Rex Ryan made headlines yesterday the only way Rex Ryan does after speaking about former
Patriots Vikings Titans receiver Randy Moss. The 34-year-old receiver is hoping for a new team after playing for three different teams last season.
The guilty quote? Here you go:
“Randy Moss, I’ve said all along, is a great vertical receiver … Most teams would have to roll coverage to him. We never did, but we got burned for a touchdown. But he was a weapon. A vertical weapon down the field.” (via Greg Bedard at The Boston Globe)
To some, that’s ‘raving’ about a player; to others, it’s stating the obvious regarding a talented players’ reputation. This is what happens when a lockout prevents people from having a real offseason. The distinction would have been immediately drawn otherwise.
Ryan’s views on Moss aren’t novel. That’s basically the prologue to the book on Moss. When Moss plays to the best of his abilities, there are few who match him — historically and in present day. And there’s the rub: when he plays to his best. The details on all the occasions Moss hasn’t played at his best are illustrated in the rest of the book.
Vinnie Iyer at The Sporting News called the speculation overblown, and we should all agree. It’s a negotiation trick, except it’s not a very good one.
Bedard’s news arrives immediately following Santonio Holmes’ decision to share his disappointment with playing time in the AFC Championship Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Almost within the same breath, Holmes expressed his willingness to sign with any team showing their interest in dollars. And then he declined Mark Sanchez’s invitation to attend another “Jets West” camp with the receivers in California.
All of the above lend credence to the idea that Holmes is prepared for life without the Jets. So what’s the next logical move? You make him jealous, like taking a date to your ex’s favorite restaurant and hoping to bump into her.
While Holmes is clearly the superior talent compared to Moss at this stage in their respective careers, Ryan’s words can’t be perceived as anything more than a message. It’s a reminder that life can continue without Holmes, and the team will do their due diligence at every opportunity.
The problem with threatening interest in Moss rests in the clear talent discrepancy. He’s not even a believable option. While Holmes was hauling in clutch, game-winning receptions for the Jets in 2010, Moss was en route to career lows in catches and yards (28 rec., 393 yds).
The Jason Taylor experiment of 2010 should be all anyone needs to reference when considering veterans playing beyond their years.