Moore aims to prove he's strong enough
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Almost immediately after the Bears selected Kansas State cornerback Joshua Moore in the fifth-round last Saturday, word began to circulate about Moore's struggles on the bench press at the NFL combine. The defensive back managed to do just two reps at 225 pounds, a very low mark that caused certain scouts to wonder if Moore had the necessary strength to compete at the next level.
The Bears rookie refused to blame his low test score on any extraneous circumstances when asked about the subject Saturday.
"There's no story behind it. I did it [bench press] at the combine and did two reps," Moore said after the second day of the Bears rookie minicamp. "I was disappointed but I've moved on from that. I put that behind me. Yes, I did two reps, but I talk to the coaches and they still like me. I've put that whole thing behind me and I'm here to improve and get better. By me only doing two reps at 225 pounds, that gives me room to improve."
"Coming into the draft I knew my strength was going to be one of the biggest things. I was fast, had the size, had the athletic ability, but this summer I want to work on my strength. I know in the National Football League these receivers are big, strong and physical so if improve my strength I feel I can come in the Bears and hopefully contribute some way."
With Charles Tillman and Zack Bowman penciled in as starters, Moore's best shot to contribute may be to challenge Corey Graham or Woodny Turenne for the third cornerback slot. It's unclear if the rookie will get a shot at nickelback, since Tim Jennings and D.J. Moore have spent the offseason working at that position. If the fifth-round pick can't make his mark on defense, there's always special teams, a role that may suit Moore given his athleticism.
"I know a lot about these guys," Moore said. "My dad had been a Chicago Bears fan his whole life, so I've been watching the Bears. I'm familiar with their defense and their defensive backs. They are real strong on the defensive side. I just feel I can come in, and not just help on the defense if possible, but maybe contribute on special teams. I just want to come out here, work hard everyday and let the coaches put me where they want to put me."
Jeff Dickerson covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com.