"Randy Moss is a player whose skills are diminishing, and he's in denial of those eroding skills," former Raiders offensive coordinator Tom Walsh told the Boston Globe for Sunday's edition. "Randy was a great receiver, but he lacked the work ethic and the desire to cultivate any skills that would compensate for what he was losing physically later in his career.
"He told me last year, 'I'm too old to practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but I'm not too old to play on Sunday.' Did they start a senior league?"
Walsh was fired, along with head coach Art Shell, after Oakland's 2-14 season. Moss was shopped by the new Raiders regime and finally landed in New England.
Walsh doesn't know if Moss can be the consistent threat that the Patriots hope they're pairing with quarterback Tom Brady.
"When he's right, he still makes an impact," Walsh told the Globe. "He looked like a world-beater in a preseason game against the Lions. I never thought he was difficult to coach, but we expected him to be a complete receiver and he wasn't. His whole game in Minnesota was outside the numbers. For him to run shallow crosses and in-routes was new for him. Initially, he showed all the interest but later on ... I don't know."
The Patriots are banking on Moss adapting to the one-for-all work ethic that has helped the Patriots win three of the last six Super Bowls. Walsh isn't so sure.
"Randy Moss has great football IQ," Walsh told the paper. "He's tremendously gifted. I think he can still play, but his legs will determine how much work he can handle. We used to take him out of Friday practices because the quarterbacks wanted the receivers running near game tempo and when Randy was on the field, the whole practice slowed down so much we started giving him the day off. Once he got discouraged, he just faded."
Moss himself blames the losing he experienced in Oakland.
"I think what I have done in the past as far as losing and sometimes getting out of control, I think it's just my competitive nature of wanting to win and helping my team get into a position to win," he said in a conference call after the trade to New England. "Like I said, losing sometimes can get contagious, but as a player I can't let that settle in, and I think that's one of the things that bothered me [in Oakland]. I didn't want it to set in and it didn't set in. It was just really nerve-racking that it was hard for me to win."