In honor of the NFL’s 100th anniversary, the league and NFL Network put together a 26-member panel of experts — one that includes New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick — to pick an All-Time Team. So far, all but a handful of quarterbacks ha already been revealed and eight of them have ties to the Patriots. On Friday, during the fifth episode of the show, another player: wide receiver Randy Moss.
A few days later, the league officially announced that the man who threw him 40 touchdowns also has been recognized as one of the greatest players to ever play the game — rather unsurprisingly, one would add: Tom Brady.
QB Tom Brady
While Brady has not yet been featured on the NFL Network’s show about the All-Time Team — the final episode unveiling the 10 quarterbacks to make it will air on Friday, December 27 — he was a lock to make the list the moment it was announced. After all, the 42-year-old is the undisputed greatest quarterback to ever step on the gridiron and owns numerous individual records while leading the Patriots to six Super Bowl titles and 30 playoff victories.
Brady, who joined the Patriots as a sixth-round draft pick in 2000 and took over starting duties the following year after an injury suffered by Drew Bledsoe, will be part of the show when it airs: he visited NFL Films’ Mount Laurel, New Jersey headquarters to give his take on his selection and the all-time quarterbacks selected alongside him. And judging by his statements made on Radio Westwood One earlier this week, he did enjoy his time there.
“It was a fun day,” Brady said. “I was in New York and flew down to the NFL Films studios when they were filming. It was actually the first segment, and we were the first people that were interviewed in the whole thing. It was fun. Cris Collinsworth was there, Rich Eisen, Coach Belichick — got to reminisce a little bit and then had a few other quarterbacks who I can’t name come onto the set. It was really cool.”
“Very surreal for me to be part of that,” added the future Hall of Famer, who is also expected to become the first quarterback to be named a starter on two separate NFL teams of a decade soon. “It’s an incredible honor. And I know 100 years in the NFL, you can’t just name 100 great players, there’s thousands and thousands. To even be considered as one of the greats to play, I would never have imagined that in my life. Very honored and very flattered and very humbled.”
“I would second Tom’s comments,” added Bill Belichick during a media conference call earlier this week. “I really appreciate the opportunity and was honored to do it, and spending time with Tom on the set was awesome. We’ve been through so many great moments together, both on and off the field, in terms of the actual football game itself, but all the preparation that leads up to it and the competition that’s involved there with other coaches, players, teams, and so forth.”
“It was great to talk about those and think back and reflect on some of the great moments that we’ve shared together and how much hard work and the other part of the experiences that went into those moments — not just the result of the play, or a game, or even a season, but all of the things that you think about,” he added. “I mean, those things don’t just happen. There’s miles and miles and miles that are covered before you actually get that final yard, or few yards, or whatever it is that determines games, and ultimately seasons.”
WR Randy Moss
While Brady joined the Patriots via the draft, Randy Moss was brought on board via trade: New England sent a fourth-round selection in 2007 to the Oakland Raiders in order to acquire an immense talent that struggled to find its groove with his former team. Moss’ impact on the Patriots and their passing game was felt immediately, even though he missed considerable parts of his first training camp with the team due to a hamstring injury.
In Week 1 of the 2007 season, however, he quickly showed that he was still one of the best quarterbacks in all of football and caught nine passes for 183 yards and a touchdown. It was a sign of things to come, as Moss would finish the regular season with 98 receptions for 1493 yards and an NFL-record 23 receiving touchdowns. While his efforts were not enough to lead New England to a championship, Moss’ season is still one of the greatest in league annals.
“One of the smartest players I have ever coached. Certainly the smartest receiver. He taught me more about receiving and the passing game than by far anybody else,” said Belichick during last week’s show about the Hall of Fame wideout. “I remember our first meeting when [he] came in from Oakland. I’ve never coached anybody like Randy Moss. We were talking about single-high safety and running game and all that, and Randy’s like ‘You’re not going to see any more single high safety, you can forget about that.”
Moss went on to spend three-and-a-half seasons with the Patriots and finished his career with the club with 271 receptions for 4,046 yards and 51 touchdowns in 56 combined regular season and playoff games — a sizable portion of his career output of 1,036 catches for 16,269 yards and 166 scores. Given his productivity and contributions to the modern NFL, Moss was voted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018. And now also to the league’s All-Time Team.
For more information on the other Patriots to make the NFL’s All-Time Team, please click here:
- Bill Belichick
- TE Rob Gronkowski
- OG John Hannah
- LB Junior Seau
- CB Mike Haynes
- K Adam Vinatieri