WR Elijah Moore (9.16.23)
If Amari (Cooper) can’t play Monday, what does that mean for your offense?
“I mean, we got to take the next steps. You know, we don’t know too much about what happened. You know, I’m saying I think that’s a coach question, not us. We don’t know how serious, if it’s serious at all. So we’re just going to pray. We’re going to pray for him and it’s always next man up. You can’t miss a step.”
Speaking of next man up, you guys have a pretty deep receiving core and some really, really good guys that in the event that they have to step up in there, are you pretty confident that you’re going to see some good performances?
“Yes. I mean, that’s what we practice. And who would we be if we didn’t go out there and not know our job, if someone didn’t know? I feel like we got a group to where everyone should know everything. I’m pretty confident in every last one of those guys.”
Does it make it tougher when it happens late in the week? So it’s not like you have all week – if he has to miss a game?
“Like I said, we don’t know exactly what happened to him. I don’t think we should be speaking on anything before we know anything. But yeah, I mean, it’s annoying when you have little mishaps like that, but that’s football.”
You guys dealt with this, though, basically, all the way back to the Greenbrier you, Marquise (Goodwin), even Amari there. I mean, like you say, is it something that becomes almost second nature when something like this happens?
“It’s football. You can’t control what happens to who. So, you just got to be ready. That’s what everyone studies, how we study and know what we know so we can go out there and perform. If something like this happens.”
How fast are you guys going to have to operate with TJ (Watt) and Alex (Highsmith) kind of screaming off the edge and how is this going to go?
“Yeah, those are definitely some prime-time guys. Definitely have respect for them. We’re not taking it lightly, so we’re going to do our best and see how the matchup goes.”
This is going to be your first taste of the Brown-Steelers rivalry. What do you know about it from afar and how much you’re looking forward to it?
“Of course, I know what everyone has told me, the stories and how hype it gets, but I feel like we should look at it as any other game. Obviously, we don’t take them lightly. We know that they’re a good team, but I’m definitely ready to play. I know they are, too.”
What about just the magnitude going into Pittsburgh, Monday Night Football? Everybody’s watching. Just can you talk about how big this is?
“Yeah, I think everybody’s excited. I wish were playing tomorrow, too, because I wanted the game to get here faster. But of course, Monday is prime time is what we pray for. Something I think in college that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.”
Elijah, how’d you come out of week one? We got a little bit of a taste of the variety that we have been talking about all offseason that they’re going to use. How do you think that went and just, I guess, going forward, how excited are you now that you got a little taste in game of what it could look like?
“I was super excited. We won, and just to get out there to finally verse somebody else, too, was well overdue. I think all of us couldn’t wait for the season to start, putting all the work that we put in and just to play, especially that team, I know that’s another big game that we all look forward to as well. So that was super fun. We got the win, and I think everyone who contributed, I think everybody came out pretty good.”
How about your role specifically, the way they move you around in the backfield, inside, outside?
“Yeah, I felt good with it. The rain kind of messed up a little bit of plans, but I was definitely happy with it.”
When you play as well as you guys did in that opener, how important is it to build on that, to continue that momentum, especially another AFC North game, another rival?
“Yeah, that’s one thing I think I’m going to continue to speak on. I think that momentum of keep stacking these wins is super important for every team, honestly. I know everyone thinks like that. It only is going to propel you in a direction that you want to go.”
How much are you looking forward to maybe a little bit drier track than what you got?
“Need it. We need it. We’re trying to throw for something crazy, definitely. And run for something crazy and stop for something crazy. Whatever. Every single stop. But yeah, man, I think we’re excited for a hot game, if it should be.”
What are you seeing on film of Patrick (Peterson) and Minka (Fitzpatrick) and some of their excellent defensive backs?
“You got to respect them. Of course, those are two guys that they got the respect so it’s not something I think that we’re taking lightly, and we’re just excited. I definitely look at those guys and get excited to play people like that. You want to go against people who are good.”
You guys do need to lean on, like, Cedric (Tillman) a little more this week. If Amari can’t go, if he isn’t 100%. Do you think he’s ready for a spotlight like this?
“Yeah, I don’t think he has a choice. I think that everyone in our room, though, to answer your question, is prepared. We have confidence that he’s been doing and will do exactly what we know he can.”
How have you seen Cedric get better over the last couple of weeks, just as a rookie growing?
“I think every day in practice, the more reps he gets to feel out the game. And honestly, it’s all just opportunity as far as feeling out football, because football is football. He’s probably been playing football since he was little, so it’s just putting him in a position that he is good at.”
I don’t think that reverse last week was exactly the way you guys drew it up?
“It wasn’t. And I haven’t even since college, honestly, probably high school, I haven’t made like, a reverse play like that. So, definitely fun.”
I was going to say, how much do you enjoy just being out there and kind of freelancing and making it up as you go?
“Yeah, that was probably one of my favorite plays so far.”
When you guys are in the film room, I know a lot of those explosive plays you guys weren’t able to connect on because of the weather and stuff like that. When you’re in the film room and you’re at least like seeing stuff develop, do you get really excited thinking if it’s sunny and 70, this is going to be a big hitter for us?
“Yeah, I think we think about that, about a lot of plays. I’m definitely proud of the game plan and what Kevin (Stefanski) has put up for us, so I think we should be excited moving forward.”
There was a lot made this week of the turf at MetLife after what happened to Aaron (Rodgers). Do you have any opinion on that? Is it a bad surface? Do you have a preference of grass versus turf?
“Definitely a grass fan. It’s unfortunate for what happened to him. I think being someone who played on that field, it isn’t the best of fields. They could get it fixed. I wish they could in case we play there, too. Yeah, just super unfortunate.”
The commissioner, I forget where he said, but he said something to the effect of this week. There are actually a lot of players that prefer the turf over grass. I haven’t met any yet.
“I’m not one of them. I like grass.”
Just easier on the joints?
“Yeah, it is. Feel better whenever it’s grass rather than turf.”
Does it seem to you that achilles injuries are just so commonplace now, whereas a long time ago they weren’t? There seems like there’s so many more of them now.
“Yeah, I mean, just injuries in general, I feel like happen more on the turf in general. Not even just the Achilles. But that’s why I feel like – I think soccer, they play on all grass. I feel like that’s something that we should lean towards doing, too. [If] they look at the facts, I think it would lean towards it being more safer for the grass anyway.”
Elijah, going back to primetime, how do you manage the emotions and the excitement of playing in a game like that under the lights?
“Just any other game, it’s just a different day. You can’t get too high, you can’t get too low. You got to stay even keel, but definitely got to enjoy the moment, being Monday. Not many other teams are playing, so definitely a blessing.”
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