Friday, August 18, 2006

Don't Feed The Sharks

The Randy Moss watch is on. The media detect blood in the water. They're circling, nibbling, ready to take a big bite. After feasting on a steady diet of T.O. for the past 12 months, they're hungry for dessert.

Consider this headline that I (and many of you) received via email from NFL.com: "Brooks and Moss - Can This Work?" The email goes on to say: "After being pulled from the game in the second quarter, Moss stormed off the field and threw his helmet in disgust, stewing on the bench for the rest of the game."

Below that, there's a link to "more team news," which connects you to the Raiders.com newsroom! I'm sure the team's front office is thinking, "Thanks for the referral, NFL!"

Or consider this piece from the Associated Press, which begins: "Randy Moss is complaining, the offense is stagnating and Aaron Brooks has been unable to move the ball."

Or consider
this column from ESPN, which was published BHC (before helmet chucking). I almost selected this piece as News You Can't Use, but it was too convoluted to pin down. Let just say that you know you're in trouble when your article on Randy Moss goes off the rails with Barry Bonds comparisons in the second paragraph. I dare you to read this guy's column aloud in your local town square. You will most certainly be mistaken for a raving lunatic. But I digress...

Let me say this: Just because Randy Moss isn't mooning cheeseheads or running over meter maids these days doesn't mean he's above reproach. I don't doubt his competitive drive. But chucking your helmet during the second preseason game, in rebellion of a decision made by Art Shell, is not constructive.


Randy Moss may be a model citizen these days, but he's still a bit of a diva. I know I'll take some heat for that statement, but so be it. Trust me, I love Randy Moss. I just don't need him giving us more reasons to push the panic button right now.

Remember the final game against the Giants last year, when Randy was visibly (and rightfully) freaking out about the playcalling during the final drive? Fine, it was the end of a long and dreadful ride under Norv Turner, and we were all being fitted for straightjackets at that point. But pouting angrily throughout our second preseason game under Art Shell?

That makes for sideline antics in two out of our last three games, dating back to last year. Not a good trend.

I'm a bit torn on this matter. On the one hand, I admire Randy for having the competitive zeal to even care about a preseason game, as opposed to, say, riding an exercise bicycle in Oxnard for two weeks.

On the other hand, the Raiders are teetering between disaster and revival, and I'd like to see our star talent have a little more faith and a little more self control as Art Shell takes the necessary steps, and the necessary time, to avert disaster and ensure revival.

15 Comments:

Blogger JTE said...

Gonna have to take Randy's side on this one. If the offense was clicking and he was only upset at not getting the ball enough, that would be cause for concern. Nothing is working with the first unit, and I don't think there is any reason to think they are just waiting until the games count to turn themselves loose. If I was Moss, and staring down the barrel of 64 quarters much like these ones, I'd be pissed too.

Whether he pouts in public or behind the scenes isn't going to change the results any.

1:34 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

i'm a bit torn with it too. at least let him finish the drive before you take him out of the game. i mean it was his return to the metrodome.
i also agree that brooks has received my vote of confidence yet. i mean he isn't stonewalling like kfc, but he isn't getting his passes, nor has he made good decisions. andrew walter is the starter in my book.
randy is right, something has got to give, and the first string better start doing something, or we are going to fall hard. i think his "tirade" was more to show his teammates to "knock the smiles off your faces, we need to work hard, and we are not" message.
i think shell got that message yesterday too, when he kicked everyone off the field.
as bad as the media is trying to make it, i think randy and shell are on the same page, and randy's reaction in the game wasn't completely directed at shell as it was the play (or lack thereof) of everyone around him. i think, personally, he was telling shell to get on their @$$e$, and get them to play harder, and shell let him blow off his steam. nothing major.
where i disagree with it, is that should've been handled in the locker room at half-time. moss can't sulk on the sideline during the game, get in people's faces, scream, throw things, do what you gotta do, in the locker, not the field. if you want to be a leader, then act like a leader and take care of your business in the privacy of the house, and not in the public eye.

6:38 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

"i also agree that brooks has received my vote of confidence yet."
I meant to say he has NOT received my vote of confidence yet.

6:39 AM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

As a rule, I don't approve of players acting like "talent". “You” are not that important.

TOs outbursts are always about TO. I could be wrong, but I don’t think this outburst was about Randy. I may be stretching this analogy thin, but Alexander the Great was renowned for sulking in the face of disappointment. Once, when his army threatened to leave him, he stripped off his clothes and showed them every scar he had received to bring them glory and freedom. He challenged them to return home and confess their cowardice. Tell your wives and priests you left your king surrounded by his enemies. He then went into his tent and sulked. In another history it is said that he once sat beside the sea and wept because there was nothing left to conquer.

Randy is a fierce competitor. I think, at the end of the day, Randy’s outburst was about us, and not about him. He “wept” for Oakland. That Aaron Brooks sure does smile a lot. He wasn’t smiling when Randy was talking to him. Seabass had a hell of a game, but when he saw Randy he arguably felt drawn to improve the situation in whatever way he could. Every one of the 1st team should have hung their heads in shame. One man did. May the rest feel cheaper for their comfort with the team’s performance to date.

7:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Randy will never change. He is always going to be a big play receiver who disappears when he does not get the ball. Some games we he will single handedly keep us in the game. Next game he will give the media something to write about for weeks. He is also always going to do a few things throughout the year that brings attention, some good and some bad, to himself. We knew that when we traded for him so for me it is really a non-issue. As for the 1st team offense. Yes there is concern. It has been ugly. I love the NFL but because of its popularity one thing I hate is all the preseason break down by the media and even the fans. It is the preseason. There will be many teams that look horrid in the preseason who improve and become much better throughout the year. There are teams that look great now that will be 6-10 come December. I am not saying we look great but I also don't think it is the time to try and break down the games. Wait until the season starts and we can see how the young players respond. Everyone is evaluating what the team is doing and that makes for good reading, but what I hate is the "Aaron Brooks sucks" "We are going to be 3-13" "Tom Walsh is outdated" "The offense is going to be at the bottom of the league" No one knows what is going to happen in the NFL. Parity abound. I love how the media, especially the so called experts on ESPN this time of year will say a team is going to finish 6-10 and then when they make the playoffs it turns to "I knew with the veteran leadership they had a good chance of turning things around" If your wrong, say "I was frick'n wrong." As for the Raiders we just have to wait until that first Monday night game to see.

JK

7:12 AM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

Quick side note. That article about Moss was odd, to say the least. Now, I know we haven't completely given up on Brooks, but this sentence was funny:

"...Davis replaced Collins with the NFL's Quarterback Most Likely to Make a Mistake -- "Error" Brooks."

7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im sorry but this Randys a competitor BS is starting to grate on me. He is more spoiled brat then competitor. He didnt walk off the field in a huff and throw his helmet and huff and puff because he wasnt out there helping the TEAM. He did it because he wanted to remind minny how good he is and what they lost. He wanted to show off and Art pulled the plug on it. As Art should have. These actions had ZERO to do with the TEAM and everything to do about Randy.

Now that being said i dont think this is going to turn into a big issue mainly for how Art handled it and will continue to handle. Imagine how annoying the porter situation would be under Norv or Bill, it would be a media circus on the level with TO, but Art snuffed that real quick, now i barely even think about porter.
what randy did was a joke i see it out of my 3 year old on a regular basis.

EkgRaider

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everybodys says the same but no one staes the obvious...Randy was whining because he couldnt beat up on his old team. I think Art Shell saw he was frustrated so he took him out. People talk about the preseason like it was life or death. Look at Kansas City! They suck right now but people still say they're contenders. I just dont get it.........

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder where or when the doom and gloom reporters will start tearing into KC. They're 0-2, and got shut out 17-0? If that were us they be shoveling dirt on us.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

KC is getting old. Herm Edwards is overrated. Al Saunders, their star offensive coordinator, hit the road. Their preseason to date may indeed be a precursor of things to come.

11:03 AM  
Blogger Roy said...

Diva?? More of a spoiled brat than a competitor??? In what world??? You don't make it to the nfl without being a world class competitor. Moss has done more than make it to the NFL he has dominated the NFL. He has MORE than 10,000 yards and 98 TD's in 8 years. 8 freaking years! He is the best of the best! He is pissed because the offense has sucked, yes it is only pre-season and way too soon to be scared. But competition is competition and competitors always want to win and that is a good thing. What I hate is watching Brooks suck it up and then laugh the rest of the night.

2:28 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I'd like to see Moss and Brooks both occupy a middle ground between game-long pouting and carefree giggling.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Let's trade Moss, Porter, & Brooks, to Arizona for Leinart, & Fitzgerald. I know I'm dreaming, but I could really live with this.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Raider Raza said...

I rather have a Moss pouting because Shell won't let him play in a meaningless game, than a Jerry Porter who doesn't want to play at all in the real games and wants to be traded.

So for the record I think it was blown out of proportion, I'm sure there are many players around the league that wanted more game time ...

8:00 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

What I take away from the Moss incident and Pouter's trade demand is that we have a true leader in charge...Art Shell.

The way that Shell difused any potential controvery and distractions from getting in the way of the team's "big picture" goals is very commendable.

Shell's direct, no-nonsense, I'm in charge approach resonates with the players.

I have not heard a peep from Pouter since his initial trade demands. He is back to practicing hard and earning his playing time.

Even Moss' comments after the Minny incident shows a level of respect that you wouldn't hear if Cally or Norvel were in charge.

"He made a decision," Moss said. "He's the head coach. I've got to live with it. I don't call the shots. I can understand where he's coming from, but at the same time, I love the game, I love to play ball. We're out there sweating and breathing hard, so just leave me in and take me out after a punt, (or) score a field goal.”

11:07 PM  

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