by Matt Bowen
April 10, 02011
How about Randy Moss playing for Rex Ryan and the Jets in the 2011 season? A topic brought up by Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe today in his NFL Notes, and a possibility with both Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards facing free agency.
ICONCould Moss produce for Rex Ryan and the Jets during the 2011 season?
According to Bedard, Ryan spoke highly of the WR at the NFL owner’s meetings, saying, “Randy Moss, I’ve said all along, is a great vertical receiver. And you have to roll coverage. Most teams would have to roll coverage to him. We never did, but we got burned for a touchdown. But he was a weapon. A vertical weapon down the field.’’
What Ryan meant by saying “rolling coverage” is playing a 2-shell (Cover 2) to one side of the field. Roll the corner up to jam the WR at the line of scrimmage with a safety playing over the top in the deep half. You try to eliminate a free release and take away the opportunity to run a straight 9 (fade) route or a deep 8 (post) route that can put stress on the top of the defense. Play Cover 1 or some combo-man to the front side of the field, but make sure you eliminate that vertical threat with a Cover 2 look.
Does Moss still warrant that type of attention? That’s the question. Is he still a player that does alter defensive game plans again purely based on where he aligns on the field? That’s what I saw during my career playing in the secondary on Sundays and on tape with Moss.
From a player’s perspective, any time you see a WR aligned outside of the numbers that can get on your cushion (force you to turn your hips and run) it impacts how you play the game. That’s reality when speed—top end speed—is brought into the equation once you break the huddle.
As for overall production and trying to forecast what Moss could do for a club like the Jets? Hard to base that off of the 2010 season. I couldn’t imagine trying to navigate through three separate teams and three separate playbooks in one year. It is hard enough in this league to produce every Sunday on one team.
I still see intrigue here with Moss teaming up with a Rex Ryan coached team. Because if you can’t play for Ryan and follow his lead, I don’t where else there is to go after speaking with some of his players both past and present.
I understand we are stuck in the middle of an NFL lockout, baseball has started and many of you are watching the final round of the Masters today. But keep this in the back of your mind when we do start seeing veteran player movement in the NFL.
Because Moss can still run. Just like we saw vs. Ryan’s defense in 2010 on Monday Night…
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