Look­ing for Moore: Pan­thers rookie has be­come go-to tar­get

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Panthers At Buccaneers - BY SCOTT FOWLER [email protected]­lot­teob­server.com Scott Fowler: 704-358-5140; @scot­t_­fowler

Al­though a lot of things have gone south with the Carolina Pan­thers lately, one ar­row is point­ing straight north – the one at­tached to rookie wide re­ceiver DJ Moore.

In the past two weeks, Moore has es­tab­lished him­self as the team’s best widere­ceiv­ing tar­get. I don’t know if he’s go­ing to keep that des­ig­na­tion or have a rookie drop-off, but right now he’s the Pan­thers’ best yardageafter-the-catch wide­out since Steve Smith was telling de­fen­sive backs to “Ice up, son!” If his strong de­vel­op­ment con­tin­ues, the Pan­thers will likely find it eas­ier to part ways in the 2019 free-agency pe­riod with Devin Funchess.

Moore’s past two games have been a bit over­shad­owed be­cause they have been in los­ing causes, but he went for seven re­cep­tions and 157 yards against Detroit and then eight for 91 against Seat­tle. Only 21 years old and in his first season af­ter a stand­out ca­reer at Mary­land, Moore has loads of po­ten­tial.

“And he listens,” vet­eran re­ceiver Jar­ius Wright said of Moore. “To have a rookie that listens the way he does and wants to learn? I can’t say enough good things about him.”

Moore had one sig­nif­i­cant early mis­step as a Pan­ther, when he was cited for driv­ing at 113 mph on In­ter­state 77 in a 65-mph work zone in Au­gust.

So that was a big mis­take, and it could have killed some­body.

Since then, though, Moore’s speed has only been in ev­i­dence on the field. Along with scin­til­lat­ing Char­lotte Hor­nets rookie Miles Bridges, who re­ally should get an in­vi­ta­tion to the 2019 dunk con­test on all-star week­end in the Queen City, the city of Char­lotte now boasts two re­cent No. 1 picks who are very dy­namic.

Against Tampa Bay, you’d have to think quar­ter­back Cam New­ton will be look­ing for Moore even more. I hope he does. Moore needs the ball. And I hope he gets it at least twice on re­verses – I think that should be a part of Norv Turner’s of­fen­sive game plan ev­ery week.

Talk about the very defi

ni­tion of medi­ocre: Through nearly 24 com­plete sea­sons, the Pan­thers’ all-time reg­u­lar-season record stands at 189-189-1.

Pre­dic­tion time: Thanks

to the read­ers of this space who no­ticed that last week, for the first time in a long time, I pre­dicted the ex­act score cor­rectly in Seat­tle’s 30-27 win over Char­lotte. You know the old say­ing about blind squir­rels find­ing an oc­ca­sional acorn. That pick moved my record this season to 8-3.

Ron Rivera teams have long had good suc­cess in Tampa, and I think Cam New­ton vs. the Buc­ca­neers’ very sus­pect de­fense will be a mis­match. Time for the three-game los­ing streak to end.

My pre­dic­tion: Carolina 34, Tampa Bay 27.

DAVID T. FOS­TER III dt­fos­[email protected]­lot­teob­server.com

DJ Moore (12) has es­tab­lished him­self as the Pan­thers’ best wide-re­ceiv­ing tar­get. His past two games were over­shad­owed be­cause they were in los­ing causes, but he went for seven re­cep­tions and 157 yards against Detroit and then eight for 91 against Seat­tle.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.