Defending Randy Moss Against CBS Columnist Mike Freeman's Hatchet Job

Sean Crowe@CroweKnowsSenior Writer IOctober 2, 2009

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Randy Moss #81 of the New England Patriots makes the catch for the first down as Brent Grimes #20 of the Atlanta Falcons defends on September 27, 2009 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots defeated the Falcons 26-10.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

I was perusing the InterWeb today when a headline on caught my attention.

Moss' lack of effort could be poison ivy to Pats

According to CBS Sports’ Mike Freeman, Randy Moss is, quite possibly, the laziest man in professional sports. Freeman spent three whole hours on Sunday watching Randy Moss, and apparently only Randy Moss, and determined that his effort was lacking.

It was a rather biting hatchet job. The type typically left to Internet hacks, a group I would imagine Freeman doesn’t feel he’s a member of.

Here are some of his finer points:

The problem for the Patriots is that Moss' lack of effort hurts the offense almost as much as his unbelievable abilities help it. Against the Falcons, defenders Moss was supposed to block, but refused to, went on to make the tackle.

Moss not running his routes hard when the play wasn't going to him clearly tipped off Falcons defenders that he wasn't involved in the play and they acted accordingly.

Nice. Completely fictional, but nice.

Of course, no hatchet job is complete without a few insults. And if you can question an injury without any proof, especially if you ignore all of the easily attainable evidence to the contrary…even better!

I'm not buying that Moss was lumbering because he had a bad back. It's being portrayed by some in the media as if Moss rolled onto the field from a wheelchair. But Moss has been pulling this stuff for years. This is nothing new, and it wasn't because he was hurt.

Every other receiver on the field ran their routes harder, blocked harder and overall worked harder. None had nearly the ability of Moss, either. Thus, there's that Moss dilemma again.

His talent is so dazzling it can overcome a terrible, at times, work ethic.

The Patriots seem content to put up with this tomfoolery because Moss still produces. Bill Belichick praised Moss after the game for making a lot of plays.

But there must be a part of the Patriot genome that says: What a dog.

What an unbelievable dog.

In the words of the immortal Jules Winnfield, “Oh, you were finished? Well, allow me to retort.”

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Seriously? A dog?

So far this season the Patriots have run 241 offensive plays. Randy Moss has participated in 233 of them. No New England Patriots skill position player not named Tom Brady has been on the field for more plays.

As a matter of fact, nobody’s even close.

Moss averages 77 plays per game. On approximately 20 of them he runs full speed, straight up the field on some type of deep route. You’re basically talking 20 40-yard dashes over the course of a game. That’s a lot of running, even for an NFL wide receiver.

If the next play isn’t designed to go to him, or if it’s a running play, maybe Moss does take it easy a bit (as does, by the way, almost every other big-name wide receiver in the NFL). Most wide receivers need a break after running two or three of those types of routes, never mind 20 of them.

Moss never leaves the field. Ever.

The “Unbelievable Dog” is currently on pace for 139 catches and 1,500 yards. Both would be career highs for Moss. 139 catches would beat his previous best by 28.

But yeah, he’s dogging it.

Apparently, Freeman watched a much different game than Bill Belichick. Belichick had nothing but praise for Moss after the game on Sunday.

“He got a lot of single coverage and he did a good job. He ran a lot of different routes. We threw deep, we threw inside, we threw outside, we threw some quick passes to him,” Belichick said when asked about Moss’ role. “I think he did a good job attacking the coverage, the corners and even some of the split safety coverage, working on the safeties. We hit some, we didn't hit some. He's a tough guy to cover. We try to design and create situations where he has an opportunity and a little bit of space to work. He sure made a lot of plays today.”

He sure made a lot of plays today.

But yeah, he’s dogging it.

Multiple sources in Foxboro have said that Moss really struggled with his back, to the point where his ability to play was literally questionable (not just injury report questionable) heading into Sunday. He ended up putting together what might have been the gutsiest performance of his career, finishing the game with 10 receptions for 116 yards while being on the field for a ridiculous 76 plays.

But yeah, he’s dogging it.

Give me a break.

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