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Randy Moss: Bills must upgrade their passing offense


NEW YORK -- Stevie Johnson had no problem catching Randy Moss' attention years ago.

"I remember one game where he tore Darrelle Revis' head completely off," Moss told me Tuesday at the Super Bowl media center in Manhattan. "He had Revis spinning in circles.

"I said to myself, 'Man, this guy is good.' So I've always followed Stevie Johnson."

Johnson had his worst season since he became a starter. After three straight 1,000-yard seasons, unprecedented for a Buffalo Bills receiver, he caught 52 passes for 597 yards and three touchdowns.

He missed the final two games because of his mother's death. Back, groin and hip injuries besieged him throughout the year.

Given that Moss is a receiver connoisseur, I asked for his thoughts on Johnson's season and how he fits in the Bills' offense. Without mentioning anybody by name, Moss didn't sound too impressed with the Bills' passing offense as a whole.

"With Stevie Johnson, it's easy to game plan for them because he's all they got," said Moss, a future Hall of Famer now working for Fox Sports. "You can take one receiver out of the game. He can be taken out of the game.

"Stevie Johnson needs some help. He's a good receiver, and he picks his game up every year. He's still learning. But until you get him some help there, you're not going to need to hear much out of Stevie Johnson."

Rookie receivers Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin showed promise. Woods had 40 catches for 587 yards and three touchdowns. Goodwin was electric, but frequently injured. Goodwin made only 17 receptions for 283 yards but did score three times.

Of the Bills' top five pass-catchers, Johnson and Woods were the only wide receivers. Tight end Scott Chandler led the team with 53 catches. Running backs Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller ranked third and fifth.

"This is not a one-receiver league no more, or really a two-receiver league," Moss said. "You've got to have three out there."

  • Aaron McMillan

    Hard not to agree with him.

  • ptato22

    I think Randy's stating the obvious. It's hard to know just how good the other receivers might be as the Bills QBs didn't give them too much to get excited about. Hackett will definitely need to get the passing game out of the blocks early and stop trying to simply run up the middle every first down.

    • Jeff in Chicago

      right on. if you don't have a QB with the skill to read the D, and the pocket poise and accuracy to get the ball to receivers when they're open (and who can stay healthy), you'll need 3 megatrons to soundly beat their man every play to give an average QB the confidence that he'll make completions. EJ blossoms next season or they'll be looking for another franchise QB this time next year.

  • Ron

    Draft seven offensive linemen this year. That will dramatically improve Bills running game and receiving corps. Pick up linebacker in Free Agency and sign Byrd.

    • Paul Kawalerski

      mmm... 7 OL. I'm sure that's the answer.

  • Paul Kawalerski

    What team doesn't need to upgrade their passing game? The Bills have three good receivers in Stevie, Woods, and Goodwin. Two were rookies last year and had good seasons. The problem was the lack of talent on the OL, other than Woods and Glen. EJ needs to stay healthy this year, pick up the speed on his reads, work on consistency, and air it out more. (No small task), but if he expects to be in this league for long this has to happen. Get him a Big TE that can help block and gives him a big target. Pick up a RG/RT in FA, There are two good ones coming up in FA (Brandon Albert and Byron Bell). Getting a RT in FA would free up picks to improve our passing game with a TE or a Big WR. I agree with Moss that we need to improve the passing game, but most of the pieces are already in place. Stevie, Woods, and Goodwin have the talent, we just need someone who can get them the ball.

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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.