I want to pick up on something from another thread, because the myth that Randy Moss was some sort of one-dimensional deep threat needs to be debunked on as many forums as possible.
FUNBUNCHER wrote in the other thread:
Randy Moss didn't work between the hashmarks. He'll tell you that. So will Cris Carter. That wasn't his game. He may have done it some, but he didn't earn his paycheck doing it.
A Randy Moss highlight is a poor substitute for actually watching the games he played in.
Most complete WR in football??? Maybe to you, but it's not really an evaluation most analysts have about his game.
He definitely wasn't a great route runner. Moss was able to get open so frequently because ALL corners gave him a 10-15 yard cushion because of his deep threat. His 2/3 catches of less than 20 yards just shows that the typical Randy Moss route was running straight ahead for roughly 17-20 yards, stopping then turning around for the football to arrive.
He wasn't beating guys in coverage because of precise route running.
I'm not knocking Moss for having elite speed and exploiting it to get open, but corners being afraid that Moss might run by them doesn't make him a great route runner, or a complete WR.
Now that Randy has slowed some, you see the glaring deficiencies in his ability to get open running clean routes.
First of all, one doesn't have to be an exceptional route runner to not be a one-dimensional deep threat. The vast majority of top receivers in the NFL are/were not great route runners.
Terrell Owens was never a very good route runner. Moss is/was definitely a better route runner than Owens.
Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and A.J. Green are not great route runners. Anquan Boldin was never a great route runner. Dez Bryant is not a great route runner. Demaryius Thomas is not a great route runner.
You don't need to be Isaac Bruce to do more than catch deep passes.
Secondly, if being a huge deep threat was enough to get open regularly underneath, Alexander Wright, Willie Gault, James Jett, DeSean Jackson, Herkie Walls, Ron Brown, Mike Wallace, and Flipper Anderson would have also done it.
They didn't, and the reason for that is pretty obvious.
Moss has a huge wingspan, great ball skills, and he's tough. The video I posted in the other thread proved how tough he is in traffic. If you tried to make a video like that about Terrell Owens, you'd run out after 2-3 plays. Yet, hilariously, people talk about Owens's "physical brand of football."
Moss has also always been an excellent blocker...one of the better blocking wide receivers in the league.
These Moss myths all originated with people trying to find some way to knock him. I guess they felt threatened by how easily he was dominating the game. "Oh, crap, he just torched the Packers deep 3 times and single-handedly beat them. Hmmm, what can we come up with to criticize him for? Oh, that's it...they were all deep balls. I know, all he can do is catch the deep ball! He looks tall and thin, this means he must be soft. We'll just say that, although it looks like he can pretty much torch teams at will, he doesn't do the finer points of the game, because poor Jerry Rice will be so hurt."
And then he didn't help matters with his, "I play when I want to play" remark. Moss has always had the dilemma of knowing he's the greatest receiver to ever play. He probably knew it since high school. He could either be faux-humble, he could be arrogant, or he could ponder whether being the best wide receiver of all-time is really that great a station in life, and whether proving it to others, when he knew without a doubt that he was the greatest, was even worth the effort. He chose the latter.
Moss made several tough catches over the middle for the 49ers this past season, despite only seeing limited action. It's clear he can still do it. He's not as explosive as he was in Minnesota, but the same could be said for Moss in New England, and he was still able to dominate. I can't remember the 49ers successfully throwing a jump ball to him even once
. Kaepernick and Smith's fades were so horrible it was insane.
And the first thing you really lose with age is agility, not straight-line speed. Guys who stay in shape can maintain great straight-line speed into their 40s.
So if anything is going to go with age, it's a receiver's quickness out of his breaks...i.e., route running.