Was Moss Slacking Against Philly?
Or Was Jaworski Just Driving Ratings?
Ron Jaworski, generally regarded as one of the best NFL tape analysts not coaching the New England Patriots, says Patriot wide receiver Randy Moss lived down to his slacker reputation in New England's 31-28 win Sunday night over Philadelphia. Jaworski showed four plays in which he said Moss didn't do everything he superhumanly could do.
Personally, I thought Jaworski's argument was weak. Moss's rep has been that he doesn't go all out on plays not designed to go his way. Three of the plays Jaworski showed were passes that went to Moss. Even if those plays weren't designed to go to Moss (the touchdown pass almost certainly was), Moss has been around long enough and has probably seen and heard enough before he joined New England to know that any receiver can get the ball on any play.
It seems unlikely that Moss slacked off on those plays, and the video didn't really seem to support it. On two of them, he was bumped -- more than once -- at the line of scrimmage. On the other (the touchdown) he was double covered, and it looked like Tom Brady threw the ball away. Really, there's no there there.
I think Jaworski is looking for a story, something controversial, especially since it just so coincidentally happens that Moss and the Patriots are playing on Monday Night Football this week -- oh, and, hey: Jaworski is one of the "personalities" on Monday Night Football.
There no doubt that if any of the Patriots players or coaches thought Moss was slacking, it's been brought up in the locker and meeting rooms. No doubt all 53 Patriot players realize what's on the line in the next five to eight games. No doubt Moss will show Monday whether he's really one of those 53.