Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Updated: August 18, 1:50 PM ET
Randy Moss continues to amaze
By Mike Reiss
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Sometimes when extraordinary things happen on a regular basis, they might start being viewed as ordinary.
Such is the case with Randy Moss.
The veteran New England Patriots receiver did it again Tuesday. In passing drills against the Atlanta Falcons, he was gracefully sprinting down the right sideline when quarterback Tom Brady delivered a high-arcing ball in his direction. Cornerback Brian Williams had tight coverage. A completion seemed unlikely.
Then, at the last moment without breaking stride, Moss extended his right arm and corralled the ball with one hand.
It just stuck.
Such plays have become commonplace over the past four seasons in New England, to the point that they are almost easy to overlook because Moss makes the magic look easy.
Moss, by most accounts this summer, has been magnificent through the Patriots' first 27 practices of training camp, his stick-'em one-handed grab Tuesday just the latest example. Yet little light has been shed on his work, in part because has not accepted interview requests, instead electing to have his performance do the talking.
What we've seen is a player who, unlike past years, has been on the field for every practice. Gone are the "veteran" days off that have sometimes been awarded to players of his stature.
And for those questioning whether the 33-year-old Moss still has the burners to race past defenders, further evidence of that came Tuesday morning when he split the defense (albeit the Falcons' reserves) and hauled in a long bomb down the middle of the field from Brady. That one got a rise out of the largest training camp crowd the Falcons have had this summer.
Earlier this week, Patriots coach Bill Belichick agreed with a reporter who said it appeared Moss was putting together a solid camp.
"I think with all the players that get into that part of their career, you look at it year to year. Sometimes players can stay at a high level for a number of years, but then at some point it drops," Belichick said. "That can be at 28. It could be 31. It could be 35. There's no real forecast on that."
When it comes to the future forecast with Moss in New England, it's cloudy. He is in the final year of his contract and previously said that he figures this will be his last season with the club.
What has resulted is a motivated Moss, a player positioning himself for perhaps one final payday, whether it's in New England or elsewhere. That has come to life on the field in camp with several highlight-reel plays.
The most recent came Tuesday.
It's extraordinary stuff that doesn't always get its due because of how frequently it happens.
|At 33, Randy Moss may be contemplating one more big payday in the NFL.|
Mike Reiss covers the Patriots for ESPN Boston. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.