After four games with the Minnesota Vikings, Randy Moss finds himself on his third team in a month. The Tennessee Titans acquired Moss through waivers and were the only team to submit a claim. At 33, Moss is running out of time for a championship ring. However, his NFL lifespan could reach the asystole state if he doesn’t capitalize on the opportunity that Titans head coach Jeff Fisher has presented to him.
These are six reasons that Moss’s presence will help the Titans in their playoff quest. Even if he doesn’t pan out or fails to comply to team conduct policies, it’s a low risk, high reward type of situation for the Titans and Coach Fisher.
Jeff Fisher and Mike Heimerdinger are two of the NFL’s most run-oriented coaches. That’s why Pro Bowl running back Chris Johnson entered the 2010 season with a personal objective of 2,500 rushing yards. Johnson needed to average 156.25 yards per game through sixteen contests to achieve this.
Johnson hasn’t surpassed 150 rushing yards in any game this season. Through eight games, he has accumulated 721 yards. With 1,779 yards to go, Johnson would have to average just less than 223 yards per game to meet his goal. Johnson won’t reach his personal goal, but he’ll have a better opportunity to increase his production and lead his team to more victories with the addition of Randy Moss.
CJ2K benefits from this transaction just from Moss’s mere presence alone. Opponents regularly place eight and nine men in the box when playing the Titans because of the Titans dependency on their running game. With Moss, the Titans have a receiver who requires safety assistance. Very few (if any) cornerbacks can cover Moss one-on-one. Teams will now have to risk playing single coverage on Moss or sacrifice an extra component in the box.
With a maturing offensive line that is adjusting from Kevin Mawae’s retirement, the return of Justin Gage, and Moss’s presence, opportunities aplenty should present themselves for Chris Johnson and Javon Ringer, who is averaging 5.2 yards per carry.
The Titans have never had a dominant receiver during the Fisher era. Kevin Dyson, Carl Pickens, Nate Washington, and Tyrone Calico were serviceable players who never demanded more than single coverage and were never deep threats. Kenny Britt had a breakout game against the Philadelphia Eagles before sustaining a hamstring injury that could sideline him for the rest of the 2010 season.
Britt may have been one of the NFL’s best up-and-coming receivers, but he’s no Moss. Moss gives Fisher a receiving threat that he hasn’t had in seventeen seasons with the Titans. Alongside Justin Gage and Nate Washington, Moss could give the Titans a potent passing attack.
The Titans passing offense could become more dangerous if Britt can return for the playoffs and join Moss while continuing off of his career performance against the Eagles.
Randy Moss isn’t a foreigner to everyone in the Titans organization. While he has the support of players like Chris Johnson and Michael Griffin, he’s also established a working relationship with backup quarterback Kerry Collins.
Collins could be one of the biggest reasons that the Titans acquired Moss. Collins was Moss’s quarterback with the Oakland Raiders in 2005. According to the Washington Post, Collins told the media:
“The year I spent with Randy, I never had a problem with the guy. He was respectful, he was a team guy. I think a lot of stuff you see and hear gets overblown. The guy speaks his mind, is very truthful with what he says, and that doesn’t always play well. But as far as what kind of guy and teammate he is … he was a great teammate and I never had a problem with him.”
Collins is highly regarded by Coach Fisher, and his opinion probably lured the Titans into giving Moss this opportunity. With Vince Young’s nagging ankle injury, Collins could also be relied upon on numerous occasions this season. His chemistry and time with Moss could prove valuable if that’s the case.
Randy Moss’s best years have come under strict coaching regimes. Before his recent episodes this season, Moss had been relatively clean and posted solid seasons under the supervision of Bill Belichick. He was also at his best with the Minnesota Vikings when another authoritative figure, Brian Billick, was the offensive coordinator. .
However, his worst performances and behavior have come with a lacking authority figure. The Minnesota Vikings (excluding when Billick was offensive coordinator) and Oakland Raiders didn’t have a strong figure at their coaching positions.
Cris Carter, Moss’s former teammate in Minnesota, talked about Moss needing a strong leading figure. Carter believed that Fisher was the type of coach who could handle Moss as he is one of the NFL’s longest reigning coaches (seventeen seasons).
If Fisher can’t get the best out of Moss, then no one might be able too (other than Belichick, of course).
Nashville & Media
Nashville is one of the more tame cities for professional sports. Moss isn’t going to be dealing with the East Coast media nor will he be dealing with the Brett Favre and Chilly circus that’s happening in Minnesota. The Titans are a close-knitted group and generally remain out of the media unless Vince Young sustains an injury, gets benched, or does something bizarre.
All that matters is Moss is in favor of the Titans catering services. Demos’ Restaurant might be a bit too cheap for Moss’s tastes…
Titans Have Nothing to Lose
Randy Moss finds himself in a similar situation to what he faced in the 2007 NFL Draft. The perception of his character and commitment after his Raiders stint led to few teams wanting to take a chance on him. The Patriots eventually surrendered a fourth round pick for his services, and Moss returned to Pro Bowl form before being traded to the Minnesota Vikings last month.
Now, the Tennessee Titans were the only team to submit a waiver claim for the headlined wide out. Similar to the Patriots and Bill Belichick, the Titans have an authoritative and respected head coach in Jeff Fisher. If Moss acts up, then his NFL career could be blackballed… similar to Barry Bonds’s MLB career.
Low key town, strong coach, playoff contending team, and potentially a last chance. Moss has received many opportunities because of his talent. The Titans don’t need Moss to win; however, a behaved Moss will enhance their chances as a Super Bowl contender.
Will Moss capitalize on this opportunity, or will this be the brief and final chapter to a productive, eventful, but ringless career?
More From Associated Content:
Randy Moss Isn’t Responsible for the Brett Favre Injury Against the New England Patriots
NFL Hot Seats: Five Head Coaches Who Could Be Fired by the End of the 2010 Season — or Week
Green Bay Packers 2010 Midseason Report: The Packers Could Be a Solid Rushing Team?
Cindy Boren, Washington Post. Kerry Collins Endorses Tennessee Titans Pickup of Randy Moss. November 4, 2010.
Sean Leahy, USA Today. Cris Carter: Randy Moss doesn’t have great deal of respect for Male authoritarian figure.” Accessed November 4, 2010.
Chris Johnson ESPN Player Card. Accessed November 4, 2010.