Denver Broncos safety Rahim Moore is working hard in the off-season to get better, but the UCLA third-year player is aware that he will never be able to blot out the memory of that touchdown pass thrown by the Baltimore Ravens in the playoffs.
Not from his mind, and certainly not from that of legions of Broncos fans.
After that devastating loss Moore stood at his locker and answered all the questions, taking all the blame, deflecting none to anyone else.
And he met the press like he was supposed to on the first day of OTA's.
Sometimes, in a real rough situation, this is when a guy shows himself.
It reminds me of a lesson I learned in United States Army boot camp many years ago from a veteran drill sergeant. He told us to do the drill, watch the drill, and see who tries to cut and run to the back of the line. Because if a guy cuts and runs then, he most assuredly will do so later, in a far more daunting situation.
Rahim Moore stood there and answered all the questions Monday, and he did not ask the PR department to filter any questions, to eliminate any reference to the Baltimore game.
You always have to separate the situation from how you handle it.
That crushing play against Baltimore was as bad as it gets, and certainly for Moore.
But do you compound it by taking off, refusing to face the press and the music, or do you stand and deal with it?
He has dealt with it. There were 70 local and national press members present, a big number for an OTA day, and Moore did not flinch from the moment.
That is not only a mature action, it is being a good teammate, because if you do not answer the questions about your play, it leaves it for your teammates to do so, and it is never fair to ask teammates to speak on your behalf—instead of you doing it yourself.
Public Relations 101 tells us do not let a mistake become two mistakes. Handle the first one the right way. Don it on your terms, and the critics, fans, press and general observers must use your words instead of speculating on the answers.
A person is defined by his or her worst moments.
No one wants to put oneself in harm's way, and another old PR adage is that you are not completely doing your job if you flinch from the bad spots.
Among the great safeties who have played for the Broncos is Brian Dawkins, a team captain and candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Dawk always said, "Leaders take the arrows."
Leaders never run from the moment.
It is better to get all the bleeding over with at once than to never seal the wound and give it a chance to cure.
No predictions are made here as to his development as a player — Moore took big steps last year and hopefully will continue to grow into the tremendous overall player he was at UCLA.
But I really like the way Rahim Moore has handled himself in his polite, candid public response to that very tough moment on the playing field.
A man is measured not by how he falls down, but by how he stands up.