Former Jets guard Brandon Moore became a USA Football Heads Up Football Ambassador within the last week, and he’s already making an impact on New Jersey youth.
Moore visited the Irvington Golden Knights practice at Irvington High School on Monday night to recognize the Newark Pop Warner Football League’s commitment to safer play with a donation of 1,500 tickets to the Jets' preseason game against the Giants at MetLife Stadium on Friday night.
Four of the Newark league’s teams — the Ivy Hill Cowboys, Central Ward Cougars, East Ward Stallions and Golden Knights — will play during halftime at the game.
“Youth football and youth in general are something I have a big interest in — young guys, learning safety and the rules of good play to have a safe game for children,” Moore said of his decision to become an ambassador. “They don’t always have all the good teaching and that relationship together with the coaches. It was an easy hookup.”
Heads Up Football is more than just teaching young football players about hitting only what they see. It involves instruction on concussion recognition and response protocols and teachings about heat and hydration.
Moore said that as a soon-to-be father of two, it is important for young kids to learn to safely play football.
“With all the things you see in the press as far as injuries and post-career effects of playing football, it's about learning how to play the game a safe way with the equipment — from your helmet to your mouthpiece — keeping your head up and seeing your targets, and all those different things," he said.
It extends beyond the equipment and proper tackling techniques. Moore said he wants to reach out to the children about good behavior off the field as well.
“I'm representing the Jets, representing the NFL, and getting out with different teams in the local area and just being a liaison between children and helping them understand the different aspects of safe play,” he said. “Being good students, listening to authority figures, and all those things that will put them in successful positions — that’s the goal.”
Moore is one of 127 former NFL players safely teach kids about the game. Ambassadors visit practices and games of youth teams that are associated with the USA Football program. He said he was excited to become an ambassador for USA Football and looks forward to working with coaches and players.
“That’s where it comes from,” he said. “The good teachings from the coaches and that partnership — that’s what I see out of it.”