Curran: No Moss in Patriots' future


Curran: No Moss in Patriots' future

By Tom E. Curran
Last May, Randy Moss jettisoned his longtime agent Tim DiPiero. The logic, Moss explained, was that he believed a new agent would help him maximize his off-field earning power. "To all the agents out there, I am a free man!" Moss told IanRapoport ofThe Boston Herald. "I am looking for a new agent. I got this football thing under control, but going into my 13th year in the league, Im still marketable. "Im looking for an agent thats going to get me out there with my marketing ability," Moss added."I can shoot commercials. Thats what Im looking for right now that off-the-field money. I really wasnt into commercials, because I wanted to concentrate on one objective, being a better football player year-in and year-out. Now, late in my career, Im still thinking I have some marketing opportunities out there. I need an agent or agency thats going to get out there and find those business deals off the field.Turned out, he didn't really have the football thing under control. And that meant that, even though he hired the very successful Joel Segal in July to represent him, Moss has neither the football nor the off-the-field money he was looking for. It's been a stunning turn for the likely Hall of Famer and it's got to be considered a longshot for Moss to ever be more than a spare part with some team. He's just too dangerous to build around. And the mindset articulated above is proof of that. Earlier this week, Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network theorized that a chastened Moss might be returning to New England. The truth is, Moss' 2010 resume makes him radioactive. A year after catching 83 passes for 1,264 yards and a league-leading 13 touchdowns, he caught just 28 balls for 393 yards and five touchdowns. After the Patriots had had enough of Moss, they traded him to Minnesota and he became the leaking gasoline truck that blew up Brad Childress' tenure there. One team claimed him on waivers - the Titans. Moss caught six balls in eight games, gave tepid effort and - while he isn't the reason Jeff Fisher's no longer Tennessee's coach - Moss contributed to the Tennessee malaise that led to Fisher's departure. Moss' main concern isn't playing football, it's making money. And anyone who's been listening for the last decade has heard Bill Belichick lob the praise "football is important to him" realizes how ill-fitting Randy Moss would be here. Never mind the fact that, after the Jets game last year, quarterback Tom Brady basically froze Moss out for his final two games in New England. Brady was tired of throwing picks on balls intended for Moss (he threw two against the Jets; he had just two more the rest of the regular season). Moss could say all the right things and make all the promises. But in the end, he's too dangerous to employ. Tom E. Curran can be reached at Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Van Noy sees playing-time bump as he learns Patriots language


Van Noy sees playing-time bump as he learns Patriots language

When Kyle Van Noy was traded to the Patriots in late October, he had a lot to learn. He needed to understand the layout of his new team's maze-like facility. He needed to adjust to a new locker room. He needed to adapt to a new home. 

He also had to become fluent in a new language.

The former Lions 'backer was inactive for two weeks before he was comfortable enough with the Patriots system -- and the coaching staff was comfortable enough with him -- to get on the field. He played 29 snaps against the Niners in first game with his new club, then saw 28 plays against the Jets. On Sunday he saw his role expand as he played 40 of a possible 51 plays, which was more than Shea McClellin (38) or Dont'a Hightower (33). 

"Kyle has done a great job of working really hard to acclimate to what we’re doing, and he has had to learn really fast as far as the system, the communication, the language," said defensive coordinator Matt Patricia on a conference call Tuesday. "It’s like when you go to a different system, offensively or defensively, a lot of times it’s just learning the vernacular and the verbiage . . . That’s a big part of it. Then getting more familiar with that kind of terminology and the communication is critical because there’s a lot of calls and adjustments, things like that that we’ve got to do on the field."

Van Noy was making some of those calls himself on Sunday as he wore the green dot on his helmet when Hightower was on the sidelines. Even with the added responsibility, Van Noy was able to play freely enough that he put together what might have been the best game of his three-year career. 

Used at the end of the line of scrimmage as well as in a more traditional off-the-line linebacker role, Van Noy was effective in defending both the pass and the run: He stuffed three Rams rush attempts, he recorded a quarterback hit that led to an incompletion, he drew a holding call, and he recorded an athletic interception when he tracked a wobbling Jared Goff pass that floated over the middle after Jabaal Sheard hit Goff's arm as the rookie released his throw.

After several of his stand-out plays, Van Noy was visibly excited on the field and later on the sidelines. It was the culmination of six weeks of work, learning as much as he could from a coaching staff that was eager to teach him. 

"He’s extremely prideful in his work and his approach to the game," Patricia said. "He’s very cerebral. He’ll ask a lot of questions. He really wants to understand what we’re doing and why, which is great. We’re trying to give him those answers and insight into kind of where some of this either came from or developed or situations like that so that’s really good."