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Friday discussion question: what does 2007 say about Randy Moss?

Posted by Doug on October 26, 2007

In 2001, Randy Moss played his fourth NFL season, and he set career lows in yardage and touchdowns. It was during that season that he famously proclaimed that he plays when he wants to play (and presumably only when he wants to play).

In summer of 2002, I wrote this about him:

OK, I'll lay my irrational biases out on the table right up front: I like Randy Moss. I have a knee-jerk reaction to like guys like Moss because I think people dislike them for the wrong reasons.

None of us has any idea what kind of person Randy Moss is. The prevailing opinion on Moss is that he's a great natural talent, but his lack of work ethic is preventing him from reaching his full potential. Putting aside for a moment the fact that willingness to work hard and emotional maturity are, to a large extent, natural abilities too, the truth of the matter is that none of us has any idea at all how hard Randy works or has worked to get where he is.

And now, about this "I'll play when I want to play" business....

I think it's quite possible that Randy wasn't being completely truthful with those comments, and that his motivation for making them was embarrassment. He was off to the worst start of his career. For the first time in his life, he was showing signs of being a run-of-the-mill receiver. Maybe Moss thinks that being beaten physically is a bigger sin than being beaten mentally. Maybe he was giving the same effort he had always given and was still not getting the job done. So he had to make a choice on what to tell the world:

  • that he just flat gets beat sometimes; or
  • that he only gets beat when he decides to get beat.

Most people, I think, see the first option as being the more honorable one, but maybe Randy didn't. Not only did he want to convince the world that he alone is in control of his destiny, he wanted to convince himself that he was still Superman.

Am I a Randy Moss apologist? Yes. Do I know anything at all about what makes Randy tick? No. Do I have any psychological expertise to lend credence to what I've said above? No. But that doesn't stop anyone else from spewing their opinions on Randy Moss, so why should it stop me?

Chase dredged this article up after week four, implying that the early returns from 2007 put the final nail in the coffin of the theory I outlined above.

Do you agree? Can we conclude with a reasonable degree of certainty that Moss was dogging it for two years in Oakland? Or is it possible that a combination of health, system, supporting cast, and luck could account for the difference between this:

| Year  TM |   G |   Att  Yards    Y/A   TD |   Rec  Yards   Y/R   TD |
| 2005 oak |  16 |     0      0    0.0    0 |    60   1005  16.8    8 |
| 2006 oak |  13 |     0      0    0.0    0 |    42    553  13.2    3 |

and this:

| Year  TM |   G |   Att  Yards    Y/A   TD |   Rec  Yards   Y/R   TD |
| 2007 nwe |   7 |     0      0    0.0    0 |    44    732  16.6   10 |

This entry was posted on Friday, October 26th, 2007 at 4:33 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.