It's been a rollercoaster of a year for NY Jets wide receiver Elijah Moore. A player who many pegged as a potential breakout star this year has been involved in more off-field drama than memorable on-field plays.
However, amidst it all — from the trade request to what was essentially a benching — Moore has come out the other side, and he's seemingly happy again. At least that's what Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur believes.
LaFleur spoke to reporters on Thursday and, when asked what he's seen from Moore lately, replied with a simple answer: "his smile." LaFleur insisted that Moore is "in a good place" as he spoke highly of the second-year wideout.
Moore has rediscovered his smile, perhaps mostly because the Jets have reestablished a role for him in the team's offense. It also helps that the Jets have finally managed some consistent quarterback play for the first time this season.
Elijah Moore is an important part of the NY Jets offense again
Despite many expecting Moore to put together a breakout season in 2022, the former second-round pick got off to a slow start and was oftentimes an afterthought. That didn't sit well with Moore who formally requested a trade following the team's Week 6 win over the Green Bay Packers.
The Jets didn't adhere to Moore's wishes and instead phased him out of the offense even more in the following weeks. Zach Wilson's struggles only heightened Moore's lack of production.
But since Mike White took over the starting job, Moore appears to have a new lease on his football life. His targets and snaps have gone up, and his production has followed suit.
Moore has finished with 60 or more yards in two of White's three starts despite failing to reach that mark in his previous nine games. The former Ole Miss star set season highs in targets and catches this past Sunday when he hauled in six of 10 targets for 60 yards.
White's emergence has allowed the Jets to maximize both Moore and Garrett Wilson's abilities and the passing offense has improved drastically. The team's red-zone issues are a different story, but there's no denying White's impact on the offense as a whole.
The midseason drama that seemed destined to derail Moore's promising Jets career has all but faded into the background. Moore is happy now, and that's all that matters for the second-year wide receiver.
A happy Elijah Moore is good news for the Jets offense.