New England Patriots: What Will Randy Moss Do If Cassel Doesn't Perform Well?

Michael BrownCorrespondent ISeptember 30, 2008

"I think by them getting me the ball, if we're winning, I'm happy. If they are getting me the ball and we're losing, then we've got to find a way to win"

That quote is not from Keyshawn Johnson, nor is it from Terrell Owens or Chad Ocho Cinco. Randy Moss uttered those words back in Minnesota, and that may not be the last time he says something to that effect.

New England's biggest problem is not whether or not Cassel will perform; it's how will Randy Moss react if Cassel can't get him the ball on a regular basis and the Patriots are struggling. Moss has had attitude issues before, but when he came to New England, everyone thought that Belicheck would keep him happy, just like Belicheck kept Corey Dillon happy.

But Randy Moss is not Corey Dillon, and there are two major differences.

For starters, Moss is a wide receiver. In the SportsCenter era, the flashiest players are the wide receivers. The most outspoken prima donnas are the wide receivers. The first players to complain are generally the wide receivers (see K. Johnson, Owens, Ocho Cinco, etc.).

Also, Moss has had his share of off-field concerns, from burglary to cannabis use to battery that has an accompanying restraining order. Historically, some Patriots wide receivers have had off-the-field problems (see Irving Fryar, Sherry- I mean Terry- Glenn, Deion Branch).

Many wide receivers, like Moss in the past, point the blame after losses at the quarterback or coordinator for not getting them the ball. But is that usually the problem? Look at some of Randy's years in Minnesota and his years in Oakland. He had very little offensive talent around him, so he would often be double-covered (especially in Oakland), therefore throwing the ball in his direction wouldn't necessarily solve their problems.

So allow me to bring this back to Matt Cassel.

Cassel has started two games this year after not starting a game at any level since high school (in November 1999). He has been quite cautious with the football, and that is a combination of play-calling and quarterback inexperience. In the first three games, the Patriots have been outscored 58-49, gone 2-1, and Moss has had 12 catches for 163 yards and 1 touchdown.

What Moss is finding out the hard way is that there are approximately TWO quarterbacks in the NFL that can get him the ball like Tom Brady did: Brady, and Peyton Manning. Brady and Moss were so in sync last season that they broke touchdown records respectively held by Manning and a certain receiver by the name of Jerry Rice.

So when he finally comes to terms with the fact that the Patriots are probably a 10-6 or 11-5 team without Tom Brady, his attitude will depend on whether or not he's getting the #&$* ball.

If he continues to get 4 catches for 54 yards per game, we may see Randy burn a bridge that cannot be rebuilt. 

Randy Moss could exponentially magnify one of the most devastating single-season injuries in NFL history.

And if he does, then the Pats' glory days will become a memory.

The ball is in your court, Randy.