Randy Moss Accused of Not Playing Hard by Carolina Panthers
Randy Moss might be getting bored.
The New England Patriots wide receiver has worn out his welcome in Minnesota and Oakland for, among other things, playing half-heartedly. Those accusations are starting to creep up again in New England:
“We knew he was going to shut it down,” Panthers corner Chris Gamble told me after the game. “That’s what we wanted to do him. That’s what we did. … He’d just give up a lot … Slow down, he’s not going deep, not trying to run a route. You can tell, his body language.”
Of course, this relatively meaningless comment, from a player on a team that lost, incidentally, is going to spring up the 'Randy Moss is a team-killer' memes again. But looking at the numbers, other than his two seasons in Oakland when Moss undeniably mailed it in, Moss is one of the greatest receivers who every played.
Even this season, he's already accumlated 69 catches, mover 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns with three games still to play. He's top six in the league in yards and touchdowns, and 13th in the league in catches. That's hardly a player who's "mailing it in."
There's also perhaps an argument that Sunday's performance by Moss could've been a reaction to Bill Belichick's disciplinary action, sending Moss, among others, home for being late to a meeting during a snowstorm.
It's plausible. In reality, though, Moss might just be a finesse player who's always going to mix great plays with a few poor ones. I think New England knew that when they traded for him and has learned to live with it.