Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rondale Moore turned 22-years-old on June 9. It's important to realize that all eight of the Cardinals' 2022 draft picks are older than the 2021 second-round pick Moore and that Moore is the youngest player on the team's roster.
The league is just getting started to see Moore blossom.
Moore appeared on The Jim Rome Show and touched on a series of topics. Rome asked Moore what it takes from a physical and mental standpoint to work in the slot in head coach Kliff Kingsbury's offense.
"I think it first starts in meetings," Moore said. "Just understanding the objective, the concept of what you're trying to run, what you're trying to accomplish. The reads that the quarterbacks are making, the coverage, the responsibilities of the guys out there. Obviously, in the slot. It's a lot more crowded. So I think the mental side starts in the meeting room for me, and then after that, it's just finding your confidence and catching the football when it's thrown your way."
Last season, Moore played in 45% of the offensive snaps as he caught 54 passes for 435 yards in 14 games. His 84.4% catch-rate was the third-best by any Cardinals player with more than 10 targets.
The Purdue product is expected to take on a larger role now that former Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency. Star receiver DeAndre Hopkins will also miss the first six games of the 2022 season after violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Moore's average depth of target (aDOT) was only 1.5 yards. Rome mentioned associate head coach and wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson's quote earlier in the offseason about Moore possibly being put on the outside and growing his route tree.
The 5-foot-7 receiver didn't flinch on what his mindset and role will be next season.
"I think my approach is the same," Moore said. "Continuing to get better, continuing to take care of myself off the field with the right things in my body. Make smart decisions and just continue to make strides and bounds and control what I control. So just continue to put wins on tape and hopefully the pigskin comes my way."
Moore didn't flinch when asked about quarterback Kyler Murray's abilities.
He said, "Man, I love playing with Kyler not only because of his ability to extend plays but man, he throws a great football. The ball feels really good coming to the receiver's hands. Being able to play with him and having that ability to extend plays is really exciting for a receiver. Being able to just light up when he does get out of the pocket. And you know, wherever you are on the field, he probably is gonna find you. So it really is exciting for a receiver to play in this offense."
Murray has desired a new contract and during the offseason at one point wiped social media images of the Cardinals. On Super Bowl Sunday, according to anonymous sources, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported Murray "is described as self-centered, immature and a finger-pointer."
Heading into his second season, Moore doesn't believe Murray's situation is up to him. But Moore is willing to support and bond with the two-time Pro Bowl quarterback.
"To be honest, that's above my pay grade," Moore said. "I just try to control what I control. Keep our relationship strong and just be there for him if he needs a hand or whatever the case may be. As far as that stuff goes, I just control what I control."
Arizona will have a new face in the receivers room and that is Marquise "Hollywood" Brown. He totaled over 1,000 yards last season with the Baltimore Ravens and arrives in Arizona following the draft-day trade.
Getting to play with Brown's down-the-field speed makes Moore esctatic.
He said, "Great addition, man, he brings a lot of speed as you know. Being able to stretch the field, open things up for everyone else, and then obviously being able to take the top off the defense. So I think he brings another skill set to a talented room."
The Cardinals will want to get rid of the bad taste from their mouths due to the 2021 second-half collapse. After winning the first seven games of the season, Arizona lost six of their final nine games including the playoff loss to the Rams.
Moore believes the Cardinals have the talent in 2022 to finish what they start.
"We want to just show that we've got better at every phase of the game — offense, defense, special teams," he said. "So just show that you know, we can finish. We're still the same Cardinals at the beginning of the year, last year. We've gotten even better."