It’s certainly unfair to define the career of Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Derek Moye by one dropped pass in the end zone last season against the Baltimore Ravens, but several people certainly will. Unfortunately for him, it was the last pass thrown his direction in 2013.
Many people probably forget that Moye made a spectacular leaping catch earlier in that game, but that’s the way it goes as players are usually judged by their last negative play instead of their last great one.
2014 is now a new season for the Penn State product and while Moye was on the Steelers 53 man roster for all 16 games last season, he must now win that roster spot all over again this offseason. He’ll also have to do it against different competition this year as wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey was signed during the offseason and Martavis Bryant was drafted in the fourth-round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
“To be honest, it doesn’t really matter who else is on the roster,” Moye said recently, according to RJ Schaffer of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I’ve got to play well, and, if I don’t, no matter who or who isn’t on the roster, I won’t be here.”
Even though Moye was the tallest wide receiver on the Steelers offseason roster at 6-5, a lot of the pre draft talk centered around the need to draft another “tall” wide receiver. Bryant wound up being that “tall” receiver and with that comes the belief that he’s a lock to make the 53 man roster.
Despite the fact that several people probably see Moye as long shot to make the Steelers roster this year, second-year running back Le’Veon Bell is not one of them.
“Moye is getting so good,” Bell said. “Even last year, I saw him getting better and better each and every week.”
Like Heyward-Bey, Moye’s path to the 53 man roster in 2014 likely runs through the office of Steelers special teams coach Danny Smith. According to Schaffer, Moye has been working with Smith this offseason in an effort to prove that he will be able to handle the dirty work associated with playing on special teams this year.
While Moye might not have the speed that both Heyward-Bey and Bryant possess, he believes he’s fast enough and he certainly doesn’t lack in the confidence department.
“Really, I think I’m a pretty complete receiver. I’m just going to try and carry it over to the field.”
Moye will be back on the field continuing to battle for a spot next week when the Steelers second set of OTA practices get underway.