Denver Bronco Team Journalist Khalid Alshami takes a look at why Rahim Moore is primed for a big year. Image Credit: denver.cbslocal.com
In 2011, John Elway made Rahim Moore the second player drafted in the Elway Era. The announcement of the pick was made by Broncos all time great and Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe.
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Rahim Moore was drafted in the lockout shortened 2011 season. Like most rookies, the shortened offseason hurt his ability to adjust to the pro game. He finished the year with 15 games played, 28 tackles, 1 fumble recovery,1 interception and 2 passes defended. The numbers look decent, but on the field he often looked lost and allowed far too many big plays. He also displayed poor form as a tackler. He was tried at SS as well as FS during the season which hindered is development.
Moore took a huge step in his sophomore season, taking hold of the starting FS job and going on to have a great year. Moore went on to start all 16 games, record 60 tackles, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery, 1 interception and 7 passes defended. He looked much more comfortable in the defense and played very disciplined all season long while cutting down the big plays in center field. He also became a much better tackler and run defender although this part of his game still needed work. During his lone playoff start against the Baltimore Ravens, Moore blew his assignment late in the 4th, allowing Jacoby Jones to get past him for a 70 yard touchdown. It is important to note that Tony Carter who was tasked with covering Jones, made a feeble attempt to bump him off the line with no luck. Even today many Bronco faithful remember Rahim for this one play.
Following the loss, Moore said in an interview "I'm taking the blame for it. Hey, I lost the game for us. It is what it is."
Moore entered his third season after facing an offseason full of ridicule. Not once did he deflect blame, not once did he back away from the constant questions, he took responsibility and made that play a part of who he is today.
With the Coaching Staff as well as the Front Office firmly supportive of him, Moore took yet another step in his third season. He started 10 games, recorded 38 tackles, 2 interceptions and 6 passes defended. He played great in the passing game, improved his tackling technique and became a very solid run defender. Moore was playing the best ball of his career, and one of the top Free Safeties in the league at the time. Then it happened, Moore suffered a very uncommon injury to his lower left leg.
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Lateral Compartment Syndrome is a limb- and life-threatening condition which occurs after an injury, when there is not a sufficient amount of blood to supply the muscles and nerves with oxygen and nutrients because of the raised pressure within the compartment such as the arm, leg or any enclosed space within the body and leads to nerve damage because of the lack of blood supply. In Moore's case he had bleeding in the muscle near his left calf.
Moore had emergency surgery in the middle of the night. As it was caught in the nick of time, Moore escaped with his leg intact, albeit sporting a 6 inch scar as a reminder. A few weeks after the initial surgery, Moore had a followup procedure done which caused him to miss the entirety of the playoffs.
Moore is back in good health, and even better spirits, participating in OTAs with his teammates happy to be on two feet. Each year in the league Moore has made huge improvements and is incredibly driven. With this injury, he faces his biggest hurdle yet.
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What are your thoughts? How do you think Rahim will bounce back this season?
Khalid Alshami is a Denver Bronco Team Journalist, follow him on Twitter @kalshami