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Author Topic: Looking back: should we have kept Plax?  (Read 2799 times)
Hercules50
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« on: Oct 15, 2007 at 08:00 »

During and immediately after 2004, I was completely sure we shouldn't re-sign Plaxico Burress. He looked like an underacheiving player who didn't put up enough big plays for a guy with his skills, who would drop the tough catch as often as he'd make it, who disappeared for long stretches in big games.

He really seems to have grown and developed his game since then, and now he may be a top-5 NFL receiver. Steve Smith and Randy Moss are the only ones who are clearly better, and even Moss may still be a product of insane talent around him.

Could we have found a way to keep him? Should we have anticipated that he was still a developing player and could get better? Would he make a difference in a season like this, when our likely playoff rivals are stocked with big-time playmakers? Would he help Ben's development? Or -- did we make the right choice? Is Plaxico not worth big money, is he just putting up big numbers on a team forced to throw a lot?  
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TwistedLemon
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« Reply #1 on: Oct 15, 2007 at 08:49 »

I do not feel we should have kept him, and am fine with what we have for now.  It may seem, due to recent injuries, that it would have been beneficial.  Hines and Holmes are a good pair, but the injuries have not allowed them to be together as often as we would like.  I have also found both Heath and Speath to be useful as receivers this season.  I am sure WR is a position of target in upcoming off-seasons due to age and growth.

We won a SB without Plax.  We are 4-1 without Plax.  We do not seem to have the ego issue without Plax.  We have a team where it appears everyone knows their roles and steps up when times of need are about.
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« Reply #2 on: Oct 15, 2007 at 09:28 »

Going back into a time-machine and forcing the Steeler's FO to sign Plex would have unforeseen consequences, the most significant of which might be a Colts 2005 Super Bowl trophy.

Fuck the Giants. They can have Burress. We got Lombardi.  
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« Reply #3 on: Oct 15, 2007 at 09:37 »

He's had a very solid run in NY, but I'm all for keying in on a core of irreplaceable players, and just developing talent.  In this quid pro quo, we're really asking, "Would it have been better to keep Plax rather than drafting Holmes?"  Aside from cap implications, I think Holmes could soon be at Plax's level of play, and he has a better long-term prospect.
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Hercules50
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« Reply #4 on: Oct 15, 2007 at 09:53 »

I suggested this just as a thought experiement -- and I fall on the side of thinking that we did the right thing. My question was prompted by the notion that I'm less sure of this than I was before this year, because I think Plax has developed into a better player than he was when he was a Steeler.

Arguments for:

-- I understand the "maybe '05 would have turned out differently" argument. But how would we have done worse with Burress-Ward-ARE at wideout? The only way we would have done worse is if signing Plax would have meant NOT extending Ward, and he would have been pissed, and the chemistry would have been off. I think that we could have found a way to re-sign both of them -- not sure how, but I think we could have. Maybe not re-signing Ike? We wouldn't have needed to waste $10 million on Cedric Wilson, too.

-- I am a huge Holmes fan. But two things:
(a) I'm not sure keeping Plax means we wouldn't have drafted Holmes. I think it means we wouldn't have drafted Heath Miller (and maybe we would have drafted an OL or CB instead?)
(b) Even being a huge Holmes fan, and I think he's going to be a star, he's not there yet, and we need to beat the Patriots or Colts THIS year to win the title. And he's not as good as Plax is right now.

-- An elite-level deep threat like Burress can have a ripple effect -- for example, it can help conceal shaky pass-protection, because it can help dissuade teams from blitzing. Thus, possibly, 2006 wouldn't have been quite the disaster it turned out to be, and it could further help this year when we still seem to have these issues.

--Imagine what Ben might be able to accomplish with Plax-Ward-Holmes; he is going to be forever hamstrung in comparisons to Brady and Manning because he doesn't have great protection and his receivers, while pretty good, arent' on the Pats' or Colts' levels.

Conclusion: I don't think we should have re-signed Plaxico, for the record. I'm just having some fun thinking through a 'what-if' and want to see if you guys think I'm crazy.
« Last Edit: Oct 15, 2007 at 09:55 by Hercules50 » Logged
Big Virgil
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« Reply #5 on: Oct 15, 2007 at 10:10 »

I almost posted something about Burress over the weekend.  Did yinz see the clip of him catching a ball, smacking a CB in the mouth and scooting up the sideline for a TD?  I think it was a TD anyway.  Where was this player a few years ago?  It just takes some guys longer to develop and realize they have to work hard to make it happen.  Burress is definitely not a big picture kind of guy, but now it seems like he gets it.  Good for him, but I'm OK not having him.    
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« Reply #6 on: Oct 15, 2007 at 11:32 »

Even had we resigned him, there's no guarantee Plax would be playing like this for us.  Maybe he would have, but I think 5 years is plenty of time to decide if a reciever is worth the big contract or not.  Based on what we had seen at that point, we did the right thing.  I'm sure the Rams probably wish they had never traded Bettis to us, but at the same time if the system didn't suit him there, he wouldn't have been as successful.  The Giants system probably suits Plax more than ours did at the time.

Congrats to him for his success, but we did what we had to do.
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« Reply #7 on: Oct 15, 2007 at 11:54 »

Plax started training in Florida in the offseason a couple of years before he left the 'Burgh, rather than hang out in Va. Beach.  He was clearly improving even in his injury-filled contract year in 2004.  I'm glad to see that the light went on for him, especially far away in the NFC.

I don't know if keeping Burress was a real option in 2004.  IIRC, the Steelers were bumping hard against the cap and already reworking contracts even to get Ced.  Geez, we couldn't even keep Keydrick Vincent after that year.  I don't think the question is whether the Steelers would have avoided the draft tradeup for Holmes; there's a whole year and SB that separates Spike's departure and that draft.

Further, I suspect that if the Steelers had signed Burress for 2005, another head or two would have had to go as well.  Maybe Hartings.  In any case, the extra loss might have come back to bite us in 2005 and, as JSplat notes, I'd rather have a Lombardi than a Burress.

Now if the Steelers had had more cap room, then I think it would be an interesting question.  IMO, they would have tried to keep Plax in town.  
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« Reply #8 on: Oct 15, 2007 at 12:26 »

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He really seems to have grown and developed his game since then, and now he may be a top-5 NFL receiver. Steve Smith and Randy Moss are the only ones who are clearly better, and even Moss may still be a product of insane talent around him.
 
Top 5?  Nah.

Moss.
Owens.
Smith.
Fitzgerald.
Harrison.
CJ.
Wayne.

All better.  That's just a quick list too.

But, I hear what you're sayin'.  His production has improved (somewhat) since he left, while Ward's has tapered off a bit.  A lot of that has to do with the weapons (and system) around him.

When it's all said and done though, I highly doubt Pittsburgh would've been able to keep Ward and Burress.  If I had to choose one, I'd go with who they did.
« Last Edit: Oct 15, 2007 at 12:26 by aj_law » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: Oct 15, 2007 at 12:29 »

Oh yeah, speaking of possible Plax moves, in hindsight, I do wish they would've pulled the trigger on that then rumored Plax for LJ trade.  That's about my only real regret concerning him.
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« Reply #10 on: Oct 15, 2007 at 14:16 »

Plax is so much taller than DBs that even Eli can get him the ball.  Plax still drops too many passes and gets a lot of blocking penalties.  We do need a big WR, but I'm glad we didn't resign Plax and his attitude.
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« Reply #11 on: Oct 15, 2007 at 14:58 »

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Looking back: should we have kept Plax?

No.
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« Reply #12 on: Oct 15, 2007 at 15:17 »

It's funny, just about everytime Plax makes a catch some numpty giant fan comes swanning by, saying "Thank you for Plax" like we just dealt them Randy Moss for a fourth rounder or something.

We usually just laugh at him.
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« Reply #13 on: Oct 15, 2007 at 15:20 »

We should never have drafted Plax.  We shoulda taken Chad Pennington.

How often does a franchise QB come along, anyway?!?
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« Reply #14 on: Oct 15, 2007 at 15:23 »

The better question is who did we resign instead of Plex, and are we better off having kept those other players instead of Plax.  Moreover, given the continuing cap influence of Plex over the years, would resigning Plex have cost other players (Troy or whomever) that we much would have rather kept.  

The list of players signed or resigned includes Ike, Troy, Aaron Smith, Kiesel, Mahan, Simmons, and Hampton (I think).  Is Plex worth a Kiesel and a Smith combined?    
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« Reply #15 on: Oct 15, 2007 at 19:45 »

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Looking back: should we have kept Plax?

Nah.

But that didn't keep me from drafting him for my FF team.  I mean, who else do they have?  Somebody has to catch the ball.
 
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« Reply #16 on: Oct 15, 2007 at 20:02 »

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Quote
Looking back: should we have kept Plax?

Nah.

But that didn't keep me from drafting him for my FF team.  I mean, who else do they have?  Somebody has to catch the ball.
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« Reply #17 on: Oct 15, 2007 at 20:49 »

Plax is a killer. Definitely better than Chad Johnson, man.

 
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« Reply #18 on: Oct 16, 2007 at 00:20 »

lmfao, did someone say Reggie Wayne?
« Last Edit: Oct 16, 2007 at 00:20 by VThrilla18 » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: Oct 16, 2007 at 10:26 »

Well, you guys can have Sleepy.  I'll take CJ or Wayne over him.  I think I'd like to add Add Javon Walker to my list too.  Maybe I'm blinded by my dislike for him, but he's just not the kind of player I'd want on my team.

FWIW, comparative stats since '05 (Plax' first year with Gints):

REC  YDS  YPC  TDS

Burress
76   1214  16.0    7
63    988  15.7   10
30    507  16.9    8

CJ
97   1432  14.8    9
87   1369  15.7    7
36    578  16.1    3

Wayne
83   1055  12.7    5
86   1310  15.2    9
28    369  13.2    4

I'll be interested to see what kind of numbers Burress finishes with this year.  Even if he has a so-so second half, he should be tops in most categories.  That is, if he doesn't pass out somewhere along the way.
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« Reply #20 on: Oct 16, 2007 at 11:20 »

I will say that he looks like he's playing more phsyical, more determined.  Does that say something about the coaching or system here versus NY?  Or did the light go on for the guy?

 
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Hercules50
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« Reply #21 on: Oct 16, 2007 at 11:37 »

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I will say that he looks like he's playing more phsyical, more determined.
And this is what I think, too.

I grant that Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, and Chad Johnson are more consistent receivers, as are most of the other guys at the top of anyone's list of the best WRs.

But I think that, when he's at his best, Plax can be a near-unstoppable big-play machine, in the Randy Moss category, and that he can be a game-changer, as I mentioned before, with his ability to make teams think twice about their use of safeties, for example.

I grant that he's never played at his best very much of the time before this season, but this year it looks like he's stepped up.
 
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« Reply #22 on: Oct 16, 2007 at 13:06 »

Let's wait a month or two before we put Plax in the pantheon.  Dude has a history of not maintaining for a full season, and he plays for Herr Coughlin, whose players have a history of quitting on him around week 9.

 
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« Reply #23 on: Oct 16, 2007 at 15:52 »

Every year smart-ass Giant fans have some sarcastic thanks for giving us Plaxico comment early in the year.

I usually just tell them to wait a month or two and then see how they feel.
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« Reply #24 on: Oct 16, 2007 at 17:30 »

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But I think that, when he's at his best, Plax can be a near-unstoppable big-play machine, in the Randy Moss category,

There's only one player worthy of the Randy Moss category. He's the best WR of all-time IMO.

There are these non-stop ****-riding media opinions that NE is the greatest team ever assembled and all the while the Steelers would have been just that good if we would've traded for Moss.  
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« Reply #25 on: Oct 16, 2007 at 21:25 »

When people bash the Steelers for being cheap, the typical response is something like, "Name one player who after the Steelers let walk, did anything significant."  The one and only answer had always been Rod Woodson.  Now I think we can add Plax to the list.

A lot of the posts on this thread seem like sour grapes.  I'll never totally forgive him for the 2004 AFC Championship game where on two occasions a CB 7 inches shorter than him won a one on one battle for the football.  But the light bulb came on for this guy, and he's showing everyone what the Steelers saw in him when making him a top 10 pick.

It's a tough question to answer, b/c of the salary cap, and the consideration of who we'd have lost had we signed Plax.  But the Giants have him for below market value IMO.
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« Reply #26 on: Oct 16, 2007 at 21:45 »

maybe I'm missing something but, who is the greatest WR of all time?   swann, stallworth, thigpen (he was so good), rice etc....

i'm curious if we were even in the running for Moss as when that deal went down (4th rounder?  jesus) I was suprised as shit and like, "fuck".  i wonder if anyone else was in the running

moss is like the beyond smart kid in high school who drops out because he's bored...he gets on a team with a chance and his interest is piqued and there you go...tired of all the patriots hoopla but hey, they're playing pretty undeniably great.

Plax is doing good now but let's see in week 12 when the giants are behind in the wild card and he doesn't feel like finishing his route or blocking downfield....
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« Reply #27 on: Oct 17, 2007 at 11:40 »

Why in blue blazes would Moss come to the 'Burgh in lieu of a pass-first offense such as that in New England?  FWIW, that two year hiatus chasing the big bucks in his prime is going to cost Moss a shot at Jerry Rice's all time records for yardage and TD's.  Moss is now 30.  For perspective, Rice's last mega-year was at Age 33.

Anyway, NE stocked up on Thomas, Welker, and Moss for an obvious SB push.  That and their DB's are now a lot younger.  About the only two weaknesses that I can find with this team are a relatively old LB group and a dependance on Brady remaining upright into the playoffs.  
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« Reply #28 on: Oct 17, 2007 at 16:16 »

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Why in blue blazes would Moss come to the 'Burgh in lieu of a pass-first offense such as that in New England?
That thought occurred to me, but, one could point out:  While NE no doubt has a system where they pass more frequently, to date they were more of a short passing team.  Add to that: the fact that BR has nearly the highest yards per attempt in recent history of the league!  Moss has always seemed to thrive on the long bomb.

I can imagine both of those guys enjoying Ben rolling out and chucking it deep to Moss several times a game.

 I sure would have.
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« Reply #29 on: Oct 17, 2007 at 17:22 »

I remember media heads and fantasy gurus slobbering over Moss going to Oakland, where their unstoppable offense would rack up... well, the gaudy stats that New England is actually posting.  Well.  Moss then was not the Moss now, and just as Plax of week 9 might not be the Plax of week 6, let's see if old Randy can keep this up a full season.  Moss blew any chance of breaking the Rice records loafing it in the anarchy that was Raiderville.  I don't think he'll start loafing in some sort of prima donna hissy fit, but I'll believe he can turn in a complete season when he actually does it.  

In retrospect, a R4 for Moss was a steal, but at the time?  No sure thing.

As for Plax, I still think young Holmes is a better bet.  He's shown more hustle in 2 years here than Plax EVER did; imagine what he'll do when he's really clicking.  
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« Reply #30 on: Oct 17, 2007 at 17:41 »

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i'm curious if we were even in the running for Moss as when that deal went down (4th rounder? jesus) I was suprised as shit and like, "fuck". i wonder if anyone else was in the running

I can think of a couple dozen teams that should've been. Moss, no matter what you think of him personally, opens everything up for everyone else in the offense...all the while still possessing the ability to come through with a play on his own despite the double (or triple) team coverage.

I was distraught when I knew he was going to New England. I said that day that the commissioner should not have allowed the deal. A 4th rounder!? Wes Welker, Chris Chambers and A.J. Feeley have all been traded for second round picks in the past year or two and that's just the Dolphins.

Oakland fuckin quit on this year by taking such a poor return for Moss and basically changed the hierarchy of AFC powers by giving him away to New England. They should've been fined. Or at least cussed out.

Seriously, if I was working at some team's draft table and they announced that Randy Moss was acquired by New England for a meager fourth round draft pick I would've been pissed and caused a scene. I would've chucked my team's helmet-phone directly at whoever they got to do the announcement and I doubt he'd have made it off the stage alive.

Quote
Why in blue blazes would Moss come to the 'Burgh in lieu of a pass-first offense such as that in New England?

Because it aint Oakland.

And we've got a new coordinator.

No really the Steelers could've just traded for him. He would've had to have played. If he wanted to hold out then so what I'd still do the trade. What the hell have our second day draft picks provided us of late?

If you told me today that we could give up a fourth round pick in exchange for Moss, he'd pout about our offense, hold out, and never play for us I would seriously still do the trade. It's worth getting him the hell off of the Patriots. They are not the same team without him.

I seem to recall Plax getting his share of deep ball TDs in his last year or two with the Steelers. Didn't he lead the league in yards per catch the year that he left? I'm willing to take the leap of faith that, even in our antiquated smash-mouth offense, we'd have found a way to utilize Moss in a beneficial way here and there.

Quote
FWIW, that two year hiatus chasing the big bucks in his prime is going to cost Moss a shot at Jerry Rice's all time records for yardage and TD's.

Playing for the Raiders? Yeah ok it's Moss' fault they sucked. Yeah Randy run on down the field, wait for the ball to come, hear Kerry Collins/Andrew Walter/Aaron Brooks get sacked, then turn around and get ready to repeat that. Their kicker waddles around drunk, Jerry Porter was high-fiving people in the crowd when Brooks suffered a record breaking sack against, Art Shell showed all the emotion of Bernie Lomax in the scenes where there was no music playing and Al Davis is an old "creep" that falls asleep during the interviews for head coach.

Moss got traded to Oakland. He wasn't chasing big bucks. He was already the highest paid WR in the league from a deal he signed with Minnesota. And they dumped him to save cap space and clean up their act. Then without him Culpepper's career fell apart, Tice got canned, they missed the playoffs and missed the playoffs some more, they couldn't get their picks in on time,  Koren Robinson sped around drunk, Dwight Smith choked a bitch, Smoot famously captained a sex boat pleasure cruise and they gave away the only coach that was worth a damn in Tomlin.

Quote
While NE no doubt has a system where they pass more frequently, to date they were more of a short passing team.

Yeah that's what I was thinking. They went from dink-and-dunk NE into the highest scoring NFL team since the record setting Moss-led Vikings.

Quote
Add to that: the fact that BR has nearly the highest yards per attempt in recent history of the league! Moss has always seemed to thrive on the long bomb.

Ben would finally be getting his props and, like I was saying, we'd be just as good as everyone thinks New England is.






 
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« Reply #31 on: Oct 18, 2007 at 02:21 »

Quote
Quote
Why in blue blazes would Moss come to the 'Burgh in lieu of a pass-first offense such as that in New England?

Because it aint Oakland.

And we've got a new coordinator.

No really the Steelers could've just traded for him. He would've had to have played. If he wanted to hold out then so what I'd still do the trade. What the hell have our second day draft picks provided us of late?

If you told me today that we could give up a fourth round pick in exchange for Moss, he'd pout about our offense, hold out, and never play for us I would seriously still do the trade. It's worth getting him the hell off of the Patriots. They are not the same team without him...


Quote
FWIW, that two year hiatus chasing the big bucks in his prime is going to cost Moss a shot at Jerry Rice's all time records for yardage and TD's.

Playing for the Raiders? Yeah ok it's Moss' fault they sucked...

Moss got traded to Oakland. He wasn't chasing big bucks. He was already the highest paid WR in the league from a deal he signed with Minnesota. And they dumped him to save cap space and clean up their act...

Quote
Add to that: the fact that BR has nearly the highest yards per attempt in recent history of the league! Moss has always seemed to thrive on the long bomb.

Ben would finally be getting his props and, like I was saying, we'd be just as good as everyone thinks New England is.
Moss did renegotiate his contract for New England.  Even if you got Moss, Stallworth, and Welker on the Steelers, they still wouldn't become passing nirvana in the sense that the Steelers O-line is not really set up to pass the ball 24/7.  Maybe we consider some zone blocking system and personnel for this down the road, but that's not what the Steelers have now.  Big Ben has led the league in YPA (though not in 2006 or this year) in spite of that, but rarely goes much over 200 yards a game.  I'm wondering, and this also goes back to the original Plax question, whether having a Moss would provide a huge boost in the Steelers pass production this year.

Yeah, a pre-emptory strike/trade to avoid restocking the Patriots would have been seriously wonderful, but I'm just having a difficult time imagining a scenario where the Steelers could have got him without, say, a player and a R2 pick and not paying $9MM in salary.  There is an assumption there that Moss would not have renegotiated his contract for Pittsburgh or most teams.  I'm not claiming any special insight here, I just have a problem seeing how a Moss-in-B&G could have happened.

And yeah, the "chasing the big bucks" comment probably was way too harsh, but FWIW, there was no implication on my part that Moss or the trade ruined Oakland.  Al Davis had already sown those seeds.  But the part about being in that wasteland ruining Moss' chances from some of Rice's records is probably going to play out.

 
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« Reply #32 on: Oct 18, 2007 at 07:47 »

Padg, you have to excuse Y2(zwanzig)'s man-love for Moss.  It verges on the obscene.  I have a healthy respect for the dude's talents, but there's a healthy dose of amnesia or hindsight at work that concludes the Moss-to-New England was, at the time, a sure thing.  Even for a mere fourth rounder.

It's a familiar history: admitted marijuana use during the season ("once in a blue moon"); walking off the field as the Vikings were attempting an onside kick with 2 seconds left; notoriously bad attitude (on a bad team) in Oakland, coupled with dimished output, poor practice habits, and nagging injuries; off-the-field incident with bumping a meter reader with his car; prior to 2007, he had yardage totals of 767 and 553, leading many to speculate that Randy had given up on the game.  So, that was the backstory, and once in New England, it took Randy a fair time to get his hamstring healthy enough to even practice.  

In short, Randy could easily be another Ricky Williams or David Boston or whatever player has shifted his on-field production to off-field issues with substances and situations, and hasn't done anything in meaningful football terms.  Padg sets a good table as to why the fit might not have worked here, but I think Randy got it in his mind that, as a 30-year-old receiver, the time was now or enver for a ring, and he was just going to select a team or a short list of teams he felt could get him there, and boycott the rest.  Who knows if Pittsburgh would have been on that list; not being a big passing team, I really doubt it.

Now, speculate away as to why the Moss in Foxboro situation has worked, but so far this season all has been smooth sailing.  What happens when:

*Randy doesn't get fed the ball a few games for some reason.
*The Patriots, wildly heralded by some as the best team ever assembled, actually stumble for a few games?
*Randy's 30-year-old body comes up gimp again, maybe a re-aggravation of the hammy?
*Randy's playing week in and week out in the tundra conditions of New England?

Not saying it's foregone that he's going to revert to some previous bad form, just saying it's not a foregone conclusion he won't.  Will he still create coverage issues for opposing defenses?  Will he be a home run threat every time he steps on the field?  Could he continue to be the player he is now for another 4, 5 years?  Hey, maybe.  But he was, and remains, a volatile risk.  Coaches and GMs want consistency.  

It makes me wonder why the Pioli-Belichick braintrust wanted to make that gamble, and bring in a guy who didn't seemingly fit the squeaky clean propoaganda image for the Patriots?  Any time a team brings in as many free agents as the Pats did, it says to me the core is declining, and the impetus for a quick assemblage of talent for a short run is out of desperation.  At least they didn't Snyder it.  But is the Patriots team who we thought they were?  Is Randy who we think he is?

I'll say week 17 looks much different than week 6.
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« Reply #33 on: Oct 18, 2007 at 08:02 »

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Oakland fuckin quit on this year by taking such a poor return for Moss and basically changed the hierarchy of AFC powers by giving him away to New England. They should've been fined. Or at least cussed out.
I agree, man. I seriously can't understand what Al Davis was thinking.

If you're only going to ask for a fourth-rounder for Moss, you're telling me they couldn't find a non-contender to trade him to? This is a smaller version of the dumb-ass Bengals trading Corey Dillon to a team who was a RB away from being a complete team. I understand trades -- I understand trading talented malcontents who don't want to play for you anymore -- I don't understand trading such players to powerhouses in your own conference whose only weakness is the position the player in question plays.

As for the Pats: Finn, I respectfully disagree with the thrust of your argument, that Moss could implode any minute and revert to his Oakland performance. I grant that he could get injured -- but six weeks in, after training camp, when games will only acquire importance, I don't see him walking off the practice field in some kind of tantrum.

The Patriots are the best team in football right now, and I think the margin is significant, at this moment. But -- this can change. This Patriots team isn't much different than the 2001 Rams, who actually had BETTER offensive numbers six games into the season, and (though people forget this) played good defense most of the year. Or the 1998 Vikings, whose offense was even better. Both teams looked unstoppable, and neither won the Super Bowl.

So, six weeks in is far from over.

The Patriots do have problems. I don't think they're more than an average running team. Their LBs are ancient, and not good in coverage, and I think that, in a close game, they can be exploited ruthlessly. The Pats have gotten on top of people and then played a lot of nickel and dime, keeping those LBs off the field. The Patriots are also pretty average in the secondary. They have a great defensive line, and that's worth a lot, but that's all they really have on defense. Rodney Harrison can't cover any more.

They have weaknesses, and if a team is balanced on offense and plays a defense that concedes the run and contains the pass somewhat, (think Giants against the Bills in that Super Bowl) the Patriots can be beat.
« Last Edit: Oct 18, 2007 at 08:04 by Hercules50 » Logged
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« Reply #34 on: Oct 18, 2007 at 08:40 »

Oakland may have quit on this year giving up Moss for only a 4th rounder, but I believe Davis and the Raiders had no leverage what-so-ever with Moss.  It was painfully obvious to the raiders and the entire league that Randy Moss didnt like the situation he was in and would never play to his potential.  He was washed up (at least in my eyes) and would never be the Randy Moss of old.  Im sure there were many teams that felt the same way I did.  

Im sure if some teams, steelers included, would have known that Randy Moss would be "reborn" with his play like he is in NE, then it would be a completely different ball game.

The only reason I do not think Pittsburgh was an option for the him this year was last years results alone.  Ben leading the league in INTs, the poor offensive production, overall amount of turnovers, the poor record, etc.  sure we were only a year removed from a super bowl championship, but even us fans were not sure if Ben would bounce back and revert to Ben of old.  I guess the question to ask is, did Moss have a say in any trade talks?

sure Moss is lighting up the stat books with his TDs and # of receptions.  Keep in mind that Maroney has missed a couple games and once he returns, will Brady still chuck the ball up 40+ a game?

Between the two, Moss or Burress would be nice to luxury to have.  Both would be a welcome addition to this team.  But both are players that would not be as productive here as they would on another team.

I seem to recall that things were picture perfect in Philly with McNabb and TO too. That turned south very quickly, even after just playing in a super bowl.  If Moss is playing to win a super bowl, well there is no second place trophy in his eyes this year.  If by chance NE craps the bed and doesnt win it all this year, i feel very safe in saying that Moss will turn out to be the Moss we all knew and loved in Oakland.
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« Reply #35 on: Oct 18, 2007 at 09:39 »

Finny, thanks, but man-love or no, my comment about Moss chasing the money was flat-out wrong.  Oakland may have well been one of the few teams willing to take on Moss' full contract at the time, but that's not the same as greed.  The point remains, he was traded.

I suspect Moss will be OK, even with some adversity by NE, unless Brady goes down.

Hercules, I agree and noted elsewhere that NE can be had at LB.  If Adalius Thomas weren't there, that would become quickly apparent.

NE may not have a run game right now, but they've only had three years (2001, 2004, 2006) with anything close to an average running game.  Maroney will cure that quickly if he returns at 100%.  With their division sucking eggs in a major way, the Pats are only going to have 3 or 4 tough games the rest of the way.

 
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« Reply #36 on: Oct 18, 2007 at 10:33 »

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As for the Pats: Finn, I respectfully disagree with the thrust of your argument, that Moss could implode any minute and revert to his Oakland performance. I grant that he could get injured -- but six weeks in, after training camp, when games will only acquire importance, I don't see him walking off the practice field in some kind of tantrum.

I'm not assigning any particular degree of likelihood to this, just saying it could happen.  Do I think he'll implode or stomp around in a snit?  Frankly, I do not.  Do I think it could happen?  Well... possibility is a different creature from probability.

And again, this is us working with 20/20 hindsight.  Back when the deal went down, we didn't have the luxury of the Beardy-to-Moss magic to see that everything would be this smooth.  We only had an unproductive bitchy Moss who had some question marks off the field as well, though nothing of the Pac Man magnitude.  Still, it was a risk assessment.
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« Reply #37 on: Oct 18, 2007 at 11:08 »

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And again, this is us working with 20/20 hindsight.  Back when the deal went down, we didn't have the luxury of the Beardy-to-Moss magic to see that everything would be this smooth.  We only had an unproductive bitchy Moss who had some question marks off the field as well, though nothing of the Pac Man magnitude.  Still, it was a risk assessment.
That's true.

I did expect Moss to improve their passing game -- how could he not, after a season with Gaffney and Caldwell? But I didn't see this much impact.

Of course, the Pats added Welker and Stallworth, too, which may have actually made Moss appear better than he is, actually.

Incidentally, crazy though it sounds since Dallas gave up nearly 50 points, but I thought their gameplan wasn't all that bad. Parts of it (giving up big plays in the air) were just executed poorly. They forced the Pats into a number of critical 2nd- and 3rd-and-longs. They just couldn't get off the field much after doing so.
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« Reply #38 on: Oct 18, 2007 at 15:55 »

The Pats also were able to expose Roy Williams in a big, big way.  Guy looked more confused than Etric Pruitt in a Super Bowl (*).  On the long TD to Stallworth, Brady actually threw a bit of a duck, but Stallworth dragging across an open field, had all day to adjust to the ball and catch it in full acceleration.

(*) A little unfair to Pruitt, BTW, who had only played in 9 regular season games to that point.  Williams has no such excuse.
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« Reply #39 on: Oct 18, 2007 at 19:28 »

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Padg, you have to excuse Y2(zwanzig)'s man-love for Moss. It verges on the obscene.

He's right. Only it is semi-obscene. But, whatever, I heard the same crap about AD Peterson around draft time.

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It's a familiar history: admitted marijuana use during the season ("once in a blue moon"); walking off the field as the Vikings were attempting an onside kick with 2 seconds left; notoriously bad attitude (on a bad team) in Oakland, coupled with dimished output, poor practice habits, and nagging injuries; off-the-field incident with bumping a meter reader with his car; prior to 2007, he had yardage totals of 767 and 553, leading many to speculate that Randy had given up on the game. So, that was the backstory, and once in New England, it took Randy a fair time to get his hamstring healthy enough to even practice.

Moss has never failed a drug test as a pro!
/barrybondsblindloyaltydefense

Walking off the field is inexcuseable. A moment of immaturity. Yes. The game was effectively ending on the onside kick. Still, walking off was wrong.

Poor practice habits? The Moss famously disruptive thing can I remember doing in Oakland is flipping out and saying that he seemed like the only one who cared. I'd have a hard time practicing for an asshole hack of an offensive coordinator, who had been out of coaching for 15 years prior, trying to change my super-successful game and make an example out of me.

That meter maid was some attention seeking John Wayne-wannabe broad. If somebody's in their car prepared to drive away and you are standing in front of it (blocking all avenues of procession) be prepared to be ran the f over. I thought that one was hilarious. AND the weed in his car wasnt his.

The smaller yardage totals (combined 1300+ in the two years anyway) came in season shorted by injury. The totals read 13 GP each year but remember to consider that Moss was used as a decoy for the first couple of drives some games (0 Rec in 6 of 8 games in the middle of '04 before limping around in Lambeau, scoring two TDs, and quite disgustingly faked moon the crowd in the playoffs). He had 15 TDs that year. Last season was an all-around abject disaster scene in Oakland. Hard for me to fault him on that one.

NE knew he was healthy. They had to see him working out. I suspect he showed enough dedication in learning the playbook and his new teammates that there was no reason to risk any hammy damage during games that meant squat.

Moss is from West Virginia, though and has a horrible hickville accent.

See...now who says I cant express objective opinion on the dude.  Straight fair and balanced, homey.

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I'm wondering, and this also goes back to the original Plax question, whether having a Moss would provide a huge boost in the Steelers pass production this year.

None of our WRs can get down the field or up in the air like Randy Moss. I just think that sort of attention would almost guarantee double or "Moss-side" bracket coverage on him and make it pretty darn difficult for anyone to give major attention to Heath Miller or stack up the 8th man in against Willie Parker and the run. That's my stance on it. More production can't be proven or disproven but I say it's obvious the opportunity would be there.

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Incidentally, crazy though it sounds since Dallas gave up nearly 50 points, but I thought their gameplan wasn't all that bad.

I think their defense kinda stinks.

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(*) A little unfair to Pruitt, BTW, who had only played in 9 regular season games to that point. Williams has no such excuse.

Also Pruitt was filling in for Marquand Manuel, who was hurt helmet-to-helmet hitting Hines Ward on a sideline run. And Manuel was filling in for Ken Hamlin in the first place. But seriously I think Pruitt is still chasing some of our guys on the big plays a couple of years later.




 
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« Reply #40 on: Oct 18, 2007 at 21:21 »

There are a multitude of reasons why Moss isn't in Pittsburgh.....

1)  Moss is NE's #1.  He woulda hada shareda spotlight with Ward and Holmes.  Arguably he's doing that with Welker and maybe Stallworth.  But Moss is da guy, #1 in NE.  He holds the lion's share of the radiating spotlight in NE.  Ward is #1 here, whether the stats back it up this year or not.  Moss

2)  NE seemed closer to a SB than the Steelers.  New coach.  Coming off an 8-8 season.  Can Ben rebound from the 2006 injury-plagued season?  The Pats have a pretty good recent history when it comes to SB wins and that's gotta be a big goal for Moss.  

3)  P-G said today the Steelers lead the league in % of run plays.  Somewhere around 57%.  League average is 43%.  It's Bouchette's #s so they probably are a bit off.  But I definitely buy into the idea that Moss wants a more pass-friendly city.  Not that I think the Steelers never pass.  They do when it works, get ahead, and run to finish half the 3rd quarter and beyond.  It's the reputation the Steelers have built, regardless of some of the half truths.  

Moss would help any team.  Moss is a better receiver than any we've got.  Is Moss making less than Ced Wilson this year?  

NE did know Moss was healthy.  They attended the workout where he ran a 4.2somethin'.

In reality, I don't think Moss would have been interested in an offer from the Steelers and I don't think the Steelers were interested in offering anything for him.  

The reputation of both sides precede themselves.
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« Reply #41 on: Oct 19, 2007 at 15:18 »

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None of our WRs can get down the field or up in the air like Randy Moss. I just think that sort of attention would almost guarantee double or "Moss-side" bracket coverage on him and make it pretty darn difficult for anyone to give major attention to Heath Miller or stack up the 8th man in against Willie Parker and the run. That's my stance on it. More production can't be proven or disproven but I say it's obvious the opportunity would be there.
 
I agree with that.  I would say that there are very few WRs in the league that can do what he does.  Handful, tops.

I seem to remember having a discussion about Moss when it was rumored that he was being moved, but I couldn't find anything on it.  Hard to believe nobody here talked about it considering the player and team involved.  Maybe I just missed it.
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