Oakland Raiders: Can Denarius Moore Replace Jacoby Ford or Louis Murphy?
With the second preseason game after a long break, the Raiders hope that their injury proneness doesn't escalate.
As of August 18th, several high value guys are sidelined for the foreseeable future:
- WR Louis Murphy (Out for season opener—Hamstring)
- CB Chris Johnson (Hamstring—Should be back for opener)
- WR Jacoby Ford (Broken Hand)
In comes Denarius Moore to the picture. The rookie wideout has been wowing folks throughout the month with his domination over starting cornerback Stanford Routt during scrimmages. As Hue Jackson mentioned, it's not just one play. He dominates the entire practice.
Jacoby won't be gone long, but Louis Murphy's "procedures" scare me after Hue Jackson remained hush-hush on the topic. Chaz Schillens hasn't been healthy an entire season while in Oakland, so the idea of Moore getting reps in the season opener on Monday night seems inevitable.
In fact, if Moore doesn't see the field, people might actually be curious as to why.
Q: Can Moore Spread the Field Like Jacoby Ford?
Moore lights up South Carolina
As his highlights from college show us, Moore is a guy who slipped drastically in the draft for no apparent reason other then size. In the clip above, Moore torches South Carolina for 200 yards. It's not like he's seen weak competition in his career.
Moore ran a 4.37 40-yard dash this year, so his streak speed is incredible.
Let's see if he can keep his pace moving forward.
Q: Is Jason Campbell Comfortable with Denarius Moore?
With the entrance of Al Saunders as the new offensive coordinator, Jason Campbell immediately felt a comfort factor as he prepares for the 2011-12 season. You can see it in his voice tone, his mannerisms and the way he has been a leader during the looming lockout days.
The Mercury Times reported that Jason Campell flew WR's Louis Murphy, DHB and Jacoby Ford out to his home on the East Coast to do some bonding. His motto was that he wants to bring them closer as he settles into the Oakland community.
I love hearing things like this. It's something that has been lacking since the early 2000's. The Raiders are acting cohesive as a unit, and it's something I think that will benefit them going forward.
Q: Denarius Moore a Scrimmage Hero? Or Raiders DB's Just That Bad...
This is a little of both.
With the absence of Hiram Eugene and Chris Johnson, and the departure of Nnamdi, Oakland looks very meager in the secondary. Moore has certainly been exposing that throughout practices.
As of now, Stanford Routt is our major corner threat. Nothing against him, but he is not a premier corner by himself. He needs a strong counterpart.
As far as Moore dominating everyone, it's a little of both. His preseason game looked strong, and in my opinion, his reps last Thursday were more important than his press from training camp.
Q: Special Teams Takeover?
This is almost unfair because Jacoby Ford's opening special teams year was remarkable. I got the chance to see several home games last season from seats on the 50-yard line, and his speed is almost video-game like. When Madden comes out, he better be a 99 speed player!
As far as Moore, he looks natural out there returning kicks. Granted, it's been one game, but he has that feel for fielding kicks and punts—you can tell.
But taking the role from newly acquired Jacoby Ford will not be easy. Moore will be the backup plan, and what a great guy for the job.
As for taking over special teams now: Uhhh, no.
Q: If Moore and Ford Both Eventually Become Starters, Are They Too Small?
Probably, but that never stopped Steve Smith and Wes Welker from becoming everyday wideouts. I value character more then anything, and regardless of height, Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford have more commitment and character than a lot of veteran receivers in the NFL.
I know that Moore hasn't done anything just yet to warrant too much pressure put on him to perform, but his attitude certainly makes me want to root for him in his career. However, if he can mimic Jacoby Ford in his breakout year, these two guys out there on the field at the same time could be just what Jason Campbell has ever wanted.
It could also open things up for Kevin Boss.