The worst kind of compliment is a compliment that isn’t really a compliment at all. Like when an employer says that a former worker was a genuinely nice guy, but his conduct was only acceptable when compared to his previous places of employment where he was a complete jerk.
Randy Moss is that formerly disgruntled employee, and the Titans are his most recent employer who said that overall he was a pretty chill dude, as long as you didn’t ask him to try with any consistency during games, or practice hard.
But yes, in the locker room he was nice and sociable.
NFL Network’s Albert Breer talked to several Titans sources, and they all said that Moss was a saint and well behaved, and handled what at the time was thought to be his final NFL stop with class and dignity.
“He was great,” one team official said. “He was a great personality, he brought an energy to practice. He was constantly talking, but it was all in a competitive way, not a negative way.”
A second official even said that Moss became a veteran leader during his eight-game stint.
“He was great with all those guys. They were in awe of him, and he took the time to get to know everyone. He was a good teammate. He counseled and mentored the guys, and he was a positive influence on them in that way.”
Sure, that’s a baby step forward, because Moss’ time in Tennessee started only a few weeks after he berated caterers who just wanted to feed him delicious meat in Minnesota. His candid and moronic New England press conference wasn’t too far in the rear-view mirror either…
Moss is a man, and he has a job. So it’s wonderful that he chose to act like a man and not a little man-child around his teammates in Tennessee when he was mingling in the locker room. It’s also terrific that he presumably enjoyed the fine meat selection in Tennessee far more than Minnesota’s apparent dog meat.
But really, who cares? Part of the charm of the diva wide receiver is that they can be absolute jerks, but when they step onto the field they still produce at an elite level. That potential charm especially applies to Moss now, because if he’s lucky enough to get a legitimate contract offer, it’ll be a short-term one, likely just for one year.
His new team needs to be confident that he can make a consistent contribution, and their concern about his past history as a locker room cancer will be minimal because he won’t be around long enough to do any damage. And when it comes to producing and actually trying, Moss is still lazy and selective.
The same Titans insider who praised Moss’ ability to behave like a normal human in his early 30′s also told Breer that he didn’t change much during games and practice.
“As a player, he’s never been a great practice player, but there were no issues. The problem was in games, he’d lose interest, he’d dog it sometimes… He gets frustrated with double teams; when he gets bracketed, he’ll shut it down, and that causes a problem for you. But as a guy, he was good here.”
It’s that utter lack of ambition that led to Moss finishing with only six receptions for 80 yards during his time in Tennessee, which included three straight games without a catch. As a general manager, why would you rent a product that quite literally doesn’t work?