If there has been one major head-scratcher from this summer to the regular season, it would probably be the play of second-round draft pick Elijah Moore.
The rookie was unstoppable at OTAs, minicamp, and even training camp before his injury, and now he has trouble recording a reception most games. People had so much confidence that Moore was a draft sleeper (including me) that nobody blinked twice when ex-roommate A.J. Brown declared he’d be willing to bet all his 2021 game checks on the Jets WR winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
The Ole Miss product was also a huge factor in the expected resurgence of this offense, and his lack of production has certainly contributed to its failure. Moore is not the loudest player on the field but he does carry an internal confidence into everything he does.
This week on social media, the rookie finally opened up about his slow start.
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Moore’s Sends Message on Instagram
In an Instagram post on October 12, Moore captioned a group of photos from London with a message to all his supporters — and himself.
“S*** don’t always connect as soon as [you] press play… At times [you] gotta step away, do [some] living, let time provide a truer vision. #Blessed,” the rookie wrote.
While these are in fact J. Cole’s lyrics, not his own words, they were still meant to serve a purpose. The first-year player came into 2021 with a staunch determination that impressed the entire Jets coaching staff and fanbase. He stated that he wanted to be the best in the game, not just good or great — it just hasn’t come together so far.
It’s unclear what the specific issue has been. Some fans think he’s playing out of position and should be running routes out of the slot rather than the outside. Others believe offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur isn’t utilizing his talents properly. It could be the physicality that’s hindering the rookie, or the injuries that he’s suffered (quad in preseason, concussion in Denver).
One thing’s for sure, Moore’s NFL debut has not gone as planned. Just like the song lyrics suggest though, the wide receiver will take a moment and step away during the bye week, remaining patient as he works to achieve his goals.
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Zach Wilson Shows His Support
Quarterback Zach Wilson has even publicly taken his share of the blame for the wide receiver’s struggles.
“I wish I could get him the ball more, I know that’s part of my job,” the young signal-caller stated in a recent press conference, “I know he is a dominant player and I need to get him the ball more, so really I think it’s just buying into the process and understanding it’s going to take time, and he’s going to keep his head down and keep doing his thing. He doesn’t need to try and do too much or try and change anything he’s doing because he’s a great player and you’ve obviously seen that and so I think as time goes on we’re just going to keep getting more comfortable with each other.”
The pair was special together this summer, linking up in practice on what felt like a constant basis, but that chemistry has been slightly off during the regular season. No matter what has happened to this point though, the rookie QB made it clear that he has full confidence in Moore.
“He’s a baller and his time is coming,” Wilson proclaimed boldly, “just like the rest of us.”