Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Randy Moss could fit with Saints
By Pat Yasinskas
The news that Randy Moss is working out for the New Orleans Saints is big, simply because names don’t come much bigger when it comes to wide receivers.
But I don’t know that a 35-year-old wide receiver who was out of football last season is suddenly going to come in and carry the Saints to a Super Bowl title. I don’t even know if the Saints actually will sign Moss.
What’s happening here is the Saints are looking at possibilities. That’s not a bad idea because they could be losing top receiver Marques Colston when free agency starts next week. They also could lose Robert Meachem, who, while not as prolific as Colston, has become an important cog in the Saints’ rotation of wide receivers.
Moss is worth a look. If he has anything left, he becomes an option if Colston and/or Meachem depart. Like Colston and Meachem, Moss is a taller wide receiver and could pair nicely with shorter receivers Lance Moore and Devery Henderson.
But Moss isn’t a carbon copy of Colston. In his best days -- and it’s been a while since Moss was at the top of his game (2009 in New England was his last good season) -- he wasn’t the same style of receiver as Colston. Moss was a long-striding receiver who could get open deep. Colston has never been that kind of player. But Colston’s real value to the Saints has been in the midlevel passing game. He has dependable hands and his size has allowed him to make a big impact over the middle.
But the reality is that New Orleans’ cap situation could make it impossible for the Saints to keep Colston. Moss likely would come at a cheap price.
The question that’s always been associated with Moss has been, is he worth the trouble, at any price? As we all know, Moss’ enormous talent often has been overshadowed by his behavior. At just about every one of his stops, Moss has gained a reputation for being selfish and not a great influence in the locker room.
But if the Saints lose Colston and Moss shows in his workout that he has some physical skills left, I say go ahead and sign him.
The Saints have taken shots on guys with less-than-stellar reputations in the past and that often has worked out. That’s because the Saints have a different locker room than most teams. They have a locker room that’s run with an iron hand by quarterback Drew Brees.
There’s an unwritten rule in New Orleans that nobody messes with Brees, and everyone in the locker room is held accountable by the quarterback. A lot of people said tight end Jeremy Shockey would be a problem when the Saints brought him in a few years back.
Shockey had pushed Giants quarterback Eli Manning all around when the two were together in New York. But Shockey’s time in New Orleans was relatively peaceful. That’s because Shockey knew he wouldn’t be there long if he crossed Brees or didn’t work up to the standards expected by the quarterback.
It can work the same way with Moss.