That’s the question many people are asking in the wake of Randy Moss’ one catch, one fumble, multiple drop (lack of) effort against the Panthers on Sunday. People could judge Moss’ attitude based on how he played, but the talk about actually quitting stemmed from what a few Carolina DBs said. According to Albert Breer:
“We knew [Randy Moss] was going to shut it down,’’ Carolina cornerback Chris Gamble said after the game. “That’s what we wanted him to do . . . he’d just give up a lot – slow down, he’s not going deep, not trying to run a route. You can tell [by his] body language.
Safety Chris Harris said, “You get physical with him, and I don’t want to say he quits, but he kind of doesn’t run the routes the way they’re supposed to be run. If you get a jam on him, he’ll just ease up. He had the one catch, and he fumbled.’’
Thing is, this is nothing new. Randy has freely admitted that he plays when he wants to play and that he takes plays off. Furthermore, the Patriots work Moss heavily when he has good matchups but he does become somewhat of an onlooker when defenses make a conscious effort to take him away as an option. The Patriots have enough talent on offense that they don’t need to force feed Randy the ball and that’s probably more responsible for the appearance that Randy’s effort wasn’t there.
The bottom line is that Moss had an awful game by any standards. Maybe he wasn’t focused because he was still hurt from being sent home during the week after showing up late to a meeting on Wednesday. Clearly Randy didn’t respond the way the team would have wanted him to so maybe they need to come up with different ways to handle him. Additionally, Moss needs to put his feelings aside and step up no matter how badly he feels. He can’t let his team down by not making sharp cuts on out patterns, fumbling, and dropping passes. He’ll bounce back but this certainly was a game to forget.