Yesterday, a couple of conversations I had with Panthers defensive backs indicated that Randy Moss’s performance on Sunday was just what Carolina expected.
Perhaps the most telling comment came in the tunnel, as I walked to the Panthers’ bus with cornerback Chris Gamble. He told me that, “We know from watching film on Moss, once you get him out of the game early, he’s going to shut it down.’’
That would indicate a problem larger than one game. But Tom Brady, on his weekly appearance on WEEI this morning, disputed the notion that Moss was dogging it.
“Everyone takes liberties to say whatever they want to say in a situation like yesterday’s,” Brady told hosts John Dennis and Gerry Callahan. “I’ve seen plays made on Chris Gamble over the course of the season, too. Guys, when they play Randy, want to show what they can do, and I guess they came of the game pretty confident. But Randy’s one of the best players in the history of the NFL.”
Brady continued, “He’s one of my favorite guys I’ve ever played with, one of my good friends on the team.”
The quarterback also explained the television shots of his prodding of Moss, saying “It’s easy to get down on yourself” in a situation like yesterday’s.
“We’ve gotten a lot from him all year, he’s one of the top receivers in the league right now,” Brady said. “Every gameplan a defense comes up with is trying to stop Randy Moss.”
But Brady was also asked if Wes Welker needs such motivation. And his response was at least a little telling.
“Yeah, you don’t need to do it with Wes very much,” he said. “He’s unbelievable.”
Brady also disputed that Moss was to blame for his first-quarter pick.
“Randy saw something, he went to the place he thought the ball would be,” the QB continued. “I don’t think you can blame Randy for that.”
So there you have it … Just like you could credit Brady for a courageous performance yesterday, you can credit him for being a good teammate today. And as for the team in general, Brady did seem to concede it was a difficult week for everyone.
Which is why the QB said Bill Belichick’s message was simple leading up to the Panthers game … “He told us that there’s one thing that’s going to make us feel better and one thing only, and that’s to win.”