I'm sorry, I'm apologizing up front. This story is, on the surface, about Moss, but I'm being sneaky. Most of the PatsPulpit faithful know I have a ridiculous man crush on Wes Welker. Against all odds, the little engine that can has become one of the most talented receivers in the NFL. Don't believe me? 112 catches. 1,175 yards. 10.5 yard average.
We're all very much aware of Wes's ridiculous footwork. He can make 90 degree jukes like noone I've ever seen, leaving DBs stunned. Welker credits this ability to his love of soccer. Requiring incredible footwork, extensive practice with a soccer ball generates heightened awareness of your feet and the ability to change direction rapidly:
Moss agrees. So impressed was he with what he saw from Welker last season, he's added his own soccer-specific drills to his training this offseason in Florida.
Welker had this to add:
We've kicked the ball around a little bit and I showed him some of the drills I've gone through," Welker said. "It's pretty impressive how he's gotten it in a short amount of time. He juggles it really well now, moves it around.
Moss's role is significantly different than Wes's role. A great deal of Welker's routes are in the slot and underneath; fast footwork to get through razor thin seams is required and Wes is the best at it due to his footwork. Moss, on the other hand, is typically running like a gazelle down the sidelines. His body may not be built for the fast changes in direction Welker can pull off, but you never know - it could help him tremendously.
I predict many NFL receiver coaches will be adding drills like this after witnessing the success Welker has had. They'd be idiots not to. The Wes Welker Method. And yet, somehow I still think Wes will remain humble:
I was talking to my parents about it and I told them, 'This is crazy - Randy is asking me about soccer so he can use it to make him better. We're talking about one of the best receivers in the NFL, and he's asking me?
The little engine that can. You're not too bad yourself, Wes. Not too bad at all.