New England Patriots receiver Brian Tyms barely cracked the 53-man roster in his time with three NFL teams—the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins—but he didn't let those experiences go to waste.
Tyms was an afterthought when he signed with the Patriots at the onset of training camp, but he has defied expectations by opening eyes all over the NFL. Learning under Randy Moss can have that effect.
Doug Kyed from NESN.com had Tyms' thoughts on learning from one of the greatest receivers of all time:
“That’s the dude, man. That’s who I look up to, as far as this game goes,” Tyms said Friday night at Gillette Stadium after the Patriots’ preseason win over the Philadelphia Eagles. “I’m trying to take advantage of the same stuff he did in his career. And hopefully, you know, I could possibly do that. I’m not saying I’m nowhere near him, because he is the GOAT. I’m trying, I’m trying my best.”
The 6-foot-3, 204-pound receiver’s celebration wasn’t the only thing reminiscent of Moss’ game on Friday night. Tyms’ ability to high-point quarterback Ryan Mallett’s 17-yard touchdown pass was something he picked up from the seven-time Pro Bowl selection. “My short time with him — I’m a student of the game. Everything he did, I try to do. Of course, he does that,” Tyms said. “He just taught me, like, just focus.
Moss congratulated Tyms via Twitter after the former Florida A&M receiver racked up seven catches for 148 yards and two touchdowns over his first two preseason games in New England.
Learning from Moss and actually becoming a steady contributor are two completely different things. Let's take a look and see how Tyms is winning his battles outside.
Tyms is aligned as the "X" receiver on the line of scrimmage to the weak side of the formation. His defender is lined up in tight press coverage, with just over one yard separating them.
Tyms is given a clean release initially, but the corner then shoots with his inside arm, trying to disrupt his route. With the middle of the field closed, Tyms is going to try and eat up the corner's leverage and swipe through to the outside.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has other options that may be more open, but he is locked on to Tyms.
Tyms is able to swipe and step through the press coverage. Garoppolo lets the ball fly as Tyms is leaving. This is where Patriots fans starting getting deja vu.
Like Randy Moss did so many times before, the 6'3" Tyms separates with the ball in the air, pulling two yards clear of his marker. The safety can't make it outside to double Tyms and Garoppolo drops an absolute dime, resulting in a 29-yard touchdown.
Despite Tyms' preseason heroics, he doesn't have a clear shot to 53-man roster. Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Matthew Slater and Aaron Dobson are roster locks barring injury. Tyms joins Kenbrell Thompkins—who has flashed starter potential this preseason—and Josh Boyce—who hasn't—in fighting for the last two spots.
Luckily for Bill Belichick, he won't have to make that decision too early. Tyms' four-game suspension for a performance-enhancing drug will give the Patriots some time to evaluate the receivers over the first quarter of the season and plug in Tyms if needed.
Until then, Tyms needs to keep heeding Moss' advice and study hard. Belichick and Tom Brady will be giving him his final test soon enough.