Damontre Moore is hoping his play this season will stand out as much as his facemask. Until he gets that chance on the field, though, he seems happy to settle for the latter.
The second-year defensive end is sporting the most unique grill in Giants training camp. It's a design that sort of swoops down around the jaw and appears to have arching eyebrows.
"I really like the way it looks," he said on Wednesday. "I like being different and unique. I figure my fashion style is a little over the top so I figure that facemask represents me pretty well."
Most players -- including Justin Tuck and Chris Canty, one of whom introduced the tight grid facemask to the league several years ago depending on which one you ask -- turn to that style to prevent offensive linemen from grabbing their facemasks. They can't get their fingers inside the tiny gaps. It was to protect Canty's eye and Tuck's neck. Moore used that style last year, but for him it was more style than function. He said he's never had a problem with opposing blockers grabbing him.
The league outlawed those grids this year, so Moore had to find a new look. He made sure the one he is sporting now was in compliance with the league before settling on it with the Giants' equipment staff.
According to a league-wide memo obtained by NFL.com, research from the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment showed that the non-standard facemasks more frequently fail safety and certification tests and aren't up to NFL safety standards.
The University of New Hampshire conducted a study for the NFL and concluded that "the added weight of the masks negatively affects the structure of the helmet, can cause neck fatigue that could lead to a more head-down posture during contact, and can provide a false sense of security during tackling," NFL.com reported.
"They told me last year when I had the facemask similar to Tuck's that that was probably going to be outlawed pretty soon," he said. "With this new facemask I made sure it was cleared by the league. I'm excited because it was cleared by them but by the same token it looks pretty good. It looks different."
Moore admitted that the facemask will mean little if he doesn't play to a certain level and meet expectations.
"At the end of the day it's not so much about fashion, it's about going out and playing," he said. "But I guess it fits into the old saying: You look good, you feel good, you play good. It's one of those things."