Terrell Owens isn’t the only incoming Hall of Famer who believes he could still add to his NFL resume.
Randy Moss said Friday that he thinks he could play right now, and that he could have an impact.
“I really truly believe I could still average 10 touchdowns a year,” Moss told reporters in Canton on Friday, via the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “The game is that easy.”
Plenty of former players think they could still do the things they once did. But in 2012, his most recent NFL season, Moss didn’t do that, catching only 28 passes for 434 yards and three touchdowns in the regular season. He added seven receptions for 112 yards in three postseason games, including 41 yards on two catches in Super Bowl XLVII.
As to whether he could score 10 touchdowns a full six years later, take the under.
Moss also spent time on Friday complaining about the way in which the media treated him throughout his career.
“I get to put on a gold jacket regardless of the stuff that was written, the things that were said about me throughout my whole career,” Moss said. “And the thing about it is, it brainwashed a whole lot of football fans out in the world. I think it was very unfair to me. I think it was unfair to my family.”
But Moss brought much of it on himself. Though his off-field issues were limited (he bumped a traffic control officer with his car in 2002), his “I play when I want to play” mantra became his football epitaph, in large part because he indeed played at a high level only when he wanted to play at a high level.
From walking off the field prematurely to cap his final regular-season game with the Vikings to shutting it down so completely with the Raiders in 2006 that most league insiders and observers believed he simply couldn’t do it anymore (he would prove otherwise, in a big way, the following year) to getting fired by the Vikings only a few weeks into his return due to his overall attitude and demeanor (the final straw was a locker-room rant about the quality of a meal provided to the players), Moss earned much of the criticism he received.
The fact that his raw talent so easily overcame the flaws, propelling him to Canton on the first try, shows just how good he was, when he chose to be.
“Being able to look back and reflect back, man, I wouldn’t change it,” Moss said Friday. “I just wanted to play football. Now that I look back and reflect back and seeing all these cameras and all these positive stories written about me, it’s still not fair and I’m still not pleased with it.”
Plenty of fans still aren’t pleased with the nagging sense that Moss and the teams he played for could have been even better than they were, if Moss had chosen to give his all all of the time. A full and complete commitment wouldn’t have just gotten him into Canton on the first try. It quite possibly would have gotten him a Super Bowl ring (he mused after his rookie season that he’d finish his career with three or four), and it definitely would have propelled him past Jerry Rice as the greatest receiver of all time.