On Monday, former Randy Moss teammate and mentor Cris Carter said that Moss can still run the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds.
On Tuesday, Carter applied a caveat to that assessment.
“The one thing you have to address with Randy Moss is not a conditioning thing,” Carter told ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning, via ESPN.com. “It’s not an age thing. It needs to be addressed. I believe it’s the elephant in the room. It’s that thing called quit.
“And Randy, not like any other superstar I’ve met, he has more quit in him than any of those other players. So I need to address that. That’s what [Bill] Belichick did when he brought him over from Oakland. He told him he wasn’t going to have it.
“But Randy, when things don’t go well, like no other player I’ve ever been around or associated with, he has a quit mechanism in him that’s huge. That needs to be addressed before he signs with any team.”
It’s one thing for an analyst or observer of the game to make that claim. It’s quite another for Carter to say it.
And Carter is right. Moss, unlike any other star athlete, relies on external motivation and stimulation. If he has a chip on his shoulder, he performs better. If his team struggles, he sulks and eventually disconnects.
During his final year in New England, for example, Moss was so concerned about not getting a new contract after the season ended that the Pats finally decided to ship him out of town.
The good news for the team that gets Moss is that, for now, he’s focused and committed and driven. If he ends up with a bad team or if he doesn’t play well or if he encounters any type of adversity that he can’t quickly overcome, he’ll behave like he did from time to time with the Vikings, in 2006 with the Raiders, and in 2010 with the Patriots and then the Vikings and then the Titans, where he was reduced to a non-factor.
Carter’s criticism struck a nerve with Moss, who took to Twitter to say to Carter “its sad how u stroked ur own ego when u were suppose to b my mentor! then u wonder why karma bites u in the ass! #goodlukwithhof”
Thus, Moss will be even more driven, to prove Carter wrong. And that will benefit Randy’s next team.
Until “that thing called quit” rears its ugly head. Again.