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Rondale Moore Building Healthy Dose Of Confidence

Wide receiver expected to fill slot with Christian Kirk departure

Wide receiver Rondale Moore makes a move after a catch at this week's OTAs.
Wide receiver Rondale Moore makes a move after a catch at this week's OTAs.

Rondale Moore heard teammates chatting about Pilates during his rookie year while he lifted weights.

The 21-year-old was familiar with Yoga, but not these exercises. Still, the wide receiver decided to try it, knowing it could increase his durability.

"I think it will keep me healthy," Moore said this week after an OTA. "I learned the best thing in this league is availability, so I took it upon myself to start doing Pilates. I didn't find out about that until I got here."

While Moore missed four games last season, he finished his first season with 435 receiving yards on 54 receptions and one touchdown. The numbers aren't sexy, but a lack of playing time when Moore was healthy was a factor.

Moore had the lowest snap count of the Cardinals' pass catchers and finished behind Christian Kirk, A.J. Green, and Zach Ertz in targets. If not for the seven games DeAndre Hopkins missed with hamstring and knee injuries, the Pro Bowl wideout would also be ahead of Moore on that list.

On the field, though, Moore brought a needed element of speed and explosion to the offense. Moore acknowledged on Wednesday that he considers himself the fastest in the wide receiver room, even with the addition of Marquise Brown.

This season, Moore will have the chance to show his skillset as a complete pass-catcher with a larger role in the offense.

"I think he wanted to play more last year, but we had all those guys – Christian Kirk, DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green – playing at a high level," coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "But he's worked hard this offseason and we feel he can step into Christian's role and play at a high level inside there. I think the confidence is high right now, and he knows he's got a big opportunity coming."

Kirk thrived last season as future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald's replacement in the slot. The former Cardinal finished 18 yards shy of his first 1,000-yard campaign, and it netted Kirk a mega-contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency.

Moore said he has focused on developing as a route runner and understanding the playbook better this offseason, not the prospect of replacing Kirk.

"I've just been working on myself and getting better," Moore said. "I'm not here to replace anyone or be like anyone else. I'm just being myself and playing as hard as I can."

Moore hates that Hopkins will miss the first six games in 2022 after testing positive for a banned substance -- "It sucks" -- but is excited about the addition of Brown to the receiver room. The Cardinals acquired the former Raven during the NFL draft in April.

Brown had a 1,000-yard campaign for the Ravens last season, the first of his career, and will give Kingsbury another downfield threat. Brown is locker neighbors with Moore, and the two have begun building a solid relationship.

The relationship is also being built with Kyler Murray. Moore mentioned a group chat Murray created with the receivers room, and the hope is that chemistry translates to the field.

"It'll be fun out there," Moore said. "Kyler and his ability to extend plays make it more exciting for us as receivers. And it'll be fun to see what Kliff can dial up for all of us (from the sidelines)."

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