So, I've been no small critic of San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Randy Moss. From the very moment he was signed I've been talking about how I don't expect him to make the roster or if he does, how I don't expect much out of him when it all comes down to it. The tape on Moss is long and, quite honestly, brilliant. But you're only as good as the last time you were out on the field, and Moss can't even say that was an outlier, given the frequency at which these things have been happening.
These things being the fact that he gives up and doesn't care the moment he's not catching 60-yard touchdown passes. Actually, that's not fair ... he's probably cool with touchdown passes of any yardage, providing he doesn't have to go over the middle or do anything other than run a streak route. To his credit, he can pull out some mad hops and make a two-yard streak route into an actual thing and a touchdown.
Training camp has just started for rookies and select veterans, while everyone is set to report very soon. There's battles at running back, safety, cornerback, quarterback and, of course, wide receiver. Moss will be looking to strut his stuff in training camp and probably even preseason. He'll work hard and maybe even earn a spot in the starting lineup as one of the top three.
Hell, he could even be the No. 1 receiver.
But you know something? You're not going to find many "Moss impresses in practice again," or "Moss is back!" pieces from me. Nothing Moss can do in preseason should convince you that this won't all end in shambles. There's a difference between optimism and total delusion. 49ers fans have crossed it at this point. Nothing he does should make you think that he'll have a 1,000 yard season, because Moss before the season begins and Moss after he sees action in the regular season are two different people.
Maybe I'll be wrong and Moss will have a great year. Outside of Moss himself and possibly the always-obsessive Jim Harbaugh, nobody will be as happy as I will. Here's to hoping there's a career resurgence and he ends up with two excellent years before he calls it quits. But this writer knows there's about to be an awful lot of fluff written about him and a decidedly lacking bit of rational skepticism from everyone involved.
In short, let's not get carried away and make too much of the fact that a ton of articles about Moss looking as good as he ever has are about to be published. And let's all cross our fingers and hope that all that confidence and desire to turn things around isn't the first thing out the window when the first ball is kicked off in week one.