Sio Moore stated numerous times before the draft and afterward that he was the best linebacker in the 2013 draft. This past week he played like that by putting his high energy to use by getting 1.5 sacks on the tough to take down Ben Roethlisberger. Now Pepsi has recognized him by awarding him the Pepsi Rookie of the Week honor for his stout play against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
There has never been a doubt in Sio's mind that he is exactly where he is suppose to be in life. He immediately changed his Twitter name to MrOakTown55 after being drafted in the 3rd round and he is doing his best to live up to that name. It is refreshing to see a player come in and embrace his new life the way that Sio did coming into the league. Here is a quote that Sio said to our own Levi Damien back in July as a reminder of the way that Sio introduced himself to the Raider Nation.
“I know I was (destined to be a Raider). Everything happened the way it was supposed to happen. I wasn’t supposed to go in the first round, wasn’t supposed to go in the second round. I was supposed to go at 66 to the Raiders, I was supposed to be put in the situation I was in, and how it’s all fallen in, I couldn’t be more happy. Because it’s put me in the hungriest position that I can possibly be in. That’s exactly what this team is. We are hungry and we’re willing to work and that’s me.”
That hunger is starting to show up on the field now that Sio has better learned how to prepare each week for his opponent. It has been reported the last couple of weeks that Moore has been spending more time in the film room preparing each week and his play on the field is showing that extra effort paying off. He also has been more intense in practices and that has not gone unnoticed by the Raiders coaching staff either.
“Sio’s starting to do everything faster.” said Defensive Coordinator Jason Tarver yesterday during his media session, “When you’re activated go, as you hear from me all the time. He’s starting to do that better—leading with his hands more. We like Sio leaning forward, and he’s also gotten better in coverage. It’s been reps, and the biggest thing that Sio’s doing right now is how he’s working in practice. He’s just better at working in practice, and that’s how it translates into the game.”
Dennis Allen was also asked about Sio during his media session yesterday. DA is loving the intensity that he is seeing out of his defense in general but Sio's play warrants being singled out specifically.
“I’m looking for them to go out and execute and do their job. I think we got some athletic players on the defensive side of the ball. I think our guys are playing with a lot of enthusiasm and I think they’re running to the football really well. When they get there, they arrive with a bad attitude. Sio is one guy that demonstrates that. I’m just looking for guys that want to go out there and execute their job and play really hard.”
With the type of confidence that Sio has in himself and the type of preparation that he has been putting into each week there is no surprise amongst Raiders fans that he is executing and doing his job. His play may have surprised some people outside of the Oakland fan base but this is exactly the type of play Sio promised us. It is nice to see him getting some recognition from outside of Oakland, but it definitely is no surpise.
Congratulations to Sio for winning this honor. He deserved it and it is great to see a young Raider earning some praise. The NFL Rookie of the Week award is a big deal and is a sign that Sio is putting himself into the Defensive Rookie of the Year competition. Sio will need a big second half of the season to win it, but right now he has officially put himself into the conversation.