Detroit Lions’ C.J. Moore tells us about his grossest job — cleaning chicken poop

C.J. Moore is tied for second on the Detroit Lions in special teams snaps this season. He sat down to answer five questions for the Free Press ahead of Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

You have a twin brother, A.J., a defensive back with the Houston Texans. What’s the best part of being a twin, and the worst part of being a twin?

OK, I would start with the worst part. Having mom dress us the same even till around the age of 13, 14. Cause you want your own swag. It’s kind of cool, but that would probably be the worst thing. There’s a lot of great things, but that would probably be the worst.

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And the best thing would be having people never being able to figure out which one’s which. I could fill in for A.J., he could fill in for me.

Detroit Lions defensive back C.J. Moore (38) and cornerback Bobby Price (27) celebrate a play against Los Angeles Rams during the first half at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021.

So tell me a story of you guys doing that.

Sixth grade. It was the end of the year, it was sixth grade. We decided to switch classes. And when I went to his class — I don’t know his experience in my class, but I know my experience in his class. I get in there and the work was so weird, I couldn’t do his work. So I ended up telling on myself. I was like, “Yo, I’m C.J. I’m not A.J. Can I please go back to my own class?” It was crazy. They were doing some weird work in there.

I know we’ve talked about this before, but your family owns a chicken farm. Tell me the oddest job you had to do on the farm.

The oddest?

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It can be the grossest. Whatever.

Story continues

“That’s easy. This should be on the world’s most nastiest jobs. So it’s called washing trays. When the babies are about a week old — well, when they first come, we put these trays out for them and there’s like probably 200 trays, 300 trays to each house. And the babies grow fast. The chickens grow fast. And they like to jump in the trays and they’re pooping in the trays, so by the time a week has passed, you pick them up, now their poop is all smeared in, we got to clean it. So we take the pressure washer. So picture 300 trays for five houses, that’s a lot of trays. So now we got to wash that many trays with smeared in, hard poop. So that would be the toughest.

Gross. All right, you’re NFL commissioner for a day. What’s one thing you change about the NFL?

Over the whole NFL?


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Over the whole NFL. You can change one thing.

Bring taunting back. Bring taunting back.

You don’t like that rule, huh?

I mean, they’re really taking the fun out of it. They’re really taking the fun out of it, then there’s some costly penalties happening that can go against your team if you really didn’t even do anything. You’re just being yourself.

This week you play the Pittsburgh Steelers and one of your former teammates, Miles Killebrew. He’s made a name for himself and made some good money playing special teams. You’ve obviously made a name for yourself playing special teams. What is the key to being a good special teams player?

Safety C.J. Moore (49) of the Detroit Lions is tackled short of a first down by wide receiver Nick Westbrook (15) of the Tennessee Titans for a turnover on downs on a fake punt during the fourth quarter of the game at Nissan Stadium on Dec. 20, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Special teams is not for everybody, so I would say really having that — what we have here, we talk about grit and having that true grind and commitment to hard effort every play, because that’s what it is on special teams. You go out there, it’s a hard, four-, five-second play and you’re just 100 mph the whole play. It’s not really a lot of thinking, you’re just really getting after it. And you got to play gritty, nasty and tough the whole play. So I would say those are some characteristics you’ve got to have to be a good special teams. And Killebrew, he’s a savvy player.

Didn’t he have a key punt block for the Steelers this year?

Yeah, first or second week. Come right up the middle, got a block. That’s huge in the NFL. Blocking punts, that’s a game changer.

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So you had the fake punt you got a first down on, he had that play. After plays like those, do you text each other? What’s that conversation like?

Oh yeah. I remember when it happened, he texted me. He was like, ‘Bro, that was a cool play you just had.’ And then watching him play this Monday night, I texted him, I was like, ‘Bro, Chicago couldn’t block you all game, even with double teams.’ So we still chat, talk about each others’ game, things like that.

Ben Wallace came and spoke to the team this week, so tell me about the best motivational talk you’ve heard.

With him?

It could be wherever. Maybe it was him, maybe something else you’ve heard.

I really liked Ben’s speech and that’s the one that came directly to mind cause we just had it and I really liked it because he was a small-town kid, I’m a small-town kid and he talked about embracing the struggle. And for me and my brother, that’s what we kind of did growing up. We didn’t have it the best, but we were always counted out and any challenge that was thrown our way embraced it and we overcame it. So I really liked it.

Contact Dave Birkett at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions’ C.J. Moore on what it’s like cleaning chicken poop


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