DJ Moore: Steve Smith tells me to always have a dog mentality on the field

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Panthers wide receiver DJ Moore posted 1,193 receiving yards during the 2020 season and only two players in franchise history have ever topped that total.

Muhsin Muhammad had two years with more yards than that and Steve Smith had three seasons with 1,394 receiving yards or more over the course of his career, including the franchise record of 1,563 yards in 2005. Moore said that his goal for this season is to “take it to the next level” and he’s getting some advice from Smith about how to do that.

Moore said he’s stayed “even-keeled” throughout his career and has never “been overly excited about something,” which isn’t the way anyone would describe Smith’s approach to the game. Moore said that one thing he’s learned from Smith is that he has to be able to take some of what Smith brought to the table despite being more placid than Smith was during his career.

“Just to be hard-working,” Moore said, via the team’s website. “He’s always talked about going into practice like it was a game. Always be professional, and always have a dog mentality when you get out there. Whether you have a big personality like him or a laid-back vibe like I’ve got, you’ve still got to have that dog when you step out there.”

The Panthers have picked up Moore’s option for the 2022 season, so he’s set to return whether he goes next level this season or not. If he does, an even longer deal will be in the cards for a player who has made himself an essential part of the Carolina offense in his first three seasons.