Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Moss: Good or Bad Move for the Niners?

March 14, 2012

Holy crud, has it really been since ’09 since I posted something here? Guess I need to stop reading about the NFL and start writing!

With so much going on, namely the Manning Sweepstakes, the thing that caught my eye today was Randy Moss’s signing with the Forty Niners — I find it an incredibly odd move for a number of reasons.

Firstly, Harbaugh strikes me as someone who has an incredibly large ego, someone who doesn’t like to be disagreed with and certainly someone who’s not willing to put up with players quitting on the field. And, as anyone who’s even remotely paid attention to the NFL can see, Moss has phoned it in on a number of teams and under a number of different coaches, among them Bill Belichick. While I’ve never been a huge fan of the Pats or of Belichick, the guy knows how to coach and I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who’d say that he’s weak. Belichick demands team play and high effort and, for a few years, Moss was able to hang there. But, as was predicted the day that he was traded from the Raiders to the Pats, he began to quit. While Harbaugh seems to the be the real deal, the reality is that he’s a very young and inexperienced NFL head coach.   And, if the demands of Belichick wasn’t enough to keep Moss motivated, I’m far from convinced that Harbaugh will have better luck.  And, especially given Chris Carter’s, “Randy’s got more quit in him…” evaluation of Moss, I see this signing is little but a ticking time bomb waiting to go off.

But hold on a minute. Moss is at the end of his career, one that’s seen 7 Pro Bowls, 5 All Pro designations and, perhaps more importantly, the 2007 Pro Football Writer’s Association Comeback Player of the Year. Keeping in mid that stints with the last two teams that he’s been a part of, the Vikings and the Titans, have ended badly for him, Moss may be just humbled enough to make a run at another Comeback Player award. And, as much as he would’ve loved to play last year, there were simply no teams who were willing to take a shot on him. I imagine that comes pretty close to rock bottom for an athlete as talented as Moss and hard times have a way of changing people. All reports that I’ve seen seem to indicate that Moss still has speed and freakishly good hands, things that may add up for a successful relationship between the two parties. Given the fact that the Niners seem to have landed Moss with very little financial risk, the move may make sense.

The worst part, as I see it, is that, as the Niners feel that they have a guy who can stretch the field, I don’t think that they’re in the market any more for another top receiver. And, given the fact that they lost Josh Morgan to the Redskins, they may have just shot themselves in the foot if Moss fails to produce. At best, they’ll bring in #3 and 4 receivers such as Oakland’s Chaz Shilens to complement their existing starters but, for true impact receivers, they seem to be off the market. Good luck Harbaugh, you may need more of it than you realize.

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Is it time to call Jamarcus Russell a bust?

October 5, 2009

It’s becoming a common occurrence for the 2009 Raiders — Russell drops back, spots a streaking Receiver running a deep slant and fires a dart that would put German WWII era 88mm tank guns to shame. Instead of reaching its intended target however, the ball winds up being either dramatically behind or over the head of the frustrated WR.

Russell definitely has the physical abilities, those have never been in doubt, but his on the field success and consistency is quickly becoming representative of the Raider organization as a whole. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that he’s had 2 head coaches and 3 offensive coordinators during his short career. Or, that he hasn’t had the benefit of consistent experience at the WR position. Those things haven’t exactly helped his cause but, whatever the case, he’s on the hairy edge of having the “bust” label tattooed on his ever growing stomach.

He was drafted #1 for his ability to throw deep, yet a quarter of the way through the ’09 season, he remains near the bottom of the league in completions for both 20+ and 40+ yards. And, that’s to say nothing of his league worst passer rating and completion percentage. Sure, you can place part of the blame on inexperienced receivers or coaching, but when Russell constantly displays his unique ability to badly miss even the simplest of passes, it makes it pointing the finger anywhere else pretty difficult.

The buzz on Russell so far seems to be his lack of discipline — he seems entirely uninterested in doing the things that are necessary in order to succeed in the NFL. One needs only a casual look at his thighs and waistline to realize that things like healthy eating aren’t exactly high on his list of priorities. He hosted two passing camps for Raider QB’s and WR’s between OTA’s and training camp, which gave fans of the silver and black a glimmer of hope, but sadly, any positives to come out of those have yet to translate to on the field success.

Earlier this month, Forbes Magazine ranked the Raiders the least most valuable team in the NFL, hardly consistent with Davis’s “Just win baby” mentality. Jamarcus Russell is not exactly helping the organization change its ranking. Perhaps it’s too early to call him a bust. It could be that once Chaz Schilens, the Raider standout WR in the ’09 preseason,  gets back into the mix, Russell will gain the consistency and experience at the WR position that he so desperately needs. Pehaps more time with Cable will further build the base that he needs in order to fulfill the hype that surrounded him earlier in his career. Or, perhaps he’s just too darn lazy to be even a servicable quarterback in the NFL. If the later is the case, he needs to do the Raiders and the NFL a favor by voiding his contract and heading back to the homestead in Louisiana.

The NFL is a better when the Raiders are competitive and, at this point, the Raiders would be better with another quarterback behind center, even if those quarterbacks happen to have the last names of Frye or Gradkowski.