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Hoge coming to Moss's defense

Posted by Albert Breer  December 16, 2009 12:25 PM

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As for the interception ...

"That route wasn't the best route, he could've come out of his break better," Hoge said, before adding that Moss' effort was the third factor on the pick. The first was Chris Gamble playing outside technique, which meant that it was a risky decision to throw it there in the first place. "But it's Tom Brady and Randy Moss, so you take that chance," Hoge said.

The second factor was the throw, which was altered by Julius Peppers getting inside pressure, keeping Brady from properly stepping into it. And the third was the route.

"I understand where (the Panthers DBs) are coming from," Hoge said. "But to be fair, Moss has never been a great route-runner. It's not his forte. It's not his position to do that. He's never been a sharp, crisp route-runner, and that's not what anyone fears in him."

Hoge added that the Patriots used Moss to free up others, by motioning and running stack-release sets that allowed Wes Welker and Co. to get off the line cleanly.

If it seems we're hearing different things here, then maybe we are. But Hoge was adamant about his point, which he'll make again on the 2 p.m. Sportscenter and 4 p.m. NFL Live.

"If I thought he quit, I'd be the first to say it," Hoge said. "This was one of his better games, away from the ball."
News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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