Randy Moss and The Patriots Look to Get Back On Track

Ryan BurnsAnalyst IOctober 2, 2008

I didn't think that talk like this would come this early.

Especially from radio personalities at WEEI, "experts" at ESPN, and journalists of the Boston Herald.

Now that the Patriots are 2-1, and looking mortal for the first time in years, many fans and industry professionals alike are wondering if this means that Randy Moss will "give up" on the team, as if his main priority isn't winning football games.

Everyone is quick to remind Patriot fans that Randy Moss quit on his team in Oakland, as well as pointing out that that is the "risk" Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick took when they traded a fourth round draft pick for him.

Granted, Moss' production has decreased dramatically since last year, but even if Tom Brady was at the helm, it would be asinine to expect similar numbers for the play making wide out. 

Matt Cassel is the Patriots quarterback.  That much is certain.  Tom Brady isn't coming back this year, so all this "what if" talk does no one any good from the players, or to the fans.  Cassel is still learning this offense and the coaching staff is doing everything it can to put the ball in the hands of their best players.

However, through the first few games of this 2009 campaign, Randy Moss is getting little to work with, for a few reasons.  First of all, opposing defensive coordinators would rather let their wives call the plays than leave Randy Moss in single coverage.  By doubling him up, and sometime having a safety play zone over the top, other teams' defenses are challenging (or daring) Matt Cassel to get the ball to him. 

Call me crazy, but I would think that a player starting for the first time would rather check down to Wes Welker and Kevin Faulk than risk making the mistake and throwing into double coverage.  After all, everyone said that Matt Cassel had to minimize mistakes and not try to do too much, and by not making dangerous throws into double or triple coverage, he is doing exactly that.

I'd like to remind people that this is only week five and the Patriots still have the easiest schedule in the league.  So am I worried about Randy Moss sitting by himself on the sideline looking distressed?  Of course not!  His team was in the process of getting blown out by the previously win-less Dolphins at home.  I'd be angry too.

This begs the question, what is a bigger concern, Tom Brady's absence or Randy Moss' inconsistency.  I am still going to say Brady's absence, for the simple fact that the AFC is absolutely wide open this year and with a healthy Brady, the Pats would be in prime shape for a first round bye.  Randy will get it going as long as the Patriots make an effort to get the ball into his hands multiple times a game.

Randy Moss' "attitude" is not a problem to me what-so-ever.  The Patriots will find a way to get him going, and while he may not make the Pro Bowl this year, he is still one of the most dangerous threats in football.

Randy Moss will not "mail it in" as certain experts have warned us, for two specific reasons.  First, the Patriots are still a playoff team in this year's surprisingly average AFC, and secondly, I refuse to believe that he is so distraught over losing Brady that it would affect his play on the field.  Anyone who suggests this is living in the past and delusional.

There are other wide receivers in the NFL whose egos attract more negative attention than Randy Moss, however the media chooses to play politics and hate on the Patriots once again.  Randy said it best..."keep hating".  When he catches two TD's this week versus the 49ers all this talk will surely dissipate. 

Chad Ocho Cinco is an afterthought, Terrell Owens is complaining about touches, and Randy Moss is mad at losing to the Dolphins.  Now you tell me who has attitude problems.