Tag:Jerry Rice
Posted on: August 2, 2011 12:37 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2011 12:49 pm

Moss should be a slam dunk 1st ballot HOF

Randy Moss' retirement from the NFL was met with sighs of relief from defensive backs around the NFL and a collective "How soon does he make the Hall of Fame" question from pro football scribes and bloggers.

For talent evaluators, Moss' retirement is met with a different feeling, at least from this one.

It is met with appreciation.

Randy Moss' combination of size, acceleration, top-end speed and body control made him the dangerous wide receiver the NFL has ever known.

Moss wasn't the best receiver the league has seen. We all know that he was prone to listless, unmotivated play that sent him packing from more than one team. It is why, despite still undeniably possessing a big play ability that every team is looking, that Moss wasn't offered a competitive contract this off-season, leading to his retirement announcement.

We all know he didn't run the sharpest routes or possess the softest hands. He rarely demonstrated the physicality as a downfield blocker that a receiver with his size advantage could have.

The media tosses around the word "freak" to describe athletes with extraordinary athleticism. If there ever was an athlete that deserved the moniker, it is Moss. Put simply, tall skinny guys like the 6-4, 210 pound Moss typically don't have the muscle power in their lower body to generate the explosive acceleration and long speed that Moss so successfully used throughout his football career.

Too often Moss was miscast as strictly a deep ball threat. This is a valuable skill in the NFL, but demands "only" great speed. Moss' athletic brilliance was that he generated great speed so quickly. When he caught a slant, a hitch, a deep out or even a bubble screen, he had the burst to zip past the initial wave of defenders coming his way.

Moss' career numbers are astounding. He caught 954 passes for 14,858 yards and 153 touchdowns. He scored double digit touchdowns nine times over his career. You want big plays? He caught passes that gained his offense 40+ yards an amazing 76 times in his career. DeSean Jackson is often credited with his big play ability. Sure he's young and will hopefully continue his brilliant playmaking for a long, long time, but by comparison he's had 20. Moss' numbers are even more impressive when you consider that his boorish behavior often pushed him to new teams. In every case, he was expected by the fans (if not the coaching staffs) to be an instant savior of a passing attack.

That behavior may, unfortunately, be enough to keep some of the NFL scribes given the privilege of voting for the Hall of Fame to place some type of misguided moral code on their ballots.

Moss was among the truly elite, freakish players of his era. His ability to threaten the defense should be held in much the same regard as what Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens did as runners and receivers during their astounding careers.  The Cover-Two defense was created to help stop Moss and other big play artists.

If Moss isn't a first ballot Hall of Fame player, than I haven't seen one.

Posted on: April 29, 2010 10:43 pm

Scout: Walter Jones "like Pujols"

With all due respect to Jonathan Ogden, Anthony Munoz, and Tony Boselli the greatest left tackle of the past twenty years -- and arguably all time -- hadn't retired.

He hadn't retired until today, that is.

Walter Jones entered the NFL as the sixth overall pick of the 1997 draft. He played all 13 of his seasons for the Seattle Seahawks. If he'd played for perhaps any other franchise in the NFL, his retirement would be generating more attention than it is. It certainly would be if he played for one of the prominent east coast or south teams.

Consider that in 13 years Jones was voted to nine Pro Bowls, including a string of eight consecutive years (2001-08). And while some have argued that Pro Bowl berths are essentially popularity contests, consider that Jones was voted to the All-Pro squad six years. Whereas the Pro Bowl may have become a bit of a joke in recent years, All-Pro means he was voted the best of the best. In 2005, The Sporting News voted him as the best player in the league, regardless of position.

Former Seahawks head coach and current Cleveland team president Mike Holmgren once characterized Jones as the best player he'd ever coached. Consider that Holmgren coached Brett Favre. And Joe Montana. And Steve Young. And Jerry Rice. And Reggie White.

In 13 seasons, Jones was flagged for holding nine times.

In 5,703 passing plays, Jones allowed a total of 23 sacks.

Revered offensive line coach Howard Mudd, who some have called the best of all-time characterizes Jones as the best he's ever coached, according to a well-written tribute to Jones on www.seahawks.com


“Walt Jones, he set the bar really, really high,” Mudd said. “The next guy I think of is Anthony Munoz, and he played a long time ago. This is 20 years later, and you’ve got another one who is like that. And I’m not sure Walt isn’t better.

“So the point I’m making is, Walt is maybe the best one that’s ever played that position. Walter was a phenomenal talent, and it started the day he showed up.”

I've spoken to scouts who compared Jones to former All-Pro left tackles like Anthony Munoz and Tony Boselli.

Perhaps the astonishing comment I've received about Jones, however, came years ago from a longtime talent evaluator who, unfortunately, refused to go on record.

"I compare Jones to Albert Pujols. Mudd used the comparison to Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan. It doesn't matter. The point is the same. Those guys, they aren't just good. They aren't just the best. They're each so much better than everyone else that it is ridiculous to even mention other players in comparison. If you want to bring up the guys from 20-30 years ago, the Jim Parkers and guys like that, fine. But in today's game when the speed rusher really came into existence, no one was better than [Jones]. He was the standard that, as scouts, we were all looking to find again."

On Thursday, the Seahawks announced that they'd be retiring Jones' No. 71. They should. While Steve Largent might have been the face of the Seattle Seahawks throughout his career and is still the team's most popular player, there is no doubting Jones' was -- and remains -- the best player the team ever had.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com