Big Blue United

Avery Moss Expectations for 2018

Second year defensive end Avery Moss who showed tremendous potential while on the field for the Giants last season did an exclusive interview with Big Blue United’s own Meir Sommer. (Photo credit: Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports)

By Meir Sommer — Big Blue United 3.26.18


MS: Now that you’ve got a year under your belt, what’s the biggest difference between college football and the NFL?

AM: I’ll say the mental aspect of the game. I feel like in college you have certain people that stick out on the field, like for this year you’ve got Saquon Barkley out of Penn State. He sticks out. Michigan State has this guy, Michigan has this guy. Every team has that guy, but the difference is in the NFL, everybody is that guy. Every team has a superstar, but everybody is that guy. It’s about how you’re going to beat someone that’s already been that guy. It’s not about the physical aspect of the game. It’s about the mental aspect.

MS: One of the things that bothers me the most about the NFL is the way that fans often act like they forget that you guys (the players) are people too. What do you want Giants fans to know about the person Avery Moss?

AM: I feel like there’s not too much. I’m a very simple person. I feel like if you’ve ever met me or seen me talk before, what you see is what you get. My smile says it all. I just try to love everybody.

MS: What’s it like when a guy like Dominique Rodgers Cromartie who is a veteran guy and was a leader in the locker room is released and how does it impact you as a young player on the team?  

AM:  It’s hard and it hurts because like you said, I definitely see him like a vet that as a rookie coming in, you look up to to show you the ropes. He’s been around this game for so long and he’s excelled at this game for so long. At the same it reminds you not to get comfortable. This is a business at the end of the day.

MS: Now that the Giants brought in James Bettcher as the new defensive coordinator, what do you anticipate being different this year on the defensive side?

AM: Defensively we’re supposed to be moving from a 4-3 to a 3-4 as a base package. So that’s going to be a bit different. So it’s going to be one of those learn on the fly type of things. I definitely think our defense is going to be better this year. The defensive players we do have returning to the team, I can only see them growing as players. I’m coming back from an injury, but at the end of the day, I expect myself to grow. All the younger guys and the older guys, I see everybody growing and getting one step better. With having all of our offensive personnel, I think that’s going to make our defense better just because we won’t be on the field as much.

MS:  Last year was a tough year just looking in from the outside. What was that like, coming in as a rookie and from the first game, everything goes sideways with the trouble both in the locker room and out on the field, how exactly does that play into the way you come into this season?

AM: You just know some of the what not-to-dos I guess. But really me as a rookie, stuff on the outside looking in, seemed worse than what they were in a sense. Things like our record were bad, but there wasn’t one time where I was in the film room with [Damon Harrison] or [Jason Pierre Paul] or [Olivier Vernon], whoever it may be, Landon, some of the leaders in our defense, there wasn’t one time Eli didn’t come to work the same way as he had for the last ten years. It definitely seemed a lot worse on the outside. We may have all the stuff that popped up and was said, and people say our locker room was toxic, but to me, while we had little speed bumps, it was worse from the outside. Inside, I think we all kind of stuck together and rode everything out. Always going and competing and trying to win, that was our main goal. I don’t think it was too bad, but it definitely taught me a valuable lesson on how hard it actually is to win in this league because to me we had a premier defense. But for us to have the record we had at the end of the day, some of the points that were scored on us, there’s obviously stuff we need to work on and get better, so it made me value winning even more.

MS:  Alec Ogletree comes in from the Rams as a vet with a lot of experience and he’s obviously proven that he can play consistently at an elite level. What does he bring to the team that you’re excited about?

AM: Exactly what he’s been doing. Like you said, his consistency, you know what you’re gonna get. He’s proven himself, so I see that plugging him right in the middle of our system and working with us even better. I remember when I went to Nebraska we faced Georgia in a bowl game and everybody kept talking about Jarvis Jones who was supposed to go in the top five. By the end of that game, everybody was talking about Alec Ogletree. He’s just a terrific player. I give him the most respect and I’m glad we got him to join our family.

MS: You didn’t get as much playing time last year as many many people thought you deserved, but how do you anticipate that going this year? Obviously Olivier Vernon is the main guy. Where do you see yourself fitting in to the defensive end rotation this year?

AM: We got a new coaching staff, so I feel like anything can really happen. The way our old coaching staff ran things was how they ran things, I have nothing negative to say about it because that’s just what they did, but the new coaching staff is going to run things and it’s going to be different so it could be different the amount of playing time that I get. I just know I can control only myself in this situation and if last year they didn’t think I was ready or whatever it is, then I got the injury and I’m sidelined right now, but that doesn’t mean I can’t work my butt off to prove to them I am worthy of being on the field and I am worthy of playing beside these guys. I feel like it’s more internal motivation than anything about the coaches.

MS:  What are you most excited about going into your second year in the league?

AM: Just getting experience with my boys and being able to play with them. I am learning from Olivier Vernon  to help improve my game because I think he’s one of the best defensive ends in the league and the fact that I can learn from him is a blessing to me, but like you said, I’m trying to play too. I get to learn from them while trying to be the best that I can be, so I’m not saying I want to take their spots, I want to be there with them and I want to be a starter for the New York Giants one day. I need to learn from them while trying to be the best that I can be so at the same time I want to take what I can get from them and best player I can be.


Meir Sommer is a writer for Big Blue United.
You can follow him on twitter @meirssommer