After being named the top player in the NFL, by the vote of NFL players, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady joined NFL Network to discuss the situation.
“To me, I play with the best guys,” Brady said at one point, via Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com. “There’s nobody — Deion Branch and Wes Welker, there are no two better receivers; those are the two guys I’d want to play with every single game. David Givens and Troy Brown and David Patten, these incredible players we’ve had over the years that have led to the success of the organization at the skill positions — and Corey Dillon and Antowain Smith. I’ve played with phenomenal players, Christian Fauria at tight end, and we have some young tight ends now.”
Not mentioned at all? Receiver Randy Moss.
Of course, Brady also omitted players like running back Kevin Faulk and tight ends Benjamin Watson and Daniel Graham. (Proving yet again the potential pitfalls of extemporaneous “thank you” lists.)
Still, Faulk and Watson and Graham probably wouldn’t feel miffed by the omission. Moss seems to be the kind of guy who wouldn’t appreciate being left off the list.
Moreover, Brady specifically said “there are no two better receivers” than Deion Branch and Wes Welker, and that “those are two guys I’d want to play with every single game.” Given that Moss had one of the best single receiving seasons in league history and that he’s viewed by many as a sure-fire Hall of Famer, the application of that label to Branch and Welker without mention of Moss surely will be viewed by Moss as something more than a misstatement.
Whether this undermines Randy’s professed “love” for Tom Brady remains to be seen. Early in his career, Moss routinely responded in big ways to external motivation. As he has gotten older, Moss seems to be less fazed by actual or perceived indignities or slights.