With Kansas City Chiefs training camp less than a month away, Arrowhead Pride has reached out to the club’s rookie draftees’ college coaches to get to know them better. Our “Rookie Conversations” continue with University of Minnesota tight ends coach Greg Harbaugh Jr., who speaks about his time coaching second-round draft pick Skyy Moore while both were with Western Michigan.
Here is a sample of what we learned about Moore:
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has mentioned how athletic Moore looks on film. Can you speak a little bit about how Moore takes care of his body, his preparation — and what he’s done to set himself up for a successful NFL career?
Harbaugh: “Part of being an elite professional athlete is taking care of your body because you only practice an hour and a half to two hours a day…I was having a conversation with Skyy after he hurt his hamstring leading into rookie minicamps. The thing me and him talked about was — you go from the summer of his junior year practicing and never missed a practice and then got banged up during the season… but went through the whole year and was extremely productive. As soon as the year is over, he goes right to training for the combine. He’s never really gotten a break, but he doesn’t like to go on vacations… It’s the thing I love about him, but we had to tell him to relax… It’s something he had to learn… Young guys don’t always understand that, but once they learn that, you won’t see half the stuff he does, but he will make sure that he’s ready to play because he knows the number one thing is being available for his teammates.”
Moore will be competing for reps with a number of well-known veteran receivers. How do you see him showing the Chiefs’ coaching staff that it has to find a way to get him on the field?
Harbaugh: “Nothing is really going to change in his mind. What makes him different is the edge that he uses every day. The thing I would always say to those guys is you can’t all of a sudden become the guy if you don’t act like the guy all the time… He went from being a first-team all-league player in the MAC as a true freshman to being the No. 2 guy behind D’Wayne Eskridge in the COVID-shortened year. Then, all of a sudden, he became the guy in the 2021 season… I asked Skyy if he spent a lot of time learning from D’Wayne, and said he learned everything he could from him… I think that’s what he’s going to be able to learn from these guys. He’s already talked to me about learning from (Travis) Kelce, JuJu (Smith-Schuster), and Marquez (Valdes-Scantling). He’s not shying away from that competition. He’s going to work to learn as much as he can from those guys because he wants to play.”
Moore seems to be very good at finding a way to get open off the line of scrimmage. Has he always had that natural route-running ability, or is that something he’s just worked relentlessly on?
Harbaugh: “He has very good instincts, but he mastered the breakpoints, mastered the separation, mastered the releases, and he’s a good blocker, too… He worked on all of it tremendously hard. During the summertime, I couldn’t make enough cutups of NFL guys for him to watch… In the offseason, he’s spent a lot of his time studying receivers, but once we got to the season, he’d watch the DBs and the corners. I would make cutups of the corners, and he’d come back with things that we’d talk about… It was just impressive to see how much he studied and how much he saw the game from a different lens. I think he’s just going to take that to another level in the NFL… You’re always going to get his best effort leading up to a game.”
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