Did You Get Mossed?

Randy Gene Moss. Yeah, I went there and had to look up the whole government name. The kid that grew up in West Virginia and became a superstar at Marshall University. He had a dream of attending the University of Notre Dame and Ohio State, but because of some off the field issues, he went to a university that wasn’t necessarily well known to college football fans across the nation. He became the centerpiece of that offense and earned All-American honors. When he was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round with the 21st overall pick in 1998, the late Dennis Green decided to take a chance on him and we saw his career take off from that moment. The kid that entered the league with braces is now a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Randy Moss is the greatest wide receiver that I’ve had the pleasure of watching. He’s simply the reason why defenses now play with safety help over the top to help a cornerback try and slow him down. We often discuss those offensive football players that are mismatches all over the field and he was the definition of a mismatch. When he first came into the league, I had never seen a guy with the speed that he possessed and he used it to his advantage. When he threw the football, it was almost as if you were throwing the ball to a basketball player on the low post, that’s how much he towered over people. He was extremely athletic and many of his peers around the league referred to him as an “athletic freak” because of his ability to leap up, catch the football and how he was known to stretch the field. He was a 6’4 and 210-pound receiver who used his size and blazing speed to his advantage. If he were running down the field and once he put that hand up in the air motioning his quarterback to throw the football, you knew something automatic was about to happen. That’s how electric he was. He’s played on two of the best offenses in NFL history. The 1998 Minnesota Vikings that scored a then-record 556 total points in the regular season and he along with Cris Carter were the two focal points in Brian Billick’s offensive scheme and 2007 when he was with the New England Patriots and was a member of the first team in the history of the NFL to complete a perfect 16-0 record. The 2007 season was hands down the best I had ever seen him look. Throughout his career, he had played with average quarterbacks so when he got traded to the Patriots, the thought of Randy teaming up with Tom Brady and this finally gave Tom a true number one wide receiver. Their first season together, they each made history. Brady threw 50 touchdown passes in a single season and Randy caught 23 of those touchdown passes, the most by a receiver in NFL history surpassing Jerry Rice who held the record with 22.

What a career this man had and I knew he would be a first-ballot choice when I saw his name on the list for this year’s nominees. Nate Burleson referred to Randy Moss as the “Allen Iverson of wide receivers” because he changed the culture of receivers. You know you’re special when your last name is a verb in sports lingo. If you’re a receiver and you leap up over a guy and make the catch, you “Mossed” someone. That’s legendary.