Q: What was it like suddenly having to watch?
Moore: It sucked because I wanted to get out there with the guys, but they told me to take the day off and I came out here today and I just wanted try to execute and do everything we’re focusing on as far as coaching fundamental technique-wise. I just got to do better.
Q: [Dennis] Allen talks about building a camp day by day almost like putting bricks in a wall. When you miss even one brick…did you feel a little behind today?
Moore: Yeah, you really do. Missing one day of camp is like missing three or four days. The pace that camp is going, as much information, and as much as you’ve got to know before you get out on the field, it’s a boatload, and you’ve really got to play catch up and I don’t want to be in that situation. I just try to put it all together.
Q: Coaches are careful about building anybody up too much, rookies especially. It’s clear they’re expecting some stuff out of you. You got installed in as a starter pretty much from the time you got here. They talked how ‘he’s a pass rusher’ and all the things you can do. Do you feel that on your shoulders? Do you feel, ‘wow they’re expecting me to be good now?’
Moore: If you’re in the NFL, you know you have an opportunity to play, there should be an urgency and expectation you should have on yourself, as well as the guys around you. The biggest thing with me, I don’t feel pressure. We got a great group of guys, as far as senior guys. We got [
Q: Do you think when they held you out it was more of a precautionary thing and that on a normal week in the NFL you probably could’ve gone to practice that day?
Moore: Probably so. Like I said, it’s not really what we talk about much, but everything is fine, came out here today. I’ll be good to go tomorrow.
Q: Felt 100 percent today?
Moore: Yeah, I think it’s going to take a little more than that.
Q: Have you had that, when camp started, that pinch yourself moment that I’m at training camp with the Raiders or are you past all that stuff?
Moore: No. The other day we were in walk-through, and I told them to pass me the ball and I looked at the ball and the NFL shield is on it. I always look at this stuff as a little kid and now I’m here at practice and it’s kind of surreal still. But the biggest thing about it is nobody’s got time for the surreal moments. You can sit there with your jaw dropped and someone’s going to end up running past you.
Q: I was looking up stuff from a New Haven (Conn.) story, about when you were 14 and an incident where a bullet flew by, is that still a seminal moment for you?
Moore: One-hundred percent, man, because my life could’ve changed multiple times and that was only one time. If the Civil War [in Liberia] would not have broken out when I was born in 1990, I would have never came to the U.S. So, there’s so many things I’m thankful for, blessings, people around me who care about me.
Q: So do you feel like, ‘I can’t waste a day?’
Moore: No, you waste the days while you’re here because somebody else is going to be here for sure and take your spot, and I’ll be damned if it happens right now.
Q: I think you told us back during the draft that ‘I’ll be the best linebacker in this draft’ or something along those lines?
Moore: No, I said I am the best.
Q: Has there been anything that has transpired and make you back off that?
Q: There are lots of veterans on this defense, but you’ve got Charles Woodson on this team now and
Moore: They’ve given us some really good speeches as we go in our team meetings and some of that stuff just raises the hair on your skin because you can see a lot of passion, you can see a lot of dedication oozing out of those guys. Where a guy like myself, I can only dream to wish to have that type of longevity, to have that type of production and that type of impact, not even as a football player, but as people. Those are great guys and you want to get to a point where you look back and say you had a storybook career like one of those guys.
Q: Have you had that moment where one of those guys put it like ‘I see something in you?’
Moore: I talk to them all the time. I tell [Woodson] every day that I’m going to have a notebook and he’s going to be my cheat code as far as getting everything from him. And I’m with [Andre] all the time because he’s working with me all the time as far as using my hands. So I’m trying to soak up as much as I can from all the old guys.
Q: When you look at everything that you’ve been through to get to this point and the fact that you get pulled onto the Senior Bowl with this coaching staff, do you ever think ever ‘I was destined to be at this place?’
Moore: I know it was. Everything happened the way it was supposed to happen. I wasn’t supposed to go in the first round. I wasn’t supposed to go in the second round. I was supposed to go 66th to the Raiders. I was supposed to be put into the situation that I’m in and how it’s all come together and fallen in. I couldn’t be more happy because it’s put me in the hungriest position that I can possibly be and that’s exactly what this team is. We are hungry, and we’re willing to work.
Q: When was the last day when you thought, ‘I didn’t do it today?’
Moore: A while. I know I’ve got to come every day…
Q: Because they’re so big on that here, the coaches are so big on players who are out here…
Moore: You’ve got to come out here, it’s not even about saying it. It’s about living it. Saying is going to get you half way through, living it is going to get you all the way through it. That’s one of the things that [Woodson] was saying to us in a meeting. He loves the game, the same way he loved it when he first started playing it. And to me, that’s how I think about it when I come out here. I love it the same way when I was playing pee-wee ball and having fun, but just taking it more seriously and putting more and more into it in any way. I come out here and look at [Andre Carter], maybe 30, 45 minutes before practice and he’s getting a lift in, he’s stretching to do the right things to keep looking the way he is. He looks like he just did a movie like freaking 300.