Opinion: Overworking The Randy Ratio?

Randy Moss had four catches for 16 yards, and four balls thrown his way went for interceptions. So, is the Randy Ratio being overemphasized to the detriment of the team? Can he be the effective all-around player the Vikings need?

>The Vikings are falling all over themselves, and eventually falling on their own swords every week as they give games away. The frustration of watching this team lose its first three games is the realization that it will eventually make enough bad plays to lose each week.

Some of this should be expected. With so many new players and coaches, it will take time for them to come together as a winning team. It is surprising, though, that Daunte Culpepper is making so many mistakes in his fourth year in the league. He seems to be regressing steadily from his form of two years ago. He fumbles easily, forces the ball into coverage and no longer seems to be much of a threat to run the ball.

What happened? Some people say he is trying too hard. At least one of the two star players that this team has is trying.

Leading us to Randy Moss. What can be said about Moss that hasn't been said? He still dogs it on the field, not going all out on passes he could possibly keep from being intercepted. He sticks up one arm to catch the ball — is it really so uncool to make an effort? He's stealing his money.

Even if Moss wasn't a slacker, the Randy Ratio approach the Vikings want to use will not work because Moss is not a complete player. The Vikings can throw short to him all they want and accomplish nothing, because he isn't the type of player who can do enough with the ball when half the defense is in front of him yet. You could probably count one hand the big plays this guy has made in his career by catching it underneath and turning upfield.

Usually, he catches it a few yards downfield and runs half-heartedly (sometimes backwards) until he has a good enough excuse to fall down. It's a disgrace. This guy can make Jeff George look like a total-effort guy on some plays.

It may seem like a good idea to get your most talented player the ball, but if that talented player can only be effective in the medium to deep passing game, the plan won't work. Everyone is sitting on the deep routes, waiting to give Moss a big hit. Have you ever noticed how Moss doesn't take any big hits? That's what happens when you don't try for a difficult play, or sacrifice yourself for the team once in a while. Or, blatantly sidestep the safety (Chicago game) as you reach out with one hand for a ball you should catch if you want to be known as a great player. Or even a player that makes a sincere effort to win.

Basically, I'm sick to death of hearing about Randy Moss and all the things the Vikings have to do to keep him involved. Denny Green knew that Moss was a one-dimensional player, and he had enough talent on offense to use Moss as a deep threat only. Green was smart enough to not depend too much on Moss in his game plans, but not willing enough to do anything about Moss openly dogging it on the field.

So, what do you do when you are the coach of the Minnesota Vikings and you've dedicated the offense to one star player? Save the team. Get the ball to the other players — then come back to Moss for the occasional big play. Bench Moss if you have to. ANYTHING to prevent him from affecting the rest of the team with his Me First (if not Me Only) effort.

The Vikings have gone out on a limb to get Moss the ball, to carry the team. He hasn't. The Vikings need to have the guts admit that they've put their faith in the wrong place, or at least in the wrong way.

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