GREEN BAY – Last week, Packers rookie receiver J'Mon Moore reaffirmed he hadn't lost an ounce of confidence despite some rough preseason moments, and he delivered with his performance in Oakland.
Now his task is to do it again in Kansas City.
"He's responded to adversity, and the biggest thing we want from him is consistency," veteran receiver Randall Cobb said of Moore. "He's shown flashes through training camp, like he did in the game this past week. It's just consistency, every single day, in practice, in the meeting rooms, on the field."
Moore came to the Packers as a fourth-round draft pick from Missouri with a reputation for inconsistent hands and trouble with drops. He hadn't shaken that rep through two preseason games, when he had chances for big plays that, literally, slipped through his fingers.
But Moore stood at his locker last week, before traveling to Oakland, confident as ever. He believed he was going to put it all together and prove why he was the first of the three receivers the Packers drafted back in April.
Against the Raiders, on an otherwise forgettable night for the offense, Moore was the standout. He posted four receptions for 62 yards, including a 27-yard pass from DeShone Kizer down the right sideline in the fourth quarter with the Packers trailing by a touchdown. He took a big hit from the defender, who was penalized, and hung onto the ball.
It was the biggest and most important moment of his pro career so far, in a number of ways.
"The quarterbacks trusted me and gave me opportunities and I was able to make them count," Moore said this week.
"It's a stair step. It allows you to find the love for the game again and have fun and just go out there and be you."
With the roster cut-down to 53 looming on Saturday, it's difficult to gauge how many receivers the Packers will keep.
After Davante Adams, Cobb and Geronimo Allison as the top three, Jake Kumerow was the star of camp until going down with a shoulder injury. Moore and fellow draft picks Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown have all had their ups and downs. Practice-squad holdover DeAngelo Yancey has steadied his game in his second season, while third-year pro and return specialist Trevor Davis will be getting his first preseason action on Thursday coming off a hamstring injury.
For Moore, a night like the one in Oakland helps to put his frustrations further in the rear-view mirror. He made a couple more big catches in Monday's practice, including one on another deep ball from Kizer.
He's heard from the veteran players that they know what he's capable of, and his recent battles are simply part of the process.
"We try to let him know we've been through some of the same things, and it's still early, too," Adams said. "It's going to get a lot worse than what it is now, and it's going to get a lot better. You just have to do your thing and try to weigh the good and the bad and pull out as much good as you can."
If Moore can make good again on Thursday, he'll likely be in the position that was expected when he was drafted – on the roster and ready to help the Packers as a promising rookie.
"I think J'Mon has taken a step," Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. "I'm looking for him to take another step in Kansas City. He'll play a lot down there. Hopefully he can do that."