Moss cautions you not to read anything into this. His haircut is "just a matter of taste." As for his on-field citizenship, he says there may come a day when he swings at a man. His attitude in public is fierce, almost comical indifference. Carter says the man you see isn't the one Carter sees; in time Moss will let the rest of the world in. But for now he'll maintain that practiced detachment. When he's asked if he's close to Eric (they grew up in separate homes and attended different high schools), he says they're very close. So it's good to have landed on a team with him? Randy does a self-check for enthusiasm and says, "It's not a good thing or a bad thing. It's just what it is."
But given what he has been through, and what he's about to experience, his wariness is understandable. Like any good receiver, he understands the benefit of distance. He may be a little awkward about achieving it off the field, but he's young. When you ask him what he's looking forward to as his career begins, he admits it would be "nice" to see Barry Sanders, Jerry Rice and Brett Favre. Then, setting his mouth in that public grimace, he adds, "Ain't too many people I want to see." He regrets having sounded like a kid there for a second.
That's all he is, of course, a kid with a past that haunts him even as he tries to create his future. He's too young to understand the public's appetite for second acts, a nation's ritual rush to forgive. He's too afraid, under that flinty and faked cynicism, that there are no second acts, there is no forgiveness. For now, he just wants a little room off the line of scrimmage, a chance to get into open field.