With Brian Dawkins retiring, second-year safety Rahim Moore is getting his shot, a second shot.
Moore began the 2011 season as a starter, but was inactive by the end of the season thanks to a slew of missed tackles, missed assignments, and untimely penalties.
“Experience is the big key,” Moore said after Monday’s practice. “That’s what I had last year, good and bad, so this year I’m ready, I’m hungry.”
Moore has been inserted back into the starting lineup in camp, playing starting safety with veteran Mike Adams. He had a big hit on Lance Ball during Monday’s practice, letting people know that this second round draft pick (No. 45 overall) out of UCLA is just waiting to break out.
“A lot of times with tackling, it comes with experience of knowing which back you’re playing against, the team you’re playing against, the film,” Moore said.
Moore rounded out his rookie year with 31 tackles and an interception. His total would have been much higher had the learning curve not been so great.
“Just knowing how to relax and calm down,” Moore said of the benefit of being a second year player. “I think when you’re a rookie, you’re trying to make some plays, you want to get some respect. You’re too fast for your own good and that’s when missed tackles come in, missed opportunities, missed picks…No matter how many tackles you make, you’re going to miss some. It’s like a receiver dropping the pick, a quarterback missing a play, dropping a pick. Nobody is perfect, but how you work on it is just work on it. Simple as that.”
Moore will miss more tackles. That’s just the nature of the game. They key is how he recovers from those mistakes. That’s when it becomes mind over matter. For Moore, who will be the Broncos last line of defense, developing his mind is just as important as developing his skill.