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Friday Film Room: Releasing DaMonster

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DaMontre Moore has finally gotten his chance to prove himself on the field, so let's take a look and see how he's doing.

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

For New York Giants defensive end Damontre Moore, the last two weeks have been a long time coming.

Between injuries and the realization that natural born ability can only take you so far in the NFL, his first year as a Giant was a humbling one. Despite playing his college football in the SEC and routinely going against some of the best offensive lines in college football, Moore was able to thrive on his natural talent and athleticism.

His play during the season earned him early consideration as a potential top-5 pick in the 2012 draft. However for all his talent, his under-developed work ethic was exposed at the NFL Scouting Combine. The result was a tumble from a potential top-5 overall pick to the New York Giants in the middle of the third round.

Moore did show off his tantalizing alent in throughout his rookie year, but a lingering shoulder injury and his still developing maturity conspired to limit his opportunities to largely special teams. The following off-season Moore redoubled his efforts to both build his body and his maturity level.

Despite Justin Tuck leaving New York for Oakland, Moore still found himself the fourth defensive end behind Jason Pierre-Paul, Mathias Kiwanuka, and Robert Ayers. Then both veteran ends found their way to the injured reserve after the loss to the Jaguars, and young man known as "DaMonster" got his chance.

So, how has he done?

The Film

Run Defense

One of the consistent issues with Moore has been his run defense. While he has a natural talent for penetrating into the backfield, he has shown a lack of discipline in the run game.

Not so in this play. This is a simple stretch run, where the offensive line tries to get the defensive line flowing in parallel to the line of scrimmage. The idea is to open up a running lane to the right. Here the play is designed to open a hole behind the right guard, however Jameel McClain does a nice job coming up to fill the gap, forcing Morris to take the cutback late off the right tackle.

Cullen Jenkins is matched up on the right tackle, and while he doesn't allow the tackle to get any penetration, he gets turned perpendicular to the line of scrimmage, helping to open up the outside run. Moore is on backside contain. He is also responsible for defending play-action or an option run. You can see him hesitate for a fraction of a second as he makes sure that Griffin doesn't keep the ball.

Despite the yardage given up -- which is partially a result of Jenkins getting turned and the threat of Griffin keeping the ball slowing Moore down -- this is a good play by Moore. All too often we have seen Giants edge defenders crash inward on apparent runs only to see the quarterback keep the ball and gash the defense. Instead, Moore stays disciplined and makes a nice open-field tackle to keep this just a nice play for the offense.

Play 2

This is technically a pass play, but it really shows off Moore's motor.

The Giants are in a pass rushing formation with JPP and Moore on the edges, Kerry Wynn at the 3-technique and Cullen Jenkins at the 5-technique and they also bring McClain on a blitz. This probably could have been a sack if McClain had angled his rush inside through the A-gap to the center's left.

Rather than take the check-down pass to the running back, Griffin escapes the pocket after JPP beats the left tackle. Wynn almost gets the sack but Griffin just avoids him.

On the other side of the offense, Moore does a nice job of  recognizing the scramble and getting off the right tackle to make play from behind. As explosive as Moore is in short areas, he probably wouldn't have been able to make the play if Wynn hadn't forced Griffin to have to change direction, so a big kudos there.

Pass Rush

Play 1

Now we get into what Moore brings to the table in the pass rush. The Giants use an interesting formation here, with Hankins and Patterson both playing the 1-technique, while JPP and Moore are lined up at their usual position as 7-techniques (defensive ends).

You can't see it on the GIF, but the coverage does a fantastic job of taking away Griffin's initial reads and keeping the ball in his hands until he decides to run.

On the right side, Moore beats the right tackle straight away with a rip move. With the attention drawn by the tackles, Moore had a direct rout to Griffin on the inside rush, but took the outside route instead. On the other side, JPP crashes downward and does a late twist with Hankins. That twist essentially lets JPP take both the guard and left tackle while Hankins comes around the edge unblocked.

While the push from the middle kept Griffin from being able to step up in the pocket, Moore's motor and effort took over to keep him in the play, where he met Hankins at the quarterback. This was just a well-designed and executed play all around.

Play 4

Finally we have an example of a play that doesn't show up on the defensive stat sheet, but was excellent none the less.

This is just a basic pass rush by the Giants. Moore and JPP are the ends, Jenkins is the 3-technique and Hankins is the 1-technique. Safety Quentin Demps is showing blitz off the left side of the defense, but backs off into coverage. Griffins' first read is the tight end who contributes a chip block on JPP before releasing into his route.

The two defensive tackles don't get much done, however JPP overcomes the chip block to walk Trent Williams almost 10 yards deep into the backfield. On the other side, Moore blows right past the right tackle. However, his inside move brings him right into a double team by the guard and running back. He keeps fighting through those blocks as well, showing some nice hand usage to keep the rather surprised looking guard off of him.

While Moore is fighting through blockers on the right side, pressure from JPP forces Griffin out of the pocket. Moore stays in pursuit of Griffin and ultimately forces a throwaway to narrowly avoid the sack -- while still putting a hit on the quarterback.

Final Thoughts

Giants fans have been screaming to see more of Moore. Well, we've finally gotten our chance to see what he's got. And he's finally getting a chance to show it on the field.

And his deficiencies are there. He has committed some foolish penalties, and he's shown that he does need to improve his functional strength. But, he has also shown what kind of talent he is. He is a disruptive player with a talent for getting into the backfield.

Moore is still the second-youngest player on the New York Giants' roster behind only Odell Beckham. And at times he reminds me of nothing so much as a giant puppy; all long legs and snowshoe-like paws. His talent and promise for the future are obvious, but as much as that he brings a certain rambunctious energy and a definite motor to the field.

If he keeps that energy and effort as he continues to grow and develop as a player, the Giants could well have two of the biggest steals of the 2013 draft in Hankins -- who is already playing at an elite level -- and Moore.