When LB Dan Morgan retired I wrote an Ode to Dan Morgan post on this site because though the Panthers didn't feel he warranted inception into the Panther Hall of Honor I felt he needed special recognition none the less. I'm feeling the same way about the retirement of Muhsin Muhammad. Moose retires with the best of both worlds: impressive statistics and notable plays across a stellar 14 season career along with the adoration of a franchise fan base. Though Moose wasn't the flashiest WR in the league, he was very good and very consistent over a long period of time. His 2004 season after WR Steve Smith was one for Panther lore: 93 Recs (73 for 1st D), 1400+ yds, 16 TD's.
Let's hit the more impressive of the stats since I'm sure most reading this already know plenty about Moose. But for those who might not, Moose recorded 860 receptions for 11k plus yards receiving and 62 TD's. Most of those came in a Panthers uniform (11 seasons, 9,500 yds, 50 TD's) including his Super Bowl record 85 yd TD in SB XXXVIII. I still remember that play vividly as for me, it was the biggest positive play of the game for the Panthers....more after the jump.
Pictured: Moose scores a record setting 85 yard TD in the 2003 SB
Moose didn't escape recognition beyond the fan base. He played in two Pro Bowls (1999 and 2004) and was lured away by the Bears for 3 seasons with a huge contract after the 2004 season. Yet Moose had endeared himself to the Panther fan base so much he was welcomed back with open arms in 2007. So what endeared him so? Let me count the ways:
- Moose thrived on making 3rd down catches as 65% of his receptions went for a first down
- He loved to make catches over the middle and use a powerful stiff arm to shake would-be tacklers
- He was a fierce run blocker and has essentially set the standard for Panther WR's
- Moose was always described as a great locker room guy who reached out to the younger guys
- He always contributed to the community and charity
- He was always emotional in games and left everything he had on the field
- After posting +1,000 yd season in 1999-2000 Moose excepted a reduced role with the emergence of Steve Smith
- He was even consistent with his TD dance...perfecting the between-the-legs no-bounce dribble
I could go on but at this point I think a video would be better. Here's one from You Tube that has some classic Moose receptions including the SB record setter around 2:40 mark.
What stands out for me in this video is the sneaky speed he possessed at such size. Panthers.com has another one that's a little better and longer.Honestly I think you can still play Moose but I understand why you are leaving now at 37.
So in closing I want to shout out a big THANK YOU to Moose for 11 gritty, enjoyable seasons (even 2001). You have set the bar high in many ways and I wish you the best (TV maybe?).
From the win over the Eagles to go to the SB: