Rookie receiver D.J. Moore lost two fumbles in the Carolina Panthers’ 23-17 defeat against the Washington Redskins Sunday.
What the Panthers’ first-round draft pick gained, however, is a valuable lesson about knowing when to surrender at certain times.
‘We know he’s a talent, we know he’s got the kind of ability to make plays’
Coach Ron Rivera noticed that point registering with the former Maryland standout after his fumbles on a punt return and a reception led to 10 points for the Redskins.
“We know he’s a talent, we know he’s got the kind of ability to make plays,” Rivera told Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan on Movin’ The Chains. “And the biggest thing he’s going to learn and got to understand is that sometimes discretion’s the better part of valor. You can’t fight for every yard all the time. What you’ve got to do is recognize situation, protect the ball and go down. And he learned that because if you watch the the next couple times he gets the ball, as he gets into a crowd, both hands come on the ball and you see him tuck it.
‘This young man has to learn and he has to grow to be a better player’
“We’re going to put it back out there and keep going because, again, this young man has to learn and he has to grow to be a better player because that’s how he’s going to help us. It’s not going to help us (with him) sitting on the bench bench for stuff like that. He didn’t do it maliciously. It happens, it’s part of the game.”
Rivera also recognizes that, in using a first-round choice on Moore, the Panthers must do everything possible to get a substantial return on their investment. Moore caught four passes on five targets for 59 yards, an average of 14.8 yards per reception. He also had an 18-yard run.
‘Once they’re on the field, then you’ve got to teach them’
“When the young guys are taken in the first, second, third round, you’ve got to find ways to get them on the field,” Rivera said. “And once they’re on the field, then you’ve got to teach them. And that’s kind of been the attitude we’ve always had, because every year that I’ve been a head coach, we’ve started a rookie at some some position every season, so this is no different.”
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