Randy Moss to Titans: A Failed Experiment
The Tennessee Titans claimed troubled wide receiver Randy Moss off waivers this week in a move the Titans hope will help them secure a playoff berth in the competitive AFC South division. This will be Moss’s 3rd team this season, and there’s a good reason the Titans were the only team in the NFL who wanted him, following his 4 game stint with the Minnesota Vikings.
While many people believe this is a low-risk high-reward move that will greatly benefit the 5-3 Titans, this is actually a potentially disastrous move that could derail a promising season for this team. Sure, Moss is one of the most talented wide receivers in the game and poses a huge threat for all opposing defenses. At the same time, however, he is a chemistry-killing, self-absorbed, poison who, unless placed in the perfect environment, will inevitably cause problems and draw attention to himself in a negative way. Moss needs, and refuses to share, the spotlight. Some say a leopard never changes its spots and there are numerous reasons to believe that won’t happen here.
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who denies Moss is immensely talented. But in an era of football dominated by high-profile wide receivers like Moss, Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco, Moss’ ability on the field will never be enough to outweigh the harm he causes to his team as a perpetual egotistical distraction. Randy Moss and Terrell Owens have combined to play for a total of 9 teams over the course of their careers.
After seven successful years with his initial team, the Minnesota Vikings, Moss was traded to the Raiders and played for a 2 year period, during which he appeared extremely unhappy and disinterested in playing hard. He was then traded to the Patriots for a 4th round pick, as coach Belichick believed he could be the one to control Moss and keep him satisfied. Moss initially bought into the “team” concept and had one of the best individual seasons for a wide receiver in NFL history, catching a record 23 touchdowns.
Yet, after the first game of this season, things appeared to be going south, and fast. Moss, again, was unhappy with his role and felt unwanted, revealing his selfish attitude and narcissism.
The Patriots decided they had had enough and traded away Moss to the Minnesota Vikings for a 3rd round pick, believing they could survive without him, and would greatly benefit from the subsequent improvement in team chemistry. After only 4 games with the Vikings, however, coach Brad Childress decided they had made a mistake, noting that Moss had no interest in being a team player. They put him on waivers, and the Titans were the only team in the league who wanted to take a chance on him.
While the initial addition of Randy Moss might benefit the Titans by jump-starting their offense, the current Titans offense is based around Chris Johnson, one of the premier running backs in the league. Moss’ presence on the field will likely draw a substantial amount of attention from the defense, distracting them, thus opening holes for Johnson. Yet, how long this will last is suspect, Moss only cares about his personal achievements and how often the ball, and glory, is in his hands. Only time will tell whether this move can pay off, but don’t expect Moss to be a Saint along the way.