Randy Moss Is Back! Without Pads in Non-Contact Workouts! It's May!
I really love this time of year. Hope springs eternal for all 32 teams, every rookie looks like a future all-pro, every coach has come back rejuvenated.
And 35-year-old wide receivers who weren't in the league last year and looked completely done in stints with three separate teams in 2010 are born again and reportedly look like they are "back."
I refer, of course, to Randy Gene Moss, currently a wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers.
49ers teammates were more than happy to give the Associated Press and media members gathered for Moss' first workout with his new team a few quotes about how great Moss looked yesterday.
Said quarterback Alex Smith, "It's tough to tell that he missed a year of football. I certainly don't see any rust. He's running well, catching well. No surprise, he's a pro and already has a good understanding of the playbook."
Added safety Donte Whitner, "He still looks the same. He never, ever since he's been playing football has looked like he's been running fast. But he's a long strider, and when you actually run against him, he's really running really fast. He's running the same as he's always run. His body looks like a younger Randy Moss, so I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do on the football field."
Will Randy Moss' return to the NFL be a success?
This, naturally, led to excitement both from 49ers fans and Moss fans of old.
Let's all slow down.
Randy Moss catching 55-yard touchdown passes against air without pads on is one thing. Doing it against NFL corners and safeties in November after Alex Smith has short-hopped a few to him and when he hasn't caught a ball through the third-quarter is quite another.
Moss has always had the talent, and if he ends up having a turn-back-the-clock-type season, a la Brett Favre in 2009, I would not be surprised in the least.
But Moss' production has always followed his motivation. If he doesn't start the season well, if teams are able to simply put a safety over the top and negate his presence, it's hard to see Moss adding much to a 49ers offense that will never be centered around throwing the ball downfield as long as Smith is the quarterback.
Again, I won't be surprised either way. But getting excited about Moss in May is a gateway to disappointment for 49ers fans.
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