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Damontre Moore gets new opportunity with Giants

Giants defensive end Damontre Moore speaks with the

Giants defensive end Damontre Moore speaks with the media before a day of team training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Credit: James Escher

Damontre Moore may be the Giants player who benefits most from the change at defensive coordinator this season. Which is why he is summing up 2015 with three quick thoughts.

His mantra: "New coach. New opportunity. Same old goals."

He clearly wasn't getting the opportunities under former coordinator Perry Fewell. For two years he has been a tantalizing prospect, a player who seemed to make an impact on the field but spent too much time off it. Fewell expressed concerns about Moore not knowing the schemes and not being stout enough to play defensive end against the run over their two seasons together, but even as head coach Tom Coughlin noted several times that the team had to get Moore a greater number of snaps, his playing time was minimal.

Now, with new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo running the defense, Moore gets a chance to start over in a new system that he said is reminiscent of the one he flourished in while playing at Texas A&M.

"I feel like it utilizes my skills and my assets," Moore said after Wednesday's OTA. "Now it's all about going out there, learning it and perfecting it, and implementing it on the field."

Moore said he hasn't had any in-depth conversations with Spagnuolo about his role in the defense - "Other people have told me my personality and attributes fit to his type of schematics," Moore said, "[but] he really hasn't said too much" - but he believes the change will be beneficial.

"I definitely think so," Moore said. "Only time will tell. But I promise you, once I get the opportunity I'm going to take full advantage of it."

Moore missed the majority of the offseason program while working toward his degree in communications at Texas A&M. He took seven courses and got three As, three Bs and a C. He also had surgery on his shoulder (which he said was one of the reasons he got that C, missing classes for check-ups and such).

"I had the support of the whole [Giants coaching] staff before I left," Moore said of his absence from the voluntary workouts. "There was no resistance or hostility. They actually encouraged me to go back and they told me they were proud of me. That made it a lot easier for me to study, knowing I didn't have to worry about coming back here on bad terms."

Going back to College Station, Texas, also brought Moore "back to basics," he said. He trained there on his speed and strength with the coaches he played for as an Aggie. He worked with some of his former teammates who are still in the program. He reduced his body fat and gained eight pounds of muscle, bulking up to 256 from last year's 248 pounds.

"I think it definitely helped me mature," Moore said of returning to school. "I think it humbled me, matured me, and made me a lot better person and player."

He still has 25 course hours remaining before he gets his degree, something he hopes to accomplish next offseason. Until then, he'll be studying under and learning from his new professor.

"I'd rather get straight As in Coach Spagnuolo's class," he said, "than have to go back to school and take some other classes."

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