It wasn’t clear how the three veteran Patriots who were sent home Wednesday by coach Bill Belichick would respond to their tardiness-induced banishment.
Linebacker Adalius Thomas was belligerent. Linebacker Derrick Burgess has tucked his tail between his legs. And though receiver Randy Moss kept quiet off the field, his actions on the field suggested that he has lost interest in his team’s fortunes.
Albert Breer of the Boston Globe reports that the Panthers believe Moss “shut it down” on Sunday after becoming frustrated early by a constant diet of man coverage with safety help over the top.
“We knew he was going to shut it down,” cornerback Chris Gamble told Breer. “That’s what we wanted to do to him. That’s what we did. He’d just give up a lot. Slow down, he’s not going deep, not trying to run a route. You can tell, his body language. . . .
“I know everyone who plays against him, they can sense that. Once you get into him in the beginning of the game, he shuts it down a little bit.”
So there’s the blueprint for handling one of the best wideouts in the league.
“We know from watching film on Moss,” Gamble said, “once you get him out of the game early, he’s gonna shut it down.”
In the second half, Moss also heard something he previously hadn’t heard in Foxborough.
Then again, maybe they were simply chanting, “Hey, I think there’s gonna be a blue mooooooon.”