Wide receiver Randy Moss said that he is the greatest of all time, yet was a non-factor and possibly even a detrimental piece in Super Bowl XLVII.
Randy Moss stole the show on Tuesday during Super Bowl XLVII media day, didn't he? Moss talked about his career thus far, lamented his current role with the San Francisco 49ers, and also declared himself as the greatest wide receiver the NFL.
Now, there's plenty of reasons to dislike Moss and his personality, but we're not even going to get into those. We don't need to visit Moss' personality to get to the point that I'm going to make. As it happens, I actually like Moss and his authentic country boy persona, especially in the wake of those who are less than genuine (looking at you, Mr. Favre).
The biggest argument against Moss and him being the "greatest of all time," is the fact that he has been pushed out of multiple organizations now due to his attitude. What's really bad about that is that he was pushed out due to his attitude not just off the field, but also on it.
He's notorious for giving up. He's notorious for dictating what he thinks he should catch, and he's notorious for giving up on his routes. If you want a visual, picture him turning his nose up at any pass that's not right to him. Oh sure, he's fought for his fair share of balls, but you know what I mean with this.
On Sunday, on the biggest stage of them all, Moss was searching for his first ever Super Bowl ring. As the No. 2 wide receiver on our 49ers, he had a solid opportunity to make something happen.
He didn't make anything happen.
Moss was targeted five times and had two receptions for 41 yards. He was a non-factor in the game. Scratch that, he was a non-factor towards a 49ers victory. But he was one of the MVPs for the Baltimore Ravens, that's for sure.
Three of the passes that went Moss' way could have gone differently. The first one was the most erroneous, as the ball went over his head and into the arms of Baltimore safety Ed Reed. That turnover set the tone for a terrible first half for the 49ers.
The problem with that pass? It went over Moss' head, but not over his reach. We had just saw Michael Crabtree leap for a catch over the middle and be successful doing so. Kaepernick should have realized that Moss wasn't Crabtree, and wouldn't bother himself with petty nuisances like extending his arms.
When it comes to the other two passes coming his way, they were also bad. One was a pass that he didn't even try to go back for, letting the Baltimore cornerback overstep him by several paces. Moss was already walking off the field before it was even clear that the ball wasn't intercepted. The other pass was slightly off target - inside instead of outside, and Moss just shrugged it off and didn't adjust for it.
Moss didn't try on Sunday, whether he really wanted a Super Bowl ring or not. He looked emotional at the end of the game, but then again, he did before this season started, too. What matters is his attitude on the field, during every single route that he runs.
He wants to be the greatest ever, but he was essentially a non-factor in the Super Bowl. He said he didn't like his place in the 49ers' offense, and yet when given some more opportunities, he came up very short.
And that's another issue: Moss was never supposed to be the No. 2 receiver on this team. Moss was never supposed to be the No. 3 target behind Crabtree and Vernon Davis. He was supposed to be a decoy and nothing more, while Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams were supposed to make that next jump in ability.
So it sucks that the 49ers were forced into that position. It sucks they were forced to count on a guy who doesn't care once he actually hits the football field. It sucks that they were put in a situation where they had to rely on a guy who spent the previous week lamenting his decision to sign with the team that had him in the Super Bowl.
It just sucks.
Randy Moss has had a wonderful career from a statistical point of view. He was on pace to break Jerry Rice's records at one point, but a lack of dedication to his craft and a bad attitude all around has sunk his case. Not only is Moss not the best ever, I don't think it's even close, and I also think there might be some other guys in between him and Rice.
Either way, I don't want him back next season ... the free ride is over. Maybe he'll find another team that wants to let him ride fourth or fifth string to another disappointing Super Bowl loss, but it sure as hell shouldn't be the 49ers. Consider another bridge burned in the expansive career of biting the hand the feeds.
One last thing: I'm not blaming the loss on Moss, either. I'm writing about Randy Moss because I think I would lose my writing privileges if I put thoughts to text on Chris Culliver or Donte Whitner right now. After a crushing, disappointing loss like that, Moss remains just one piece of the failure puzzle. I hate that I was right about him, I really do.