Ramble On Sports

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Posts Tagged ‘Randy Moss stats’

Belichick proves his genius yet again

Posted by Bill Koch on October 12, 2010

Can we all take a step back and realize that Bill Belichick is still playing chess while the rest of the NFL plays checkers?

He sent a wide receiver who wasn’t going to get his big contract, who was going to walk away at the end of the season no matter what and who was shut out in his last game with the New England Patriots out of town and got something valuable in return. He also just traded Laurence Maroney for Deion Branch, replacing that disgruntled wide receiver and keeping his star quarterback happy in the process.

Don’t believe me? Let’s break this down in excruciating detail for those of you who refuse to see the big picture.

Randy Moss had nine catches in four games with New England this year. He had zero catches while the Patriots rolled up 41 points on the Miami Dolphins and Tom Brady was still excellent in that game, going 19-for-24. Moss is well on the wrong side of 30, and you don’t get faster with age unless you play Major League Baseball and can use performance-enhancing drugs. He wants one final big contract to ride off into the sunset. He wasn’t going to get that contract in New England after he turned down Belichick’s offer to talk in training camp. He had one foot out the door, no matter how physically talented everyone thinks he still might be.

Let’s dismiss the talk about how much defensive attention that Moss draws, because it’s overstated at this point in his career. Perception becomes reality after a while, but that doesn’t mean it’s the truth. Darrelle Revis shut him down 1-on-1 last season, and he did it twice. Brady threw one of his worst passes of this season in Moss’ direction during that Week 2 embarrassment somewhere in the Swamps of Jersey, an interception disguised as a jump ball that gave the New York Jets all the momentum. It wasn’t the first time that Brady, Daunte Culpepper, Randall Cunningham or any of Moss’ other former quarterbacks have made a poor decision with him in the lineup. It wasn’t going to be the last.

Turnovers kill teams in the NFL, and Brady turned it over a lot less when he was winning championships by using his tight ends, hitting receivers on quick passes to move the chains and avoiding the rush by delivering the ball efficiently. Now that Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski, Wes Welker, Branch and Brandon Tate are in place and ready to roll, look for Brady’s former self to emerge. That’s a guy that we want quarterbacking our favorite team. Moss was never a part of that mix. He was a luxury item who had stopped going over the middle and had become a decoy. You can pay Tate a lot less money to have him run down the sideline and be a decoy.

We all know that Brady threw a hissy fit behind the scenes when he found out that Moss was gone. That’s what every quarterback does when it looks like his weaponry is being reduced. It’s not a coincidence that the first name out of Brady’s mouth was that of a former teammate, or that said former teammate – Branch – ended up in Foxboro less than 24 hours later.

Belichick knows that if Brady isn’t happy, he won’t be happy. His team won’t be happy. His fans and his owner won’t be happy. He decided to keep everybody happy, and all it cost him was the same fourth round pick that he just acquired for Maroney. Did Maroney ever make anybody happy in Foxboro? He has now, and he has Belichick to thank for it. That’s about as close to doing the impossible as you can get. Oh yeah – the Patriots still have their own fourth round pick in 2011 along with six other picks in the first three rounds.

Check mate.

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Random YouTube Video of the Day: A trip down memory lane

Posted by bdowd625 on October 7, 2010

As you all know by now, Randy Moss is no longer a member of the New England Patriots. Still, we felt the need to post this old video of one of Moss’ touchdown grabs against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The whole clip is good, but the real fun doesn’t start until about the 2:10 mark. I can’t do it justice by trying to explain it, so please just watch. We’ll certainly move on from Moss as Patriots fans, but moments like this one won’t soon be forgotten.

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Straight gone, homey?

Posted by Bill Koch on October 5, 2010

There won’t be anything boring about the New England Patriots’ bye week after the news that broke on Tuesday night.

Multiple reports indicate that the Patriots are working on a trade that would send Randy Moss back to where he started his career, as the wide receiver looks bound for Minnesota provided that he can work out a contract extension with the Vikings.

Moss’ contract is up at the end of this season and talks with the Patriots about an extension have either stalled or didn’t exist in the first place. He wasted no time addressing the situation this season with some ill-timed statements after New England’s season-opening 38-30 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Moss didn’t publicly demand a trade, dog it on the field or get into trouble anywhere, but he did make it clear that he understood the business decision the Patriots were prepared to make. As such, Moss was ready to make his own business decision and leave the team after fulfilling his contract obligations in 2010.

Spare us the outrage over this deal or the crying about New England being reluctant to spend any money. The Patriots have the league’s richest quarterback in Tom Brady, one of its best paid defensive linemen in Vince Wilfork and depth at virtually every position built through their old recipe of drafting and development. Moss was held without a catch for the first time in his New England career on Monday night, and the Patriots have rarely looked better than they did during their 41-14 thrashing of the Miami Dolphins.

Think the offense will suffer with Moss gone? Think again. This team won three Super Bowls with David Givens, Deion Branch, Troy Brown and David Patten as its primary receivers – none of those guys are within sniffing distance of the NFL Hall of Fame. New England is currently reloading with young studs like Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski and Brandon Tate. Wes Welker will still be here and remains the best slot receiver in all of football. That gives Brady plenty of targets, and he was excellent Monday in a 19-for-24 performance.

In addition, Moss is well on the wrong side of 30 and certainly won’t be worth the salary demand that he’ll make, even if there is no cap when the NFL returns after its suspected 2011 lockout. This Patriots regime under Bill Belichick is all about value, as evidenced by the fourth round pick that they just received for the human bust that is Laurence Maroney. Think they can con the Vikings into a second rounder in 2011? That would give New England two first round picks (its own and Oakland’s, which was stolen in the Richard Seymour deal and is getting better by the week) and three second round picks (its own, Minnesota’s for Moss and Carolina’s for the pick that turned into former Appalachian State quarterback and current wide receiver bust Armanti Edwards).

This is how the Patriots operate. Nobody is untouchable, not even Moss for all he’s done with the franchise since 2007. If he does leave, we’ll give you something to remember him by – Minnesota fans should know this clip quite well. They might be about to see it again live and in person.

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Moss making life difficult for Pats

Posted by Bill Koch on September 12, 2010

We know this is never going to happen, but we really want Randy Moss to STFU and just play football.

Moss was at it again during his postgame press conference on Sunday, popping off about how he doesn’t think he’ll be a member of the New England Patriots next season after his contract expires. He chose to do this less than an hour after New England opened its season with a 38-24 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium.

Most of what Moss actually said wasn’t too bad. He didn’t accuse the team and its ownership of lying like Logan Mankins did during the offseason. He didn’t refuse to apologize for accusing the team of lying like Mankins did inside the past month. He didn’t threaten to hold out like Darrelle Revis did in New York, leaving the Jets in limbo until a week before the season. He didn’t tank it on the field today like he did during his final season in Oakland, forcing the Raiders to ship him to New England for the laughably cheap price of a fourth round pick.

What Moss is doing, however, is becoming a distraction. This is the second time he’s made comments like these now and our fears here at Ramble On have nothing to do with how he deals with the situation – he’ll be just fine. He’s used to the controversy from the time he lost his scholarship to Florida State, the time he slid to late in the first round of the NFL Draft, the time he bumped a Minnesota meter maid with his car and the time he simulated mooning the crowd at Lambeau Field. His teammates in New England are the ones who will be affected because they’ll have to answer questions about this issue every day in the locker room. Bill Belichick will have to spend at least five minutes each day during his press conferences dancing around the issue as only he can. On second thought, Belichick might actually enjoy this. He’s mastered the art of saying something without saying anything – it is what it I, anyone? – but he’s not going to tolerate the rest of his team having its focus diverted. That’s exactly what could happen if Moss does this for a third time or a fourth, and we’re hoping it doesn’t come to that. If it was up to us, we wouldn’t hear from him again this season.

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