FOXBOROUGH - Randy Moss has caught nearly everything thrown his way this season, and yesterday he caught some praise from his coach.
A day after Moss caught 10 passes for 128 yards and a franchise-record four touchdowns (all in the first half) in a 56-10 victory over the Bills, coach Bill Belichick was asked if the draft-day deal for Moss could have turned out any better. The Patriots swapped a mere fourth-round pick for Moss, who leads the NFL in receiving yards (1,052) and touchdowns (16).
"I'm glad we have Randy Moss, let's put it that way," Belichick said. "I'm glad we got him. As a head coach, I've never had a better receiver than Randy. I've been on teams that have had a lot of other good receivers, but he's very good and he's been good for this football team.
"He's added a lot. He's brought a lot of leadership as well as playmaking ability and a lot of versatility to our football team. I'm glad we have him. I don't know about ranking anything. I don't know about all that, but I'm glad he's on our team. I'm glad he's playing for us."
Moss, the Patriots' first 1,000-yard receiver since Troy Brown in 2001, and Belichick seem to have something of a mutual admiration society, as Moss threw plaudits Belichick's way following the win.
"When you have a coach that really has the passion, desire, and love for the game of football and he puts players in positions that really love the game, you can't ask for anything more," Moss said. "You want guys out there that are hungry, and that's what coach Belichick puts on the field, some hungry football players. That's a guy you want to play for."
Moss not only wowed a national television audience on NBC, he also made himself a little money. According to an NFL Network report, Moss has incentive clauses in his renegotiated contract that give him a series of $350,000 bonuses for reaching 45, 55, 65, 75, and 85 catches. The 10 catches Moss had Sunday night gave him 66 on the season and his third $350,000 bonus.
Hear no evilOnce again Belichick was forced to defend his rationale for going for it on fourth down while his team was routing an opponent. With the Patriots holding a 42-10 lead over Buffalo late in the third quarter, Tom Brady completed a 3-yard pass to Moss on fourth and 1 from the Buffalo 10. Two plays later, Kyle Eckel scored on a 1-yard run to extend the advantage to 49-10.
The crowd at Ralph Wilson Stadium serenaded Belichick and the Patriots with a crass chant when they went for it on fourth down.
"I mean, our offense was moving the ball pretty well, and in those situations, at that point in the game, I really don't like kicking field goals," Belichick said. "I feel like that's just adding points. I'd rather go for it on fourth down and give them an opportunity to stop us, and our offense was moving the ball well, so it gives them an opportunity to keep playing."
As for the chants, did Belichick hear them?
"No, not really," he said. "I'm just trying to coach our team."