The players and coaches change over time, but one thing seems to be constant when it comes to successful New York Giants teams; they all can get after the quarterback. That's why the front office chose Damontre Moore in the third round of this year's draft. Is his character an issue? Maybe. Is he a 4-3 defensive end or a 3-4 outside linebacker? Not sure.
"Not at all," said Moore when asked if he knew if he was a better fit for a 4-3 or a 3-4, "All I know is they say, ‘Just get up there, go hard, go get the quarterback, just work your butt off,' so that's what I'm trying to do each and every day."
He sure can rush the passer, though, and that's what's important to the Giants right now. With Jason Pierre-Paul recovering from back surgery and Justin Tuck's best days behind him, New York needs Moore to be a fresh, young edge rusher who can invigorate a pass defense that was 28th in 2012 in yards allowed per game.
"Justin Tuck, Kiwi [Mathias Kiwanuka], pretty much all the guys. I mean, everyone's always giving me advice," said Moore on the elder defensive lineman helping him through his first training camp, "It's not like one guy's helping too much or one guy's not helping. They're all just helping a lot."
Moore will need that advice because pass rushing at the NFL level is not just a one-on-one battle of brute strength. Professional defensive ends and linebackers need sound technique to get by the best offensive tackles and they need to focus on assignments so that they're in the right position when Robert Griffin III or Colin Kaepernick takes off on a veer option. Those are things that Moore has been able to work on while the Giants have been without pads this week.
"I feel like you can make a lot more progress without the pads being on because you're not focused on hitting as much." Moore noted. "You're more focused on technique and knowing your assignment. Once the pads come on, then you're aggressive and all that stuff comes in. I feel like you get a lot more done without the pads on."
Moore is just as excited for the pads to be put on as any other player, but it's a good sign for the Giants that he's so aware of the mental side of being an NFL defensive end. Moore wants to be more than just a pass rusher for the Giants, and to do that, he must work on stopping the run as much as attack in the quarterback.
"I feel like you have to work on it just as much as anything else," Moore said regarding the rush defense side of his game, "This is a whole different level, a whole new league. The competition is bigger, faster, and stronger, and at the same time I have to get bigger, faster, and stronger and just improve my game so that I can be well-rounded."
The difference between being just a pass rusher and being a well-rounded defensive end is huge, and if Moore is more of the latter than the former, he could be on his way to becoming the next great Giants defensive end.