Randy Moss is an National Football League (NFL) wide receiver for the New England Patriots. He has also previously played professional football for the Minnesota Vikings (1998 - 2004) and Oakland Raiders (2005 - 2006). He was born on February 13, 1977 in Rand, West Virginia.
High School Football
In his senior year at DuPont High School in Rand, West Virginia, Moss was named the West Virginia High School Football Player of the Year.
Randy Moss attended and played college football at the wide receiver position for Marshall University for two seasons. He was then and still is today considered one of best wide receivers to play college football ever. In his two seasons at Marshall, Randy had 174 receptions for 3,529 yards and a school record 53 touchdown receptions.
Moss is known as one of the greatest and most explosive players to play in the history of the National Football League (NFL). In his entire NFL career, he has played in 138 games and had 676 receptions for 10,700 yards (15.8 avg) and 101 touchdowns and also has thrown two career touchdown passes. He is the only player in NFL history to have at least 1,000 receiving yards in his first six seasons. However, along with being very talented, Moss has been a very troubled off and on the football field. In his professional career, he has been fined at least 95 thousand dollars for his antics and in 2002 he bumped a traffic control officer with his car. He has also admitted to smoking marijuana during his NFL career. When asked about his past in an interview in 2007 Moss stated, "Anything that you've heard about me, good or bad, some are lies. Some are true. Hopefully the true stuff will come out and then hopefully the bad will stay back there."
1998 - 2003
In 1998, the Minnesota Vikings drafted Moss in the first round (21st overall) of the 1998 NFL Draft. In his rookie season, one of the greatest rookie season's by any player in NFL history, he played in all sixteen of the Vikings games and started eleven. He easily won the NFL's Rookie of the Year award and was also named a NFC Pro Bowl starter as he caught 69 passes for an amazing 1313 yards and 17 touchdowns. For the next five seasons (1999 - 2003) Moss did not miss a game and was a very consistent player (NFC Pro Bowler 1998 - 2000, 2002 - 2003); finishing every season with at least 77 receptions, 1233 yards, or with the exception of 2002 season when he caught seven touchdowns, ten or more touchdowns. In total, from 1999 to 2003, Moss caught 456 passes (32 of those receptions went for 40 yards or more) for 7,062 yards and 60 touchdowns.
2004 - 2006
Moss's 2004 season was a down year for him as he played though a nagging hamstring injury all season long. For the first time in his pro career he failed to play in all 16 regular season games or finish a season with over a thousand receiving yards (767 in 2004). He also set career lows for receptions with 49 and also receptions for a first down with 43. Moss who had for some time been discontent with his situation in Minnesota and his frustration with the consistently playing for a losing team was traded on March 2, 2005 to the Oakland Raiders for Oakland linebacker Napoleon Harris and two seventh round picks.
Although he was expected to thrive in the Raiders long ball offensive system, Moss for one reason or another seemed unable to reach his pre 2004 production. He still did show that he was a threat to catch the deep pass early in his Raider career though when on the opening night game of the 2005 NFL season vs the New England Patriots, he caught a 73-yard pass for a touchdown. Three weeks later in the season he would catch 79 yard pass. Moss finished the 2005 season with 60 receptions for 1005 yards and eight touchdowns however the Raiders finished the 2005 season with a 4 & 12 record.
In 2006, everything fell apart for Moss as he had the worst season of his career and set personal lows for himself in every major statical category. He also missed the last three games of the season due to an ankle injury. His offensive coordinator, Tom Walsh, told the Boston Globe after the 2006 season in an interview that Moss's receiving skills and hunger to play football had severely diminished. Walsh said, "Randy Moss is a player whose skills are diminishing, and he's in denial of those eroding skills. Randy was a great receiver, but he lacked the work ethic and the desire to cultivate any skills that would compensate for what he was losing physically later in his career". The Raiders situation did not improve at all either in 2006. They finished the 2006 season with a league worst 2 & 14 record. with their only two wins coming vs the Cleveland Browns and an upset victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Moss commented on his frustration with the Raiders losing ways saying, "losing sometimes can get contagious, but as a player I can't let that settle in, and I think that's one of the things that bothered me [in Oakland]. I didn't want it to set in and it didn't set in. It was just really nerve-racking that it was hard for me to win."
With Moss unhappy again with his situation once again, the Raiders began looking for possible teams to trade Moss to. On the morning of April 29, 2007, just before the second day of the 2007 NFL Draft began, the Raiders traded Moss to the New England Patriots for the Patriots 2007 forth round draft choice. He said after the trade, "I was very overwhelmed. I'm still in shock at the same time and I can't believe I'm a Patriot... Let’s put it this way…The Moss of old is back.". In his first game as a Patriot vs the New York Jets, Moss caught nine passes for 183 yards and a touchdown; the third highest receiving yardage total for a game in his career. It had been uncertain before the game whether or not he would actually play since he had missed all four of the Patriots preseason games after suffering a hamstring injury early in the Patriots training camp. In the week two regular season game vs the San Diego Chargers, Moss caught eight passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns. The following week, in the Patriots third regular season game vs the Buffalo Bills, Moss set an NFL record by becoming the first player in NFL history to have over 100 yards in his first three games with a new team. In the game, Moss had 5 receptions for 115 yards and two touchdowns. In the Patriots 34 to 10, regular season week four victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, Moss caught nine passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns. The yardage totals made Moss the first player in the Patriots history as a team to have four consecutive 100 yard receiving game. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady praised Moss after the game stating "He doesn't drop any balls. He's a great receiver. He commands double coverage quite a bit and finds ways to beat double coverage. If they double-cover him, he's always a threat to go deep. If they play deep, we can throw it underneath. He has deceptively quick moves on the line of scrimmage. He's a great threat out there."
- Boston Globe, Dennis Waszak Jr, AP Sports Writer, September 9, 2007, "Randy Moss, Thomas Jones active for Patriots-Jets game"
- Boston Globe, Mike Shalin, September 17, 2007, "Unstoppable Brady leads Patriots over Chargers"
- Patriots.com, September 23, 2007, "Patriots vs. Bills: Game Notes"
- Boston Globe, Gregory Lee Jr., October 2, 2007, "Moss sticks with pattern"
- Boston Globe, October 2, 2007, "Bill's take"