Heading to New England for his 10th NFL season, Randy Moss thought he’d already mastered the art of playing wide receiver. He’d led the league in touchdown receptions three times, once as a rookie, and tallied well over 1,000 yards receiving in each of his first six seasons. But as he’d later find out, playing for Bill Belichick was like learning a whole new approach to the game of football.
“[They were] able to just teach me a lot, going on 10 years [in the league], when I’m thinking I know it all, I’ve seen this many coverages, I know how to practice, I know how to study,” Moss told ESPN in a recent interview. “It kind of refueled the fire for me. It felt good doing it.”
Moss, who’ll be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this coming weekend and will be one of just six wide receivers to do so in his first year of eligibility, was with the Patriots for three seasons from 2007 to 2009. And he credits Belichick with teaching him what parts of the game to place the most emphasis on.
“If he knew something, if he knew a cornerback had bad hands or was bad at tackling, he wanted to make sure we knew it, too,” Moss said. “It was just a lot of things he taught me about the ins and outs, the ABCs and 123s of professional football.”
The most valuable lesson he learned in New England, Moss said, was that nothing is more important than game preparation.
“Bill used to take us climbing over walls, climbing under and over barbed wire fence through the week,” Moss said. “But then on Sunday, it would make our job a little easier because of how hard we worked during the week.”