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Allen Park — As Lance Moore competes for one of the final receiver spots on Detroit's roster, he faced a dilemma last week:

Play in the exhibition against Washington or skip it to be with his fiancée as she delivered their first child.

In the end, it wasn't a tough choice.

"Thankfully, I've played in enough preseason games in my career, so they were great about it and gave me a little time away," said Moore, in his 10th season in the NFL and first with the Lions. "I didn't necessarily want to miss a game but the coaches said, 'Hey, this is a little more important than trying to come to the preseason game.' "

Moore, 31, and his fiancée, Kasey Trione, welcomed daughter Graylee last Wednesday. He said he planned to be there for the birth and fly from Tampa, Fla., to Maryland for Thursday's exhibition, but was encouraged to spend time with his family.

"Those moments don't come back to you," Lions coach Jim Caldwell said. "It's important for them to take part in their lives. I'm big on fatherhood in particular, guys being part of their children's lives. How can we say that a football game is more important than the birth of a child? Which it's not.

"It's not just lip service for us, the guys talk about it, but we believe in it and we try and make certain that everything in terms of our values is in line with that."

After spending his first eight seasons with the Saints and last year with the Steelers, Moore is hoping for a career resurgence in an offense in which he thrived in New Orleans. He had 65 catches for a career-high 1,041 yards in 2012 with the Saints. Last season, he had 14 receptions for 198 yards and two touchdowns.

Moore is competing with Jeremy Ross, Greg Salas and Ryan Broyles for one of the final receiver spots.

And at 5-foot-9, 177 pounds, Moore isn't as imposing as Calvin Johnson or as fast as Corey Fuller, but he brings a unique skill-set to the group others can't replicate.

"He runs routes and has little tricks that help him get as open as anybody," quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "You watch the tape — he's getting open, he's not 6-foot-5, he's not 230 (pounds), he's not running a 4.3, but he's getting extremely open and catching the ball.

"He just understands how defenses try to defend what we run and how to beat that, so he's done a good job of not only doing it himself, but sharing that knowledge with some of the other guys on our team."

It's a role reversal to see Johnson trying to pick Moore's brain about specific details, and veterans like Golden Tate looking for advice.

"They look at me in the room as the old man with a lot of knowledge in this offense," Moore said. "There are certain things that I can coach up that maybe the coaches can't because they haven't done it as long as I have in this specific form we're doing here. I try to share as much knowledge and information as I can because if one guy is getting better, we're all getting better as a group."

More than just helping the receivers, Moore has been able to watch Stafford and help him understand what to look for in the offense, although he's careful how much he pushes.

As much as Drew Brees succeeded in this offense with the Saints, Stafford is on the way to getting to the same comfort level.

"The longer you're in it, the more you'll understand it, the quicker the trigger and the more efficient you can be," Moore said. "This being his second year, I know he'll be better than he was last year."

rod.beard@detroitnews.com

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