Oct 6, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders wide receiver Denarius Moore (17) before the game against the San Diego Chargers at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
This preseason, I acknowledged that Rod Streater would be the Raiders No. 1 receiver but maintained that Denarius Moore was the most dynamic. Since the new regime came, it was easy to see that they really liked Streater, an undrafted free agent in 2012, and were pushing him. Moore had just established himself as an up-and-coming star and that had to have effected him to see that the organization was already trying to replace him with a less talented man.
You can call this excuses if you want to but even the best football player ever, Jim Brown, said on NFL Films, “Paul Brown must have known a little bit about me because all he had to do was tell me I was his man and I would then do the rest of the work.” This is the mentality that all supremely talented athletes have and while he got that from deceased owner Al Davis and Hue Jackson, the new regime didn’t view him that way.
Moore said of his experience in the years he struggled to Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com, “I was worrying whether I was going to be able to be that go-to guy, or what I was supposed to do on this down or that down. ‘If I dropped the last pass I’d think are they going to come back to me? Do they have faith in me?’ I should have just let it go and go to the next play.”
Then in comes Derek Carr, a 2nd-round pick, to minicamp as a 3rd-string quarterback where Moore had been moved down to. I believe the reportedly discouraged Moore began his chemistry building with Carr’s encouragement. Carr told the San Francisco Gate, of his minicamp experience “I just try to make it easier on them. Telling them if a guy dropped a ball, ‘Hey, great route,’ those types of things. So that’s something I’ve done since I was little.”
That’s a display of good leadership and real leaders know how to get something out of their most talented players. Carr’s relationship with Moore has since grown to what he told reporters in a postgame interview after the preseason finale. He said, “I always mess with D-Mo like when he’s not in there with me I’m like, ‘Bro you help me look good. I need you to get back in there so when he catches the deep ball I’m like, bro, I really appreciate you being in there.’
That’s the type of leadership that picks everyone around you up.