Devin Moore discusses defensive struggles and playing through injury

by | Nov 7, 2023 | 0 comments

Florida Gators cornerback, Devin Moore, met with the media to discuss several key topics regarding the team’s recent performance and upcoming challenges. Moore also delves into dealing with injuries and the frustration they bring.

Q. The defense really got off to an incredible start to the season. It’s struggled more lately. What do you guys need to — these next three games are very challenging offenses — what needs to kind of click, start gelling a little more that hasn’t?

DEVIN MOORE: Just keeping our focus and eliminating the mental errors, and just executing at the end of the day.

Our coaches put us in great positions to make plays and a lot of the times it’s just on the player to kind of make that play. Doing all the extra work we can, extra film, extra technique work and extra fundamentals and things like that. Just doing all those and trusting our coaching, we’ll be ready.

Q. When you’re with Shemar and Cam and Tyreak, your high motor guy, your best interior lineman, leading tackler, what challenge does that pose against an offense like Arkansas that was getting more healthy in that game?

DEVIN MOORE: Definitely imposes a challenge, but it’s a next-guy-up mentality. Next guy up steps up and they did great in that game, those people who filled in for them.

And as a whole defense, we just gotta kind of come together and recognize that they’re out and kind of bond even tighter to just perform for them because they don’t have the opportunity to be out there and play for our brothers.

Q. One of the issues has been consistency. What do you attribute to the inconsistencies? Is it so many young guys out there? Is it just kind of a lack of experience? What do you think is the problem?

DEVIN MOORE: I think really just at the end of the day it just comes down to execution. Like I said before, our coaches kind of put us in great schemes, great places to make plays and things like that.

We’ve just got to keep the mental focus the whole game and just execute the whole game and put a full game together, really.

Q. Talking about focus, has keeping the focus for the full game been a problem?

DEVIN MOORE: Yeah, I say definitely at times it has been. And we’ve recognized that. We’ve worked to improve on it and we’ve got to continue to grind and improve on it and make it work.

Q. How has the season been for you? I don’t feel I’ve seen you out there a lot?

DEVIN MOORE: It’s been a little up and down. I’ve been dealing with some injuries here and there. But as a whole, I’m just trying to do what I can to help the team become better.

Whatever position that might be in, if that’s on special teams, whatever special teams I might be in, whatever I can do to make the team become better, and whatever I can do to help us win games.

Q. Talk about the frustration of injuries. Obviously it happened last year and again this year.

DEVIN MOORE: So I definitely just give a shout-out to the whole support staff, everyone in the facility. There’s definitely some down days. You’re like, oh, this is very frustrating.

But with the brothers you have in the facility, with the coaching staff and with the trainers and just the whole support staff in the facility, consistently reminding you, picking you up and just influencing positive things, it definitely helps a lot.

Q. I don’t know how much film you’ve watched but Malik Nabers, LSU has some dynamic receivers, just kind of the challenge of that and what you guys can do in the secondary to kind of slow their passing game down?

DEVIN MOORE: Yeah, so at times in this year I think anytime the offense has consistent success on us, I feel like it’s a lot of self-inflicted errors. So just this week of practice, just getting that extra film in, extra recovery, extra technique work in, and just trusting our coaching.

Our coaches have been through games like this. Some of them have even played in games like this. They know what it’s like. And just being able to trust them, trust the technique they have for us and trust the scheme.

Q. How fired up do you think Corey is this weekend in terms of going back and so forth, and a game he had circled?

DEVIN MOORE: I’m sure he’s fired up, just the competitor that he is. So it will be very important for us to lock in and kind of every rep in practice just think of him and play for him.

Q. Are you excited about Tiger Stadium, a chance to play there in a night game, the reputation precedes itself?

DEVIN MOORE: Extremely excited. I never got to play there yet. All the stories and things I’ve heard of it, especially a night game, I’m extremely excited. That’s the reason I came to Florida, to be on big stages like this.

Q. Losing sometimes overshadows some good performances, but what did you think of Jordan’s first interception? I think he had a team-high 11 tackles. And I think Manny’s first start, he had 10 tackles. Some of those guys coming up big.

DEVIN MOORE: Yeah, they played extremely well. I like to joke around with Jordan a lot. I always say, like, man how are you in the post and you ain’t got a pick yet. He finally made that happen. He came up to me to let me know.

I was extremely excited and very happy for them, and they definitely played great. That’s just a testament to how they practiced the whole week. They were very focused at practice, trusted the coaching, and just let it all shine on Saturday.

Q. Looked like after the game, after the last score, that you and coach Raymond had a moment where he was counseling you. What was his message to you in that moment?

DEVIN MOORE: His message was just like, things like this are going to happen, gotta learn from mistakes and keep your head up and just continue going, continue grinding.

Q. You’re a day one guy with this program, literally committing like a week or so after they had come on. So from your perspective, how is the team as a whole responding to messages like that from their coaches, and veterans to stay locked in here with what’s ahead?

DEVIN MOORE: I think the team’s responding extremely well. We all have great fight in us, as you’ve seen that on Saturday. And just even inside the locker room, we still bonded very tightly as a unit.

Speaking as in my past, this is actually probably the closest team I’ve ever been on, and I’ve been on a lot of winning teams, too, and teams who have won more. But that’s just a testament to how closely united we are and how our bond is.

Q. How has it been since last year? There were stories last year, rumors going around that the team was divided in a lot of ways. How has that come together, and do you hold any one player responsible for maybe bringing it all together?

DEVIN MOORE: I really wouldn’t hold one player responsible. I definitely would say our leaders have made that, influenced that change for sure. And just when the leaders do it, the other guys will follow. So just the other guys being very humble enough to follow them and our leaders putting on a good detailed just mode model of how it should go, the younger guys will follow for sure.

Q. Who do you credit, knowing the leaders, guys you just personally look up to you?

DEVIN MOORE: There’s a lot of them. Austin Barber, he just talked. Montrell Johnson. Graham Mertz. Jason Marshall. Shemar James. I could keep going on and on. Kingsley. Cam Jackson. Scooby. There’s a lot of them. I can’t even explain it all.

Q. The defense maybe has had issues of late, last four, five games even stopping the run. I know it’s not necessarily your purview. But tackling or things you could do better on defense, something talked about getting that going first?

DEVIN MOORE: Just those reps in practice. Just having a mental focus that every rep in practice is very important. It may not seem important at the time, but it will definitely show up in the game.

So just having an extra applied focus to that, and just having the will to put your body on the line for the team and do whatever you’ve got to do to help the team.

Q. (Indiscernible) someone on the sideline for that critical illegal-substitution penalty at the end, what did you see how confident are you guys that it’s not going to be an issue moving forward?

DEVIN MOORE: So I didn’t really see that much because I was actually getting water. But I have trust in the coaches and our special teams and our offense that we’ll get that situation handled for sure. And it won’t happen again.

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