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Patriots Randy Moss speaks out

For years, Randy Moss was known as a guy who took plays off.  His stint with the Oakland Raiders didn't help his persona that much.  He was viewed as a problem child with baggage when he came to our New England Patriots at the beginning of the 2007 season.  Suddenly, he wasn't such a slacker.  Breaking the single season receiver TD record with 23, many were eating a lot of crow.

In 2008, Tom Brady went down and Moss soldiered on with backup Matt Cassel.  11-5 and inches away from taking the division, a heated race with the Miami Dolphins saw the Fish emerge with the title.  Again, the pundits starting bashing Randy.  That's because they know jack about football.

Moss is a gazelle, just take a look at his body type.  I was within 10 feet of him at training camp and his legs look like stilts, a stick figure in a football uniform.  He takes an incredibly long time to get going, the antithesis of Wes Welker's drag racer quickness, but overall lack of speed.  In 2008, Josh McDaniels had to carefully "handle" Matt Cassel.  That meant no long, downfield bombs to Randy Moss.  It meant taking a gazelle and telling him to turn in, on a dime, when he never had.  Randy, change everything you've ever done and become Wes.  Right.

In 2009, there was hope that the return of Tom Brady would mean 2007 numbers and similar success.  Not so.  Brady struggled to get his rhythm back and, at times, the sideline bomb to Randy looked forced, like the coaching staff was trying hard to get Moss into the game.  Star Jets CB Darrelle Revis even went so far as to call Moss a slouch.  Ok, a little bravado but unfortunately the King of Revis Island sounded more like a Court Jester when it was discovered Moss was playing with a separated shoulder for most of 2009.  I've separated my shoulder and I could barely lift my arm to type at my computer.  Moss plays football.  And with a separated shoulder, he managed to rank fifth in receiving yards and tied for first with 13 touchdowns.  Yeah, slouch.

Now, Randy is contemplating his future with the New England Patriots and he doesn't see much past 2010:

"I don't think they are going to extend my contract here," said Moss, speaking to reporters at the charity softball game of former Patriots teammate Heath Evans.

Looking around him, it's not hard to see why he feels that way.  The Patriots have been dragging their heels in dealings with start nose tackle, Vince Wilfork.  They DRAFTED the guy and he turned out to be a stud.  Why would Randy, approaching 33, feel like New England would extend him a contract?

I like to believe in the system.  I like to believe Kraft and Belichick know what they are doing.  Afterall, there's 3 Lombardis at Patriot Place.  But is it time to change?  Is "The System" that so many sell as the reason for their success in need of fine tuning?  No named OC or DC.  No contract for Wilfork.  Lack of strong defensive leaders.  A receiving corp in serious trouble.

It may be time for a tune up.