JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The biggest play that Lance Moore has made this season devolved into something that might not help the veteran wide receiver as he tries to get on the field more with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
After a 26-yard catch gave the Steelers a first down on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Moore spiked the ball and drew a 5-yard penalty for delay of game. Coach Mike Tomlin had vowed that such senseless penalties wouldn't be tolerated less than a week earlier -- and he presumably reminded Moore of that after yanking him out of the game for a play.
"I've always played with emotion and I guess that time my emotion got the better of me," Moore said following the Steelers' 17-9 win against the Jaguars. "You don't want to do things like that to hurt your team. It's definitely something I'll learn from. Next time I'll fake spike or something."
Moore's quip couldn't mask that frustration more than excitement after making a play led to the spike.
Moore doesn't generally draw the kind of penalty that the whole team had been put on notice for by Tomlin. The ninth-year veteran is the consummate professional, something that his former coach took the extra step of pointing out last spring.
After New Orleans released Moore in March, Saints coach Sean Payton released a lengthy statement that thanked the former undrafted free agent for his contributions and praised his approach to the game and his professionalism.
The Steelers signed Moore to a two-year, $3 million contract shortly after his release from the Saints but five games into the season the 5-9, 190-pounder has just two catches for 38 yards.
"I came here to play football and not practice football and to get in the game and make plays and show (the coaches) I can make plays," said Moore, who is admittedly frustrated with the limited snaps he has received.
Moore, who is just two seasons removed from a 1,000-yard receiving campaign, has caught the only two passes thrown his way. But he has not been able to regain the No. 3 wide receiver job he ceded to first-year man Justin Brown when a nagging groin injury sidelined Moore for the better part of a month and the first two games of the season.
The Steelers' coaches like Brown's potential and the blocking the 6-3, 209-pounder provides in the running game. If the win in Jacksonville is any indication, Brown is becoming more comfortable with playing an increased role after spending all of last season on the Steelers' practice squad.
He caught three passes for 26 yards against the Jaguars and held onto one catch after absorbing a pretty wicked shot. Brown played 37 snaps compared to 12 for Moore, and the latter knows he simply has to bide his time and make the most of the opportunities that come his way.
"Hopefully (the coaches) continue to see that in practice and have more confidence in me because that's what it's about, them having that confidence in me," Moore said. "I'm a veteran player and I've been playing for a long time, and they brought me here to do a specific job."