As Randy Moss addressed the crowd during his Hall of Fame induction ceremony over the weekend, the cameras inevitably found the smiling presence of Bill Belichick, standing alongside Robert Kraft.
Moss made a point to mention and thank Belichick and Kraft (and others) during his rousing speech. Their roles, he said, came at a crossroads in his career.
“I wanted to thank you for being a friend when it wasn’t always about football,” Moss said. “You showed me how much I love the game. You challenged me every day to go out here and be great.”
At his Tuesday press conference, Belichick reflected on his relationship with Moss and what the Hall of Famer taught him:
Well, Randy — it was a very special relationship. I think, just logistically, you just can’t have that kind of relationship with everybody. There’s just so many players and so many hours in the day. That was one that, through a variety of circumstances and more of the way that Randy came onto the team and, again, other circumstances that were involved there, it just kind of evolved that way. I don’t think any of us necessarily planned it. It just worked out.
But, I learned a lot from Randy. Randy had a big impact on me as a coach. He taught me the game from a perspective that I had never really seen before or understood before. I’ll always be grateful to him for that, for doing that. But, he was a great person to have on the team.
He did a lot of, in his own way, team-building events — like the Halloween party, things like that — that a lot of times went below the radar. He didn’t do them for publicity. He didn’t do them because he wanted to be recognized for it. He did it because he wanted to do it and it was the right thing to do. You know, he brought a lot of kids up to games every week, bused kids up from West Virginia, gave them tickets, bought them tickets so they could come to the games here at Gillette Stadium and things like that that a lot of people don’t know about. But, that was just how generous and what a big heart Randy had.
Moss was traded to New England during the offseason prior to the 2007 season for a fourth-round pick. Despite criticism over Moss’s desire to play football, Belichick managed to elicit a record-breaking season out of the wideout.
In 2007, Moss caught 98 passes for 1,493 yards and an NFL single-season record of 23 receiving touchdowns.