Peter Morgan/Associated Press
The biggest thing that people sometimes forget when they think about second-year defensive end Damontre Moore is that he came into the NFL at a very, very young age.
Moore was only 20 years old when he was drafted, which, to put into perspective, is under the legal drinking age in New Jersey and is well under the required age to rent a car without having to pay all those extra fees.
The point being is that the man who bears the moniker “DaMonsta” for his ability to terrorize opposing quarterbacks had some growing up to do as a rookie.
The good news is that Moore, who was slowed down by a shoulder injury last year, is completely healthy now. While also still a very young 21, he’s seemingly matured way beyond his years in that he finally has a better understanding of what it takes to be a professional.
Thus far, Moore has six tackles (four solo), one quarterback sack and three tackles for no or negative yardage in 54 defensive snaps.
"I’ve been pleased with my performance but there’s always room for improvement," he told reporters. "I’ve done some things good and ... it’s translated onto the field. I’m happy with where it’s going, but I always want to get better."
Per Pro Football Focus (subscription required), he is currently carrying a 2.1 overall grade, which is the sixth-best overall mark on the defense this summer.
There’s reason to be optimistic that Moore, who is still trying to develop his run-stopping skills, can develop into an overall defensive end.
Head coach Tom Coughlin told reporters two weeks ago that Moore has developed a relationship with Hall of Fame defensive end Michael Strahan, who has been trying to help the youngster every chance he gets.
Art Stapleton of The Record reported that Strahan, who spoke to reporters prior to being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, shared with Moore little tricks to help him turn into a student of the game.
"How is the tackle’s hand? How are his feet? How is the stripe on his helmet when he’s going in certain directions?” Strahan said. “How’s the quarterback, does he do anything special before the ball is snapped to him? Does the center squeeze his off-hand before he snaps the ball?”
Moore is apparently taking that advice to heart, and it’s not going unnoticed by his coaches.
"He continues to grow every day and takes advantage of each opportunity he has to get better," defensive coordinator Perry Fewell told Stapleton.
Indeed. Against the Steelers, Moore had a see-saw showing, at times failing to react to the proper gap, while at others managing to successfully fill a hole to take away a cutback lane.
"At the end of the day, I’m going to go out there and play against the ones, twos, threes, whoever I’m playing against and just try to be the best person I could be," Moore said, adding that there's not much of a difference between first-team and second-team offensive tackles.
"I feel like if I do everything I can, everything will take care of itself. At the end of the day, we’ll see what happens."
Patricia Traina is the senior editor for Inside Football. All quotes and information obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Follow me on Twitter, @Patricia_Traina.