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Old 07-15-2009, 12:27 AM  
Tribal Warfare Tribal Warfare is offline
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Whitlock: Cassel has Moss to thank for his good fortune


Cassel has Moss to thank for his good fortune

JASON WHITLOCK COMMENTARY

Matt Cassel’s new contract makes me appreciate Randy Moss, arguably the greatest football player of our lifetime.

Check that. Moss might be the most influential football player of any lifetime. You could argue he’s better than Jim Brown, John Elway, Reggie White, Lawrence Taylor, Jerry Rice and Joe Montana.

I know. No one likes Randy Moss. He’s aloof and lazy. He plays with a swagger that comes off as disrespect. He’s never won a Super Bowl.

None of that justifies overlooking or minimizing his impact.

Matt Cassel, a backup at Southern California for five years, a backup in the NFL for four years, just cashed in for $60 million thanks to Randy Moss. Cassel joins a crew of well-known quarterbacks who have had their profiles (and sometimes bank accounts) elevated thanks to the most talented wide receiver to ever play the game.

After just one season of playing alongside Moss in New England, Cassel went from unheralded scrub to a man with a six-year contract worth $60 million-plus, which includes $28 million in guaranteed cash and $40 million over the first three years.

Randall Cunningham, Jeff George, Daunte Culpepper, Kerry Collins, Tom Brady and Chad Pennington are chuckling. They’ve all ridden the Randy Moss gravy train.

In 1998, Moss’ rookie year, Cunningham and the Vikings used Moss to win 15 of 16 regular-season games and set a plethora of NFL offensive records.

In 1999, George resurrected his career, replacing Cunningham midway through the season and throwing for nearly 3,000 yards and 23 TDs in 10 starts.

In 2000, Culpepper established himself as a superstar, tossing 33 TD passes and for more than 3,700 yards in just his second NFL season.

In 2005, Collins hopped on the Randy Moss bandwagon in Oakland, picking up 3,700 passing yards and 20 TDs in a misguided Raiders offense.

And as you know, Tom Brady took control of the Moss circus two years ago in New England and eclipsed damn near every passing and scoring record imaginable. The Patriots rocked through the regular season undefeated and were considered the greatest NFL team of all-time until the Giants ambushed New England in the Super Bowl.

Oh, I almost forgot the spectacular 1997 college season Pennington put together at Marshall winging the ball to Randy Moss. The Thundering Herd jumped to Division I that season and clowned every school in the Mid-American Conference because of the impossible-to-slow Pennington-to-Moss connection.

So Matt Cassel is in excellent company when it comes to maximizing his time with Randy Moss. A season ago, Cassel wiped off eight years of rust and managed to lob just enough rainbows to Moss and Wes Welker to convince a few general managers that a USC backup was good enough to be an NFL franchise quarterback.

I’m not going to bag on Cassel. I honestly don’t have a clue whether he’s worth the money. I do know he was the one quarterback in this whole group who regularly struggled locating Moss with the long ball.

But, again, this column isn’t really about Cassel and whether he’s the right long-term move for the Chiefs. We’ll find that out over the next couple of years.

This column is about Randy Moss. He deserves to be regarded as one of the 15 or 20 best players of all-time. It’s ridiculous that he’s never won the league’s MVP award. He should’ve won the award in 1998 outright and should’ve shared the award with Tom Brady in 2007.

Moss reminds me of Shaquille O’Neal. Shaq has one MVP award and four NBA titles. Steve Nash has two MVP awards and no NBA Finals appearances.

In his prime, we took O’Neal for granted because he was so much bigger and more dominant than his competitors. We didn’t think it was fair.

We’ve made the same mistake with Randy Moss. Not since Jim Brown has a single offensive player had the kind of impact Moss has on the game.

Is he lazy? Does he take plays off? Yes and yes.

You still have to account for Moss on every single snap. He dictates and limits what a defense can do. And he’s made a bunch of quarterbacks rich and famous.

I hope Cassel sends Randy a thank-you note when he takes his $28 million to the bank.
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:30 AM   #2
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:36 AM   #3
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Whitlock is talking out his ass. I wonder how many Patriots games he even WATCHED.
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:39 AM   #4
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A season ago, Cassel wiped off eight years of rust and managed to lob just enough rainbows to Moss and Wes Welker
This is completely ignorant sportswriting.

Cassel and Moss didn't even hook up deep all that much. In fact, if Moss hadn't DROPPED SO MANY PASSES, Cassel would have looked even better.

And Welker's role did not involve catching rainbows.
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:42 AM   #5
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In 2005, Collins hopped on the Randy Moss bandwagon in Oakland, picking up 3,700 passing yards and 20 TDs in a misguided Raiders offense.
This right here is pretty bad, too. Collins had better seasons WITHOUT Randy Moss.
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:00 AM   #6
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I’m not going to bag on Cassel. I honestly don’t have a clue whether he’s worth the money. I do know he was the one quarterback in this whole group who regularly struggled locating Moss with the long ball.
Yet that part is accurate. He's right though Moss is a once in a generation type of WR. He is the most naturally gifted player to ever play that position. But for some reason people don't like him and he's not appreciated.
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:06 AM   #7
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Yet that part is accurate. He's right though Moss is a once in a generation type of WR. He is the most naturally gifted player to ever play that position. But for some reason people don't like him and he's not appreciated.
The accuracy of that part should be a POSITIVE. The fact that Cassel didn't have perfect chemistry with Moss is bad, but the fact that New England's offense FLOURISHED despite that tells you how good Cassel was. He produced big plays throwing to other receivers.

In fact, I'd say he relied on Welker MORE than Moss.

I'm not going to deny the fact that Moss has a profound effect on what sort of coverage a defensive coordinator calls, but when a receiver is open and he has time, Cassel can flat out put the ball in a breadbox, regardless of who he's throwing to.
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:18 AM   #8
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To this point Randy Moss has taken Welker who is a solid player and made him a star, it's really easy to get open underneath when your slot is under Moss.
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:20 AM   #9
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To this point Randy Moss has taken Welker who is a solid player and made him a star, it's really easy to get open underneath when your slot is under Moss.
Welker's talent was evident in Miami.
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:27 AM   #10
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:11 AM   #11
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Considering it's Whitlock, let's just praise the fact the article isn't "Cassell has his race to thank for his good fortune."
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:14 AM   #12
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Welker's talent was evident in Miami.
as evidenced by the fact the Pats gave up a 2nd and 7th for Welker...and only a 4th for Moss.
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Old 07-15-2009, 04:24 AM   #13
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This is completely ignorant sportswriting.
What's ignorant is to point out that the game's best deep threat was a target you struggled to hit, and yet, he's the reason you had success.

I agree that he owes a lot to Moss. He does.

You can name a b/u managing a SB team with the starter out and his career beyond that team is pretty much a wash. I agree with the basic Whit idea...
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Old 07-15-2009, 04:58 AM   #14
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Yet that part is accurate. He's right though Moss is a once in a generation type of WR. He is the most naturally gifted player to ever play that position. But for some reason people don't like him and he's not appreciated.
I bet he lost a few fans when they saw him live and saw how many plays he just went through the motions instead of selling it.

Be likely lost a few more when he walked off the field in the last game of the year back when he was in Minny only to realize later they made the playoffs.

He lost a few more when he went to Oakland...need I say more?

I bet he lost a few more when he gave -0- effort the next year in Oakland dropping his value to a fohrth rounder in NFL circles.

I think he has shown to be a HOFer and one of the times most talented players at any position, but maybe his attitude takes away from that.

I feared his signing with Oakland when we had Bartee and Warfield, but he never beat us.

Ill never forget Dwayne Washington OWNING him!

Cassel only completing 2 passes all year over 30 yards out of like 25 wbile having Moss as the main deep threat is surely freightening.

Anyone else get the feeling Whitlock is tiptoeing around Cassel a little because he doesnt want to be put out again as it seems he was after the whole Brian Waters fiasco? I do.
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Old 07-15-2009, 05:33 AM   #15
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What the heck fatlock. You have to mention jeff george name again. He suck i hope he run into a aids tree while drinking antifreeze then die in fire.
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