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Giants rookie DL Moore gets off to fast start

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)

Defensive end Damontre Moore has the New York Giants excited about his future - even after one preseason game.

The third-round draft pick who came into the league with a little baggage put on a show on Saturday.

He blocked a punt, made four tackles, had a quarterback pressure and a tackle for a loss in a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

''His natural ability and talent level is off the charts, especially being a rookie,'' veteran defensive end Cullen Jenkins said before practice on Monday.

''The way he plays, his instincts for the game is pretty impressive. Once I saw him playing on the field I was surprised that he was a third-round pick and not higher. He has a lot of fight in him and a desire to want to get in there and make plays. That's stuff you can't coach.''

Moore's debut also could have been a lot better. The 20-year-old who left Texas A&M early to enter the draft seemingly was a step away from making a couple of other big plays on defense and special teams.

''Watching film, there were a lot of plays that I was really close,'' said Moore, who missed practice Monday with a bruised shoulder that has him listed as day to day.

''I think that's what's motivating me more to get there to make the plays. It doesn't do nothing, but aggravate me more to know that I was that close and didn't make the plays. It wasn't anything but a lot of motivation.''

Moore had great stats in college. He had 12 1/2 sacks in 2012 and 26 1/2 in three seasons with the Aggies. He also had 21 tackles for losses.

What scared some teams away was a marijuana arrest in his sophomore year and concerns that he didn't practice well.

Compounding that were so-so performances in his 40-yard dash and weight-lifting at the NFL combine.

The Giants have always been a team that believes in players who produce.

Moore blocked a punt on the Steelers opening possession to give New York possession at the Pittsburgh 5-yard line. It resulted in a field goal.

''I was pretty comfortable,'' Moore said of making the transition to the NFL. ''I could tell the difference. It was a little bit faster, but at the same time we ran a fast-paced offense back in college and that's the tempo that we practice at. It wasn't too big of a change in speed.''

Moore hasn't been perfect. He has had a habit of jumping offside and forgetting his responsibilities, at times.

''Watching film, I'd say containing the edge and not just being so one-track minded,'' he said. ''I really need to focus on my assignment and not just look at the ball.''

Giants coach Tom Coughlin likes Moore's attitude. He works hard, plays hard and is enjoying himself. He just has to eliminate the mistakes.

Punter Steve Weatherford said Moore reminds him of Jason Pierre-Paul in his rookie season, a year that Weatherford played for the rival Jets.

''He is just a football player,'' Weatherford said. ''He is mean, athletic and we're excited about him. I'm sure (defensive coordinator) Perry Fewell is real stoked about him. He is going to be a special player for us.''

NOTES: DE Justin Tuck (back), OL Justin Pugh (concussion), RB Ryan Torain (concussion) all returned to practice. Pugh said the concussion was his first. ...CB Corey Webster (soreness), OL James Brewer (concussion) and S Cooper Taylor (hamstring) sat out. ... S Antrel Rolle left practice after injuring his right ankle. He was to have tests. ... The Giants waived-injured WR Kris Adams, who had surgery for a broken left ankle he injured against Pittsburgh. WR Marcus Harris was signed to fill his place on the roster.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Tagged: Giants, Steve Weatherford

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