Rookie defensive end Damontre Moore has been impressive throughout training camp, with defensive line coach Robert Nunn saying recently that the third-round pick from Texas A&M is "off to an outstanding start."
Moore has heard the praise, but tries not to dwell on it.
"I take it in just to know that I’m going down the right track, but I try not to listen," Moore said. "I throw it out of my mind and just keep fighting. Play with that hungry mentality -- it’s like the old saying ‘a hungry dog hunts best.’ "
Moore, 6-foot-5, 250 pounds, described the start to his Giants career as "OK."
"It can get a lot better. There’s always room for improvement. I try not to dwell on it too much, I just try to go out there the next day and fix it," Moore said. "It’s still early in the process. I’m just observing, just being that sponge."
Moore was at one time considered a player who might be taken in the top half of the first round in the 2013 NFL Draft. Instead, with questions about his workouts and possibly his maturity, he slipped to the third round, with the Giants making him the 81st overall selection.
"He’s got some growing up to do," Nunn said. "He’s got some rookie in him, there’s no doubt, but it’s the good kind of rookie. He’s someone you have to tell to slow down, you never have to tell him to speed up. He’s off to an outstanding start and, like I said, I really believe the guy is going to contribute early."
Perhaps questions about maturity are not surprising. Moore is the youngest Giant.
"They’re exactly right. I do have a lot more maturing to do. I try not to harp on the fact that I’m only 20, but at the same time there are certain things that you can only get with age and wisdom," Moore said. "They [teammates and coaches] try to shed light on that. I try to absorb it, but at the same time I’m gonna have my nicks and bruises."
Moore is working with the second unit behind veterans Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka. Kiwanuka sees Moore's talent, but he isn't ready to anoint him as the Giants next great pass-rushing defensive end just yet.
"I think the jury is still out," Kiwanuka said recently. "I think for a young guy who is physically gifted, he is very talented, he pays attention, and he’s got that drive and that power. You see him flying around the field. For a young guy like that it’s about staying in tune with the material. He’s got all the physical gifts."
Moore understands the tradition of Giants' defensive ends.
"I feel truly blessed and honored just to be in this group," Moore said. "You have a lot of tremendous guys who came through here -- Michael Strahan, Justin Tuck, JPP, Kiwanuka. It’s really exciting just to be in there and just to learn from them and soak up all their words of wisdom."