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Dennis Allen: Denarius Moore "responding to the challenge"

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Raiders head coach Dennis Allen put a challenge to Denarius Moore earlier this week. Today Denarius responded with his play on the field.

Thearon W. Henderson

Earlier this off-season, Dennis Allen said he expected Denarius Moore to step up as the number one receiver. But everything on the field since then has not quite lived up to that standard. After practice Tuesday, Dennis Allen laid down a challenge for his supposed top receiver.

"Make the plays that we want him to make. He's going to have to go up and make the contested plays, and he's going to have to make sure he doesn't have those concentration drops that he had at times last year. Again, It's as much about the mental part of it as the physical part of it. Just, to be the go-to guy you've got to see yourself as a go-to guy. We've got to develop a swagger with the players on this team. There's got to be a vision and there's got to be a belief that they're good football players, and that they can get the job done."

"I don't think we have a go-to guy yet. I'm waiting for someone to jump out and be the guy. We have a talented, young group that's working hard, but it's going to be a work in progress. We have until September to figure that out."

Thus far in camp, it has been Rod Streater who has answered the call. Allen wasn't acknowledging Streater's play with that statement because naming a "go-to guy" would end the challenge he has put forth.

Today, Denarius Moore stepped up and had the catch of the day in which he got behind Tracy Porter along the left sideline. Matt Flynn threw a perfect pass his way but Porter was tightly in tow and Charles Woodson was closing fast. Moore held his concentration and threw waving arms of both defenders, hauled in the long ball for what was about a 50 yard completion near the goal line.

Dennis Allen was impressed with what he saw from Denarius on the play.

"I thought Denarius Moore made a great play down the boundary (today)," said Allen. "Those are types of plays we expect out of him. I think he's responding to the challenge."

Denarius also had another catch with Chimdi Chekwa in tight coverage. If Dennis Allen was looking for contested catches, they don't get much more contested than the catches he made today.

These were the kind of plays the former round five pick made with regularity in his first couple camps. This camp, however, most the big catches usually involve Rod Streater or upstart Andre Holmes. It's promising for the Raiders hopes for the receiving corps that Denarius got in on the action as well.