MIKE O'HARA

O'HARA: Moore's attitude helps him stand out in practice

Posted Jun 5, 2015

Lance Moore’s performance in the Lions’ offseason workouts comes with a word of caution from the perspective of experience.

Lance Moore’s performance in the Lions’ offseason workouts comes with a word of caution from the perspective of experience.

Moore supplies both as an explanation for why he has stood out in competition for roster spots at wide receiver.

Lance MooreWR Lance Moore (Photo: Detroit Lions)

Moore has been sure-handed, and his route-running has seemed effortless in the OTA practices that have been open to the media.

Moore made two good catches in Thursday’s drill. One was on a long, looping throw from Kellen Moore. Lance Moore’s left shoe came off a few strides before he caught the ball between two defenders. Moore never slowed down. In fact, he barely broke stride as he bent over to pick up the shoe as he jogged back to the huddle.

Later, Moore stretched to make a catch on a throw over the middle from Matthew Stafford.

The two catches were on different routes, and balls thrown with different velocity – Kellen Moore’s touch pass, and a cannon shot from Stafford. Moore’s experience was apparent on both. He was in control of his body on both plays.

Moore knows the Lions’ offense from the nine seasons he spent with the Saints (2005-13), and he played under head coach Sean Payton’s system for eight of those seasons. Joe Lombardi, the Lions’ second-year coordinator, was an offensive assistant with the Saints from 2007. He brought the elements of the Saints’ system to Detroit.

“I’ve got a little bit of an advantage, being I’ve played in this offense for a long time,” Moore said after Thursday’s practice. “It’s a little bit of innate ability to just play ball out there. It’s more reacting and less thinking. I think that makes it better for guys.”

Moore played for the Steelers last year, was released and signed with the Lions in May. Moore has competed for roster spots or playing time throughout his career and has brought the attitude with him to Detroit that how he plays in practice is important.

“I’ve been a guy that’s kind of been blessed to be at the right place at the right time a few times,” Moore said. “The thing that’s kept me around for so long is kind of the attitude of not quite making it yet – being one of those guys that has to force myself to come up and be one of the guys who shows up every day and makes plays and remind the coaches of why I’m here.”

The battle for roster spots at wide receiver behind Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate might be the fiercest of any position group. Corey Fuller, Jeremy Ross and Ryan Broyles are returning from last year. T J Jones, who missed his rookie year with a shoulder injury, is back and healthy. And Andrew Peacock, who made a positive impression on the practice squad last year, could be in the mix.

The addition of Moore adds up to eight players competing for five or six jobs.

Roster spots won’t be won in the OTAs or in the mandatory minicamp in two weeks, but it’s never too soon to perform well for a player to help his standing when it comes to putting out the depth chart.

“It’s more of a rep chart than a depth chart,” head coach Jim Caldwell said. “In our business, you make your money with pads on. But there are some things you can get a good look at .

“Every once in a while, you’ll see someone who moves ahead, just in terms of the learning process. For the most part, we’re trying to teach.”