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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos gathered Monday for their first full practice since their heart-wrenching playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens, and even with Peyton Manning, Champ Bailey and Wes Welker taking their places on the podium afterward, Rahim Moore was the man everyone wanted to talk to.
Moore answered questions from a circle of reporters for about 8½ minutes. He insisted he's tried to put his playoff performance in his rearview mirror while also using it as a driving force in his life.
The thing is it's like life in general: you have to move on. You're going to have some good days, some bad days. But you can't just thrive on the good days all the time.” -- Rahim Moore
While Moore understands it's hard for some fans to let it go, he insists he has.
"The thing is it's like life in general: you have to move on. You're going to have some good days, some bad days. But you can't just thrive on the good days all the time," Moore said. "The fans, that's what they're supposed to do, that's why they're there for us, they pay all their money, their hard-earned money and they want to see greatness. So, I don't fault them at all.
"But this year, we're going to do all we can to put some smiles on their faces. A Rahim smile at that."
Ever since Moore mistimed his leap and fell helplessly to the grass as Baltimore wide receiver Jacoby Jones hauled in Joe Flacco's desperation 70-yard touchdown pass in the playoffs that helped to tie the teams' game before the Ravens won in overtime, the Broncos' free safety has been absolutely bombarded.
Moore said his teammates, friends from his days at UCLA and fellow NFL safeties have helped him get over his big blunder. He even got a text from Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark on Sunday night, he said.
"So, I've been blessed with the supporting cast that I've had, some people out on the streets, in airports in California or Florida. And it's a good thing that they really care," Moore said. "I've had some bad comments, but I keep those to myself because it's part of the territory."
He can't ignore the catcalls, though.
|The Broncos have stuck by safety Rahim Moore, despite this gaffe that allowed the Ravens' Jacoby Jones to improbably score a touchdown in the final minute of their playoff loss to Baltimore.|
"I hear them, I just keep walking," Moore said. "Or I just keep them in the back of my head."
After a sleepless night following that playoff loss, Moore met with his teammates and coaches the next day, then caught the red-eye home to Los Angeles and went right back to work, he said, training and lifting weights, watching film on his iPad of all his plays from last season -- the good, the bad and the ugly.
"My mind wasn't probably healthy. But I'm fine now, I'm good," Moore said.
Among those who consoled him over the winter, Moore said, was former teammate and mentor Brian Dawkins, who told Moore about some of the dubious plays he made during his own career.
"He said it's a part of life, it's a part of being a football player," Moore recounted. "There's so many good football players out there that there's going to be some good and some bad [plays]."
Many of his current teammates let him know right away that they didn't hold him responsible for the devastating loss.
"They lifted me up and it was a great thing, because that's what Coach Fox preaches is us being a team, and they did a great job," Moore said. "It's been a great offseason. It's been a great first day of OTAs. So, we're on a mission."
Especially Moore, who must balance his desire to make up for his playoff pratfall with discipline and patience this year so that he can continue to make strides in Denver's star-studded secondary.
John Fox and Bailey have both said there wasn't another player on the team who made a bigger leap last year than did Moore in his second season in the NFL, and Fox said he anticipates a similar leap in 2013.
So does Moore, who insisted he'll continue to grow as a player -- not in spite of that fateful play, but as a result of it.
"Absolutely. I'm going to make a better leap. It's Year 3, it's time to get it going and be that player that they drafted me to be," said Moore, a second-round pick in 2011. "I love this game, I love my teammates, I love this organization."
While Moore continues to seek forgiveness for his blunder, he knows it won't soon be forgotten, and he's OK with that because he plans to use it as fuel for his competitive fire.
"Everything. Point blank. Period," Moore replied when asked what parts of his game he needs to improve. "There's nothing in particular that you look at and say, this needs to get better. Everything needs to get better. I'm not perfect."
That's why he went right back to work after the Broncos' season ended so painfully and unexpectedly four months ago.
"I want to be a great player one day. So, for me to do that, I have to continue to do what other great players do," Moore said. "Peyton Manning has not stopped working. Champ has not stopped working."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.