Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Derek Moye was able to secure himself a third season with the organization after fighting a hotly contested battle with fellow wide receivers Justin Brown and Darrius Heyward-Bey.
The battle was resolved by simply keeping all three receivers, plus another in C.J. Goodwin, just for good measure, with Goodwin and Moye on the practice squad.
Originally signed in 2012 as an undrafted free agent out of Penn State by the Dolphins, Moye quickly found himself bouncing around until he landed on the Steelers’ practice squad in November, who became needy at receiver due to injuries.
He made an impression early, and has been with the team since. He made the 53-man roster last year, edging out Brown with an impressive preseason run that included running down the field to make a tackle after an interception on which Brown was the receiver that fell down.
With the draft and free agent additions at wide receiver over the course of the offseason, however, it became difficult for Moye to even get the reps necessary to get noticed in training camp and the preseason, so it’s little surprise that he wound up on the practice squad.
But he wasn’t kept around just because he’s a tall target who can catch the ball. He’s shown in brief glimpses that he is working on his complete game, contributing on special teams (which will be necessary for him) and in the running game as well.
Late in the first quarter, the Steelers used Moye along with Ross Ventrone as vice jammers against the Panthers’ gunners. The two worked together near the line to slow the gunner on their side of the field, but released to avoid a holding call.
Moye used his deceptive speed to catch up, however, and threw a shoulder into the gunner that sent him sideways through the air and on to the ground. It’s nice to see that effort, even if it was a block away from the play.
Later in the game, early in the third quarter, Moye was left in as one of the outside receivers, along with Heyward-Bey. The second play of the half went to running back Josh Harris, who ducked his head for two yards. Moye did a nice job of sticking to the cornerback on the perimeter of the play, however, even if it didn’t affect the end result.
The ball went to Moye on the next play with the Steelers facing third and two. He swatted at the defensive back’s reach in at the line to win the inside position, then ran at the defender before making his move and used his body to his advantage, curling to the inside of the field for a 10-yard gain and a first down.