EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Among the numerous items New York Giants defensive end Damontre Moore found waiting for him when he arrived at the Timex Performance Center for the start of the Giants' three-day rookie minicamp was a handwritten note left by fellow defensive end and team captain Justin Tuck.
"The first day I got here there was a note on my locker saying 'I hope you are ready to work,' " he said when asked about the contents of the note. "I was excited that he took time out of his busy schedule to take the time to write me a personal message."
By all accounts, Tuck's message to the rookie was perhaps an extension of a not-so subtle message that head coach Tom Coughlin sent shortly after the Giants drafted Moore in the third round, a message in which Coughlin described the 20-year-old Moore's daily work habits as less than stellar.
Not surprisingly, the former Texas A&M standout didn't disagree with his coach's assessment that he tried to skate by during the week in practice only to show up on game day.
"I think he meant exactly what he said," Moore said, his demeanor not changing. "That wasn't one of my strong fortes, but I'm here to work and I'm trying to make my weakness my strong point."
He's also hoping, as are the Giants, to help turn a team weakness -- the pass rush -- back into a strong point.
Last season, New York saw its cumulative quarterback sacks drop to 33, down from the 48 posted in the previous year. So it's only natural that Moore, a pass rushing specialist who in three years of college posted 26.5 sacks, might fit in with a defense that places such a large emphasis on getting after the pass rusher.
"That gives me a lot of excitement because you know there are a lot of vets, a lot of talented people here right now who are here teaching and coaching and I'm just sitting here trying to soak it all in," he said of fitting in with the Giants' pass rush. "I would like to think (I can put up a lot of sacks). Only time will tell, so I'm just going to go in there and work hard, study film and learn from the greats."
Before he can get on the field, the rookie knows that he needs to start preparing like a professional every day, which is why he's glad that Coughlin's criticism of his previous work habits were put out there.
"It's nothing but motivation and good criticism, so for (Coughlin) to point out my flaws like that and tell me what I need to work on, all that means is I need to go in there and work on it that much harder," Moore said.
While he admits to experiencing the "deer-in-the-headlights" awe of being in a pro football team's camp, Moore believes in time that will subside, and he'll be able to show why the Giants were so enamored with him to begin with.
"When anybody starts playing football they have that one dream, that one moment where they are like 'Man, I want to go play in the NFL,' " he said. "To actually be here and the first time you are stepping in the locker room, I think everybody has that feeling. Like this is surreal. I always dreamed of it and I always talked about it but it's actually happening and I actually got here."
Veteran linebacker Aaron Curry announced via Twitter that he signed with the Giants.
Curry was spotted on the sideline observing the coaching and instruction being given by linebackers coach Jim Herrmann to the youngsters in camp.
"He was out here. He is in for a tryout," Coughlin said earlier. "There is interest."
Curry, who is unable to take part in the rookie camp since he was with an NFL team last season, arrived at the Giants facility on Thursday, and was invited back on Friday.