By Jason Keidel
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The Jets came within a whisker of the Super Bowl three months ago. They are a team meticulously built with youth, veterans, and ever-elusive harmony. If Adam Schein’s latest report doesn’t ring true, they might sever the serenity with ten talons screeching across the chalkboard.
According to an article posted here yesterday, Randy Moss is on Gang Green’s radar, which means Air France, American, and Southwest aren’t the only jets with faulty wiring.
Moss would poison the Jets’ cocktail of sweet chemistry. Harmony is cherished on any team, which inherently houses disparate egos and incomes. The last thing the Jets need is a me-first, mouthy wideout to plant his flag on the clean carpet of a solid locker room. Moss has proved that beyond his singular gift for grabbing the football, he possesses a penchant for parting the good vibes on any squad. He had it great in New England – a team, top coach and top-notch QB who loved him, and loads of winning. And he screwed it up.
He left a team with tranquility for one in turmoil. He left the Patriots after they plucked him from the scrapheap – you know them as the Raiders, NFL purgatory, run by an old man still swathed in a Member’s Only jumpsuit.
He left Tom Brady, All-Pro and gridiron soul mate, for the brittle Brett Favre, the graybeard who texts pictures of his privates to masseuses, the fading leader of a crumbling team that already blew its sure shot at a Super Bowl the year before. Like Charlie Sheen, Moss’s idea of “winning” is warped.
So the Patriots shipped the wayward Moss westward. Minnesota, the place of his NFL birth, was to be the place of his rebirth, until it wasn’t. He played 4 games for the Vikings, finishing with 13 receptions for 174 yards, which used to be a good game for him.
So Minnesota shipped him to Nashville. Instead of making Tennessee titanic, he played four games and finished with 6 catches for 80 yards, which used to be a good first half for him.
Moss, whom five teams booted for brooding on the sideline the moment things – particularly a football – don’t go his way, is being seriously considered by a Jets team already loaded with players at his position (assuming the keep Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards).
Vernon Gholston aside, Mike Tannenbaum has the Midas touch on draft day and beyond. But when asked about his interest in Moss, he replied with some abstract statement regarding “rules of engagement.” Signing Moss would follow rules of derangement.
With a young star at quarterback, it’s essential to surround Mark Sanchez with mature teammates. That’s what LaDainian Tomlinson is for. That’s what Mark Brunell is for. Even Bart “Can’t Wait!” Scott, who spat maniacal mantras at Sal Paolantonio, brings a healthy, veteran’s vigor to the huddle.
Not Moss, who must be boss over any man not named Brady. Tom Brady seems to be the only QB with the Q rating to tame No. 84, whose list of odd, off-field moves is nearly as long as one of his balletic, 80-yard romps toward the goal line.
Darrelle Revis called Moss soft, asserting that he slouches when he meets a little mettle from the cornerback. That could be part of Darrelle’s sense of gamesmanship, his way of remanding you to a solitary cell on Revis Island. Or it could just be the truth. And after 13 years in the NFL, the 34-year-old Moss is sure to bring all of his baggage, but none of his brilliance.
Moss was once a transcendent talent, a man you stopped to watch even in the middle of an earthquake. While he played for Marshall, I saw him gallop down the sideline and, rather than dodge a defender, he simply leapt over him, like an impala over a fallen tree. He was so good it didn’t make sense. And neither did he. Nor does he now. Let’s hope Rex Ryan and the rest of the Jets’ brass come to their senses.
It’s one thing to buy something on spec, but quite another to buy on rep. Reputation, resume, and history are all Moss has – a glittering career that will end sans the sparkle of a Super Bowl ring.
Feel free to email me: Jakster1@mac.com
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