NAPA Wide receiver Denarius Moore, who as a rookie opened eyes in the Raiders' training camp last year with his playmaking ability, is having a different experience in his second go-around.
Moore reported to practice Saturday in pads and with a helmet but spent most of it watching because of a sore right hamstring. The same problem sidelined him in the Raiders' minicamp in June. When he got to Napa, Moore said, he was feeling 100 percent, but he sat out Wednesday and, when it began to bother him again Saturday, opted to rest it.
"It's a little frustrating coming in, knowing that you have an injury, have to sit out and wait and watch your teammates going through it and grinding," Moore said. "But it's something that you can't control. You've got to sit back and just let it heal on its own."
Moore, drafted in the fifth round, had a breakout performance in the Raiders' Week 2 loss to the Buffalo Bills, catching five passes for 146 yards and a touchdown and earning Rookie of the Week honors. He finished the season with 33 catches for 618 yards and a team-leading five touchdown receptions.
"I surprised myself a little bit, not knowing I was capable of putting up that many numbers or something like that," Moore said. "But as far as looking back on it now, I just have to let it go. It's a new year, and I expect more from myself, just like the team expects more and the coaches expect more."
Opposing teams may be expecting more as well. After averaging 18.7 yards per catch as a rookie, the fourth-highest total in the league among players with at least 30 catches, Moore probably won't be sneaking up on anybody this year, and he knows it.
"I think things will probably be a little different," Moore said. "Some defenses might roll the coverage toward me, but some may roll it toward another wide receiver or focus in on the running game. You just never know. You've got to go in with that week's game plan and see how things go."
As the defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos last year, new Raiders coach Dennis Allen saw Moore "up close and personal." So Allen said he has an impression of the receiver already, despite limited opportunities to evaluate Moore the past week.
"I know what type of player he is and what he's capable of being," Allen said. "Those hamstrings can be a nagging deal, so we're going to be cautious to make sure that at the end of the day we've got him ready to go come the Monday night opener. That's really what we're shooting for."
The Raiders open the regular season Sept. 10 at home against the San Diego Chargers. Moore said that even when not practicing he is attending meetings and absorbing the Raiders' new offense, under his second coordinator in as many years.
An injury at this point in camp might be more worrisome for a second-year player had he not complied such a strong rookie season.
But Moore said he isn't resting on early laurels.
"Knowing that I'm able to make those plays, now having this injury's kind of frustrating, but there's nothing I can do about it really," he repeated. "Last year's last year. This year's a new season, so I've still got to come back and prove myself."
Injury report Cornerback Ron Bartell (hamstring), linebacker Aaron Curry (knee), defensive tackle Travis Ivey (conditioning) and punter Shane Lechler (knee) have not practiced all week. Tight end Richard Gordon (lower leg infection) also did not practice Saturday.
Allen said Bartell might return soon. Ivey is being held out as "a safety issue as much as anything else" while he addresses his weight and conditioning, Allen said.