League insiders have been buzzing about the decision of Patriots coach Bill Belichick to conduct an unscheduled press conference on Thursday regarding the trade of receiver Randy Moss. As one source observed, the move was “out of character” for Belichick, and it conflicted with his history when it comes to matters of this nature.
In matters of this nature, Belichick’s usual approach is to say as little as possible, preferably nothing.
The fact that Belichick spoke so glowingly about Moss seems to be even more confusing in light of the mounting evidence that he was becoming a problem in the locker room. As one source explained it, Moss was behaving at times like the Moss of old, but he was smarter about when and where he would act up, in order to avoid creating tangible, public proof of an attitude that laid the foundation for the team’s decision to move on, at a time when Moss made it clear that he wanted to move out.
So why would Belichick feel compelled to come out and contradict the various reports of things that occurred away from cameras and microphones? Our own hypothesis/theory/spitball is that Belichick knows Moss better than Moss knows Moss, and that Belichick knows that, with a game against Moss coming up in three weeks, the last thing Belichick should do is provide Randy with any extra motivation to have a big game.
Time and again, we’ve seen Moss — who indeed plays when he wants to play — respond to outside influences that pushed him to choose to play, and to play hard. Moss already will be driven to have a big game when he returns to Gillette Stadium on Halloween. We think that Belichick wants to be sure Moss doesn’t come to New England dressed up as the 1998 version of himself.