far, Moore’s 3-for-3.