ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Rahim Moore believes this year will be different.
The second-year safety started the first five games of his rookie campaign last year but his playing time diminished in the second half of the season.
"I think (last year) was one of the only years I went with no production, and that's not something I looked forward to going into my rookie season," said Moore, who had 31 tackles, a pick, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery in 2011. "I wanted to play better, but I think I needed that. It's driven me now to want to compete and to have a better season and be able to help the team win."
Due to the NFL lockout, Moore had an almost non-existent offseason as a rookie. This year, he's looking forward to putting a full summer of practices and workouts under his belt to make him a smarter, more consistent player.
"I missed having OTAs last season," Moore said. "It was like I was thrown into the fire. I was antsy, but at the same time, I was second-guessing myself sometimes. When the game did slow down for me, it seemed like it didn't. I thought it did, but it didn't. A lot of times, I was unsure of what I was doing. I showed some signs of ability, but as the year went on, I wore down my body. This year during the offseason, I worked on getting stronger and getting in better shape."
Fourteen-year veteran Champ Bailey knows how tough it can be for a rookie to miss out on OTAs.
"Coming in last year, all they had was training camp," Bailey said of the two rookie safeties, Moore and Quinton Carter. "I couldn't imagine how it would've been for anybody else doing that, especially at safety. There's a lot to learn. Now they know what they need to do to be successful, it's just going out and getting the work in."
Even with his struggles last season that put him behind Carter on the depth chart, new Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio has said that safeties Mike Adams, Moore and Carter are all battling for the two starting safety positions this offseason.
Just as several other defensive backs have said in recent weeks, Moore believes the competition will improve the overall quality of play.
"We're like brothers back there and we help each other out," he said. "And that's what it's all about and that's what's going to make our team better. That's what (Head) Coach (John) Fox wants us to do, to compete."
Hoping to secure one of those spots, Moore has his priorities in line for the summer. It all starts with building on his experience from last year.
"It's just learning from my old experience so when the opportunity comes, or when that time comes you know how to handle it," Moore said. "Also my conditioning, my work ethic, I know that I put the work in. I was always told what you do in the offseason is going to show in season. It's not like last year I didn't work hard, but I was just new to everything. So this year, like I said, I'm excited and looking forward to helping this team win and being a part of the process."
To expedite the growing pains, Moore mentions a particular veteran in the Broncos secondary who's been especially helpful.
"I think God has truly blessed me with a guy like (cornerback) Drayton Florence," Moore said. "He's helped me out so much, in ways words can't explain. He's shown me some things that I've never known, that I thought I knew, but really, it was wrong. He's helped me out so much. He's been like a big brother to me."
Regardless of whether it's Moore or Carter – or both – who earn a starting spot to begin the 2012 season, Coach Fox is confident the production at the position will be at a much higher level this time around.
"The second time around, their sophomore season, (Moore and Carter) feel way more comfortable," Coach Fox said. "Again, you have to develop a pro body. This game is twice as long as the college game when you figure in the preseason as well as the playoffs. It takes a while. They are much further along and much more comfortable the second time around."