Randy Moss is climbing the stairway to football immortality.
The former Patriots receiver for nearly four seasons is set to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend, so naturally, coach Bill Belichick was asked to comment on the news and his impression of Moss.
Reminiscing of the former player he’s had the privilege to coach, Belichick spoke highly of Randy, praising both his game, as well as his personality.
“I’ve talked a lot about Randy. All good – great receiver, great player, great person,” he said from a Gillette Stadium podium prior to his team’s first in-stadium practice of training camp. “I learned a lot from him. [He was] a great, great, great deep-ball receiver. Very smart, has a really good understanding of the passing game and how to attack defenses from his point of view, which is, certainly, as a player, one that I’m not familiar with. [He’s] fast and can get over the top of the defenses and understand how teams look at an explosive weapon like him.
“He made me a better coach. He made us a much better team and he was a great person to have on the team. He was a lot of fun to be around, but he worked hard and was very committed to winning.”
During his time with the Patriots, Moss scored 259 receptions for 3,904 yards and 50 touchdowns, most of which came during his historic 2007 season where he caught an NFL record 23 touchdowns, while contributing 98 receptions and 1,493 yards.
While he wasn’t able to capture that Super Bowl title and a perfect season in 2007, Moss’ individual performance was considered one of the best in NFL history.
Speaking of that historic year in ’07, Moss admitted that he predicted such a season.
“If you ask Kevin Faulk, I expected to do that,” Moss said. “I really did and I’m not just saying that. I put in the work and I remember telling Kevin Faulk that we’re going undefeated, and I’m going to break the record.”
Interesting fact about that time is that Moss’ impressive tenure with the Patriots almost didn’t happen, as he told reports during that conference call leading up to his induction that he actually hung up on Bill Belichick thinking it was a prank caller.
“Went down to Houston, Texas for a charity event,” he recalled. “We were about to go into a club, and my phone rang. I picked it up, and the man said on the other line that it was coach Belichick, so I hang up the phone. So I said a few other words, said a few cuss words. So, then when he called me back I kinda felt small and apologized because it really was him. He told me briefly that, ‘the Raiders want to trade you.’ You have by 10 o’clock to get up here or the trade is voided. So, I hurried up and I got my pilots together, and got my behind up there to Foxborough.”
And the rest is history.