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Words Can't Describe Rondale Moore's Hopes For Season

Cardinals second-year receiver seeks much bigger role

Wide receiver Rondale Moore (4) makes a move on cornerback Nate Brooks during a training camp practice this week.
Wide receiver Rondale Moore (4) makes a move on cornerback Nate Brooks during a training camp practice this week.

Behind the words, the sentiment smolders. Behind the message, the eyes say something different.

Rondale Moore isn't going to say what he truly thinks. To him, that makes little sense.

"I mean, I just try to come to work every day and show I want to be a player in this league," Moore said Friday after practice. "I don't know. I don't really verbalize it. I try to go out and practice as hard as I can."

As a rookie, Moore wasn't saying much either. But he was feeling it. He was frustrated with his usage and how he was deployed. Now, with Christian Kirk gone, the second-year wide receiver is going to have a significantly bigger role in the offense.

What that means to Moore, well, he's not going to get too in-depth.

"He doesn't talk to me either so don't feel bad," coach Kliff Kingsbury said.

"When he is out there, he definitely feels like he's the best player out there, outside, inside," Kingsbury added. "I always give him a hard time, 'Are you sure you can go out there with those big corners outside?' And he just smiles and says, 'just watch.' "

At 5-foot-7, Moore isn't a prototype for the outside. He figures to slide into Kirk's slot role most often. But receivers coach Shawn Jefferson said "the offense is totally wide open" for Moore, who will also line up in the backfield at times.

Moore sets goals, although, keeping in form, won't specifically say what. Getting down the field more often has to be among them, however.

Moore had 54 catches for 435 yards, averaging 8.1 yards a catch. Amazingly, he averaged only 1.1 air yards per target, a nod to the many screens and throws behind the line of scrimmage of which Moore was part.

"All of sudden his role (was) minimized more than he anticipated, yeah, I felt the frustration and rightfully so," Kingsbury said. "He's a tremendous player. We had a lot of great wideouts last year. I am big on addressing the problem right there so you don't let it fester. We had some difficult conversations, but he'll get his opportunities this year."

Kingsbury said Moore wouldn't say much until the coach had pestered him "like 12 times."

"I understood where it was coming from," Kingsbury added. "That's what you want. They want the ball, they want to be in, they know they can do it, they believe they can do it."

Certainly, Moore would mention that, given that many believe – including Kingsbury – he's going to be a breakout candidate for the offense.

"I just go out there, the same mindset, try to get the job done," Moore said.

OK, maybe not.

While certain veterans figure to get little to no preseason work, Moore said he thinks it will be beneficial for him to get full-speed reps.

Even if DeAndre Hopkins wasn't facing a suspension, they would've needed more of Moore this season.

Just don't try to get Moore to acknowledge that.

"Whatever they've got in store I am willing to do," Moore said. "Let's ride."

Images from 2022 Cardinals Training Camp at State Farm Stadium