When the Titans claimed Randy Moss last month, some NFL analysts called him the missing piece needed for a Super Bowl run.
As things turned out, he's just been missing.
Not only did Moss go without a catch in Sunday's 31-17 win over the Texans, but also for the second straight game he wasn't even targeted by quarterback Kerry Collins. In six games with the Titans, one of the greatest receivers of all-time has pretty much been a non-factor.
Coach Jeff Fisher, however, said adding Moss to the roster "was not a mistake whatsoever" even though his statistics have been lackluster.
"If we had to do it over, of course we would do it," Fisher said Monday. "He has been great. Randy has been great for this team. The numbers aren't there, the production is not there, the play time is not there right now because Kenny (Britt) is coming back. But Randy is a great teammate. He works with the young guys and has fun, so it is great to have him around. We have really enjoyed him.''
When Britt returned from a hamstring injury on Dec. 9 against the Colts, Moss faded even deeper into the background. Yet the coach said Moss, who played less than a dozen snaps against the Texans, hasn’t complained.
“Everybody would like to have 10 catches for 200 yards. He’s had such great games and such a great career, but it just hasn’t worked out that way,’’ Fisher said. “But he by no means has been anything but great and understanding and understands where we are.
“He knew when he came in the kind of player that Kenny was and has been a really good influence on Kenny of late. I think he gets satisfaction out of seeing Kenny be productive.’’
Moss, who arrived in Nashville with a reputation for being moody and sometimes difficult to deal with, has talked weekly with local media, although many of his sessions have been very brief. He opens many interviews by saying “two questions” and sticks to it, but he is personable in casual conversation.
On the practice field, he has been observed instructing younger teammates, offering pointers. He’s even livened up the locker room with dice games.
And while the 33-year-old wideout has clearly lost some explosion off the line of scrimmage compared to earlier in his career, Fisher said Moss still has skills. Yet for some reason, the Titans haven’t taken advantage of them.
Now, the season is winding down and it appears too late. The Titans (6-8) need to win their last two games — at Kansas City and Indianapolis — and get a lot of help to sneak into the playoffs.
“He has bought into what we are doing. He is a pro, and he has been a great influence in the locker room for us,’’ Fisher said. “ … He is practicing fine, he is making plays, you’ve seen him run by people on the practice field. It just hasn’t happened (in games).’’
12-22-2010 07:25 PM
Re: Jeff Fisher: getting Randy Moss 'not a mistake'
Moss is now saying he would like to play for the Titans next year, and does not need a promise of more passes thrown his way.
“This organization has been good to me. My production has not been where I want it to be or where the organization wants it to be. But when it comes down to it, I think they are happy with where they are at with me and I am happy with where I’m at,” Moss said.
“Next year, hopefully, if the opportunity presents itself for me to be here, I would love to. I like the city and I like the people. There’s a lot of history here and football is one of the many things they have going on around here in this city and I am a country boy in a country city. I love it. I can’t speak enough about the city and the fans.”
Asked if he’d need a promise from the Titans to have more passes thrown his way, Moss said:
“Man, this is a business. It is really not my call or for me to say ‘Throw me every ball or throw me balls.’ Earlier in my career if I think you’d have asked me that question I would have probably been a little more biased … but I’ve always understood the concept of team.
“I’ve always felt I could take over a game and things like that. Now I am a little older and there are younger guys coming into the league with a little bit more pizazz and determination. But I am still determined. … The last couple of years I want to finish out I want to give the league something to remember me by, and hopefully if it is not here in Tennessee it would be somewhere else.
“But I wouldn’t mind staying here in Tennessee. I really wouldn’t.”