It feels like there’s not a single unhappy person within the New York Jets community right now — except maybe wide receiver Elijah Moore.
To be fair, the last we heard from the disgruntled second-round selection on social media, Moore posted a video on Instagram that made it seem like he’s turned a corner. “Stop being driven by rewards,” the man in the clip preached, “just work, and if you don’t get what you thought you were going to get, show up and still go to work.”
That’s what Moore did against the Buffalo Bills, with 27 offensive snaps and 14 receiving routes run according to PFF. He was not targeted by quarterback Zach Wilson, but he showed up and went to work anyway, keeping any complaints about lack of usage to himself.
Jets’ Zach Wilson Fields ‘Tough’ Question on Elijah Moore
On November 7, the Monday after Week 9, ESPN’s Rich Cimini decided to revisit the discussion on Moore at the tail-end of Wilson’s final press conference before the bye week.
“The Elijah Moore situation is interesting because he’s out there,” Cimini began, “[but] the last three games he hasn’t really been targeted, and I’m curious as to why that’s happening?”
A contingent of the fanbase has been pondering the exact question on social media and Wilson did his best to answer it without stirring the pot — although he did shift the attention off himself a bit.
“Yeah, that’s a tough one,” Wilson began. “I would love to get E-Moore the ball, for me in my situation I’m going through the reads and everything. I think that’s more of a question for the coaches, and then also just the situation, in general, is tough. I think, with time, he’s a great player so we’re going to try and figure some stuff out to get him the ball.”
Zach Wilson Dodges Elijah Moore Question
Now you see where Wilson gets all his practice dodging 250-pound pass rushers. He eluded that Cimini question with the same escapability that he has in the pocket.
Kidding, but it certainly felt like a calculated response from the quarterback, as if to say — leave me out of this. Moore’s beef was rumored to be with offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur from the get-go after reporters informed fans that the two got into a “blow-up” at practice.
LaFleur later denied those reports during a press conference, calling them “100% inaccurate.” He described it as more of a discussion while hinting that he might get Moore some snaps in the slot. The snaps haven’t been the problem of late, the targets have.
If Wilson is answering truthfully, Moore is almost never his first read by the play design. Due to the injuries on the offensive line and the lack of experience at QB, this has become a one-to-two read offense most times and that means no looks for the second-year pass-catcher with the way LaFleur is drawing them up — hence the frustration.
Moore has proven he can walk the line over the past couple of weeks, playing the role of the faithful soldier and getting himself back in the semi-good graces with fans. And yet, it still feels like he’s stuck in the doghouse. Will LaFleur work him back into the offensive game plan after the bye?
Head coach Robert Saleh has voiced as much in recent weeks, noting that the Jets have to find more opportunities for Moore, but how much does the Jets’ fearless leader tinker in the offense?
Saleh has always described himself as more of an overseer of all units, but his background is on the defensive side. If Moore is going to produce again for the Jets in 2022, he must first work things out with LaFleur.