|10.06.10 at 5:44 pm ET|
In a decision that comes at least as a mild surprise, Patrick Chung — who blocked a punt and field goal in the second half of Monday night’s win over the Dolphins — failed to win AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors Wednesday.
Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee instead claimed the award. Scobee kicked a 59-yard field goal on the final play of the game to give Jacksonville a 31-28 victory over the Colts. A terrific kick, sure, but it was worth three points (and it was the only FG of the game for Scobee). Chung’s blocked punt gave the Patriots the ball at the Dolphins 15-yard line, which led to a BenJarvus Green-Ellis TD rush. And his blocked field goal was picked up by Kyle Arrington and returned 35 yards for another TD. Hard to figure how 14 points (plus Chung was on the field for Brandon Tate‘s kickoff return TD) doesn’t trump a field goal.
|10.06.10 at 5:19 pm ET|
Cris Carter was a teammate of Randy Moss in Minnesota for four seasons, and the two reportedly developed a close relationship. On a conference call Wednesday afternoon, Carter — now an ESPN analyst — was critical of the Patriots for dealing Moss to Minnesota, saying quarterback Tom Brady and the New England passing game will suffer as a result.
Carter was asked if he thought the Patriots are a championship-type offense without Moss, he said, “Absolutely not.”
“There’s no way you take Randy Moss away from any quarterback in this league, and that quarterback gets better. It’s not possible,” Carter said. “This is a game about talented players. But you can only do so much if you don’t have the weapons. Tom will still be a great quarterback until he retires. He is that good. But he will have to work extra hard. Wes Welker’s job became a little bit harder.”
Carter said if Bill Belichick and the Patriots are going to succeed offensively, they need to return to their roots — the “grind-it-out” football that won them three Super Bowls in four seasons.
“You have to remember, they broke all the (offensive) scoring records, but they haven’t won any championships the last three years,” Carter said. “When they won their championships, they were a grind-it-out football team on offense, with a very inexperienced quarterback. They can grind it out now and have one of the best — you’re talking about spot routes and hitting people on target — Brady, he can do that. He was just playing at a stratosphere level when he had Randy, because he could pick them apart and still take the deep stuff.
“When they won championships, they were rock solid in the return game and their special teams,” Carter said. “The kick game was at an elite level and offensively, they were just able to grind it out. That’s the kind of team that Belichick is going to have to try to put on the football field because that’s the kind of personnel he has.”
|10.06.10 at 4:45 pm ET|
According to a report by ESPN.com, which cited player sources, Randy Moss had a “heated exchange” with Patriots quarterbacks coach Bill O’Brien at halftime of the Monday night game between the Patriots and Dolphins. The Patriots trailed the Dolphins, 7-6, at halftime, and Moss had been targeted with just one pass in the first half before his outburst.
The trade of Moss came less than 48 hours after the reported incident. In four games this year, Moss had nine receptions for 139 yards and three touchdowns, and no catches in Monday night’s 41-14 Patriots victory in Miami. O’Brien is in his second year as the quarterbacks coach of the Patriots, a position that is responsible for much of the team’s play-calling.
|10.06.10 at 3:51 pm ET|
Former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison said Wednesday he believed that wide receiver Randy Moss “was becoming a distraction” in New England, but was still “a little shock[ed]” by coach Bill Belichick’s decision to trade him.
“You have a lot of players, young players in that locker room and Belichick didn’t want that negativity to feed over to those young players and impact them in a negative way, so Belichick made this move because Randy Moss was not happy, came out and spoke out against the organization. He felt like this was a move that had to be made to move forward.
“You have to understand, too, Belichick didn’t win any Super Bowls with Moss. They set a bunch of records offensively, but Belichick realized the locker room is more important than one individual. Randy Moss did a lot, he was a great leader in the locker room but at the end of the day the Patriots gave him an opportunity that he didn’t have when he came to the Oakland Raiders. So he can’t say that he wasn’t appreciated, he was appreciated in New England. They gave him a $27 million contract, when everyone else thought he was a bad apple in the NFL, they gave him an opportunity.”
Speaking with Waddle & Silvy of ESPN 1000 in Chicago, Harrison — who was a teammate of Moss for the 2007 season — said the move doesn’t make them a better team immediately, it does improve their chances down the road.
“Look at the draft choices coming up next year. Two first-rounders, two second-rounders, two third-rounders. I mean, the guy knows exactly what he’s doing,” Harrison said of Belichick. “So I wouldn’t question what he’s doing.”
|10.06.10 at 2:58 pm ET|
With Randy Moss now in Minnesota, Brett Favre will at last be able to team up with the wideout. Favre pushed for the Packers to acquire Moss in 2007, but the Patriots landed the All-Pro.
“This is an exciting move, I think everybody feels that in the locker room,” Favre told Vikings.com Wednesday. “It’s rare you get to play with a future Hall of Famer and get to appreciate their talents up close. Randy Moss is a great player and his career speaks for itself. I’ve admired him from a distance for a long time and you can’t help but be impressed by the guy.”
|10.06.10 at 2:32 pm ET|
|10.06.10 at 1:51 pm ET|
Former Patriots wide receiver Troy Brown was a guest on the Dale & Holley show on Wednesday morning to analyze the Randy Moss trade to Minnesota. Brown believed that Moss wanted to stay in New England, but said “at the end of the day, he chose the business side of things.”
Talking about how the Patriots would proceed without Moss, Brown said “It may take a little getting use to.” He also believes that tight end Aaron Hernandez is the key and described the rookie as a “multi-tasking guy who can do a lot for this football team.” Brown concluded that the Patriots will play a lot like they did through the earlier part of the last decade.
Despite how the trade looks on paper, the Patriots Hall of Fame receiver didn’t think it would take the Patriots out of the mix for a Super Bowl appearance this season. As for the timing of the trade, Brown was optimistic saying “the best thing that could have happened for this team is that they have a bye week.”
2014 PATRIOTS DRAFT PICKS
2014 NFL DRAFT
Latest from Bleacher Report
- How Big of an Impact Will Easley Make for Pats?
- Patriots' Top Offseason Moves
- Assessing Every Patriots UDFA's Chances of Making the Roster
- Projecting Patriots' Roster Battles This Offseason
- Ranking Pats' Remaining Offseason Priorities
- Early Projections for Patriots' Final 53-Man Roster
- In-Depth Look at Each Pats Draft Pick