|Patriots 2014-15 Position Review: Linebacker||Lackluster Trio of Games Makes Bruins Playoff Chances Uncertain||Swihart, Rodriguez Assigned to Triple-A Pawtucket Roster||Video: Marcus Smart Uppercuts Matt Bonner in Low Blow|
|Moss may be 30 years old, but his physical skills have never been questioned. (Courtesy of the AP)|
Check back for Stallworth’s Player in Focus later this weekend. There’s no reason to beat around the bush. With the trade for Randy Moss (for a fourth round draft pick) and the signing of Donté Stallworth (for a contract which really takes effect in 2008), the Patriots now boast (perhaps) the best receiving corps New England fans have ever seen. Check for Stallworth’s Player in Focus story this weekend.
Moss, 30, needs no introduction as he will go down as one of the greatest receivers of all time. His years with the Vikings (at least 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns in all but one season for each stat) put him on pace to finish in a league with Lynn Swann, Chris Carter (once a teammate) and of course, Jerry Rice. Moss has amassed gaudy career totals – more than 10,000 career yards with 101 TDs – yet is more known for his off-the field antics.
The bottom line is, Moss has achieved two of the three major elements in an NFL superstar’s life: money and fame. The name Randy Moss is one of the most recognizable in the NFL and Moss has certainly earned more money than he knows what to do with. The one element missing has been WINNING.
|Moss suffered through a 6-26 record while in Oakland.(Courtesy of oddsandends.com)|
While with the Vikings Moss made it to the 1999 NFC Championship game on a 15-1 team, only to be upset by the Falcons on their way to being slaughtered by the Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII.
Moss wants to win, so why not come from one of the lowliest franchises in Oakland to the only dynasty of this millennium in New England. Many feel Moss has lost a few steps because of his pedestrian stats while in Oakland (1,500 yards, 11 TDs in two seasons) yet Moss is only 30 years old and may still have a half dozen years left in the NFL.
Moss is a deep threat, plain and simple. He can still outrun most defensive backs in the NFL and is the best wide receiver in history at adjusting to deep balls. The consensus is that Moss will keep distractions off the field to a minimum because of the nature of head coach Bill Belichick, but I think his desire and knowledge of a chance to win a Super Bowl will be more of a driving force.
While he has sat out of full contact practices since tweaking a hamstring in early August, Moss has been working out constantly and though his status for the regular season opener nine days from now has not been released, I would be surpised if he wasn’t suited up in the Meadowlands.
With all of the other weapons in the Patriots arsenal, Moss will play the decoy roll and force double coverage. However his ability to get open is still tops in the league and he’ll find a way to get his touches. There will be no Moss quotient in New England but Moss will show flashes of his Minnesota days. Many believe Moss is a long awaited gift to Tom Brady, but Tom Brady may be the long awaited gift to Randy Moss. Moss has never had the quality quarterback that Brady is and he will be the featured receiver in the offense.
His absence from training camp notwithstanding, Moss should have much better numbers than in Oakland, and it’s nearly a guarantee that the Patriots will rack up more wins this season than Moss enjoyed in two years in Oakland combined (six).
2007 stats: 73 catches, 895 yards, 8 TDs