First, Moss. Been over this a few times, of course, and his loafing was further illuminated by Wes Welker’s MVP-worthy performance, which Chris Gasper covered here. Was he loafing? I think it’s obvious, and it was telling to me that no one yet has specifically defended his effort on Sunday — deflecting to praise his overall work since coming here in 2007, or over this season. That tells me we aren’t seeing things differently than anyone else.
But Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma did say this about Moss on his Playmaker Mobile site … “Randy Moss being lazy? We didn’t notice any of that when we played the
Pats. We did notice him catching a bomb on us. Maybe it’s the game or
the players or the situation, but we didn’t see any of that.”
OK, so I’m going to offer another perspective here on Moss. This came from an AFC scout last week — meaning before he did whatever he did against the Panthers — which might give you an idea of what those Carolina DBs saw on film.
“Yes, effort is an issue,” the scout said. “Does he go balls out on every play?
No, he doesn’t. But to be fair, you’d better look at other guys. They just don’t
have as big a name as Randy does.
“Guys like him can get frustrated if they don’t see the ball
early, so I can see that as something you’d look at. That kind of player, you
might be able to get in his head, and that can impact his effort the rest of
the game. Chad [Ochocinco is] that way. He doesn’t get balls coming his way, he goes
in the tank. But I think Randy’s changed. Just watching him, it seems like he’s
really bought into Bill’s program. Every time I watch a game, I see him
cheering his teammates, and into it on the sideline. You can tell he cares.”
No one’s argued that he doesn’t care. In-game effort is what we’re talking about. The mental fortitude to fight through is. And this scout, actually, had plenty more positive talk on Moss (follow that jump to read it) …
“Now this is just from me – but I think Randy’s a pro,” the scout said. “He’s
the consummate veteran player, the epitome of a pro. He knows how and when to
take plays off, the difference is he catches a lot (crap) for it, where so many
other guys don’t. He can see the difference from one play to the next, and when
he can save it for the next rep.
“He’s tremendous. For all the big plays he
makes, I don’t think a couple plays off should matter. A lot of guys take plays
So take all of that as you will.
Now, as for the other situation the Patriots are dealing with, regarding linebacker Adalius Thomas, old friend Asante Samuel weighed in, during a discussion with the well-respected Thomas George of AOL FanHouse.
“I think it’s good he [Thomas] spoke up,” the Eagles star said. “More up there should. It
certainly got to be a place where I didn’t want to be. I am happy to be
gone. I am happy here. They know how to make you feel wanted and
appreciated here, but it’s not the way I found it over there.”
He did add this: “Neither one of us [Philadelphia and New England] is in it yet. One
thing I did learn with the Patriots that I still believe in: let your
play do your most talking.”
And now we’re on to Buffalo week. Hard to imagine we’ll have the same kind of intrigue that the last seven days brought.