They Said It: Vikings Thursday edition

Posted Oct. 07, 2010 @ 9:43 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

Here’s a collection of quotes from new Vikings WR Randy Moss, head coach Brad Childress, QB Brett Favre and Jets head coach Rex Ryan.

Excerpt from Moss’ opening statement today: “Is the love for me still here in Minnesota? All I’ve been seeing is nothing but positive. To all the Vikings fans, just coming to the Metrodome, pull your number-84 jerseys out.”

On how long Moss has wanted to play with Favre: “Me and Brett have a long history with one another. I think when we started out in the NFC playing against one another, his agent Bus Cook and I have a very strong relationship, so all along he wanted to see if me and Brett could hook up one day. Knowing that I’m a little older, and he’s older, I know we don’t have that far of a window. The opportunity is closing. We just have to take it one game at a time, one practice at a time. I know I’m coming in here a little late, and hopefully we just get out there and get a little timing down and hopefully it can carry over to the games.”

Moss on whether it hurt to be traded: “No, I have been traded before. I was more hurt when I left here [Minnesota]. I think when I got traded from New England to here, I think it was more of an understanding because I’ve said time and time again, this is not football. It’s a job; it’s a business. Whenever the fans of the game understand the business of the game, I think it will be better for everyone. Did I want to get traded out of New England? I don’t really know what the answer is. All I can say is there is no other place I would want to get traded to besides Minnesota. I started here. I feel obligated to this organization for drafting me. At the time it was coach Dennis Green and his group that drafted me. By leaving here, there was still a bad taste in my mouth, very depressed. Then, by me being able to come back here over the last 24 hours, I still feel obligated to try and make this thing happen because when nobody wanted to give me a chance, the Minnesota Vikings gave me a chance. Even though I did slip late in the draft in ’98 and I still have the same approach to the game. I know I’m a little bit older, but hopefully the younger guys can pick up where I left off and hopefully make this ship move.”

Moss on whether he is a different receiver now, after mentioning his age several times in the press conference:
“I am. I think that I’ve learned the knowledge. I think I’ve gotten a little bit smarter, understanding coverages, understanding the little ins-and-outs of the game. As far as my physical ability, of course I’ve lost a step. Me losing a step compared to everyone else, I’m still one of the fastest guys in the league. We’ll just leave it at that. Like I said, yeah, I feel physically that I may have lost a step, but I still like to go out here and compete every day. I like to go out here and compete on Sunday. Hopefully we can go out here Monday night and compete.”

Moss on Bill Belichick defending him as a teammate and as a player and why things didn’t work in New England: “What me and Coach Belichick talked about, I don’t really want to make public. The respect that I have for him as a coach and a man speaks volumes. Bill is the one who brought me to New England from Oakland, and I commended him and thanked him for that. With me being in New England, that was something special. I’ve never been a part of a team, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do was be a part of a team. They’re a team and now that I’m gone, I’m not going to say anything negative and I’m not going to bash the organization because I think that they gave me an opportunity to go out here and play when nobody else thought I could go out there and play at a high level. Whatever me and Coach [Belichick] talked about, I want to keep that between us, and I wish him the best. I know we go there in a few weeks and one thing he did share with me is that he wishes me the best but that game right there. I look forward to facing those guys on the 31st of October, but I still got love for them; I really do. It’s just something I’ll never forget. We did some magical things up there. The show must go on and it is a business, and I think that’s what a lot of people got to understand, is the business side of football.”

Favre on whether Moss was the player the Vikings were missing: “It’s easy to point to that, sure. Production in the passing game is not where it was last year; although, the first two games last year we didn’t have to rely on it as much. Once again, it would be easy to point to that as the missing ingredient. I think overall I can point to a lot of things, my decision-making, being able to make plays outside a receiver when you’re not open or in coverage. Protection can be a little bit better. I can go on and on. We’ve all had our hand in it. What that does is it puts pressure on the defense. If you think back to last year, for the most part we were up in most games. It’s a different mindset for the defense and the opposing offense against our guys. They’re having to pass; we’re able to pin our ears back and it’s a different mentality. I’ve played over here when you’re playing from behind and it’s tough. Now all of a sudden we’re going into the latter part of the game and we’ve scored a touchdown. Teams can pound our defense and throw when they want, double Ray (Edwards), double Jared (Allen). We’re running the ball well; really that’s been the bright spot. I’ve said that from Day One, said it last year, say it again; that’s where we have to hang our hat. Now, off of that, we have to get better at play-action, screens. You think Randy comes in, we’re just going to throw it up to him? It’s 11 guys on him, we’re just going to throw it up to him? There may be times where that’s the case. I’m just joking, 10 guys, maybe. But he offers a totally different dimension. There’s still other plays that are good plays. If he’s drawing double coverage, much like Sidney did last year, somebody’s got to win underneath. Wes Welker’s done an unbelievable job at that. They’ve utilized him and used that to their advantage. We have to find that happy medium ourselves.”

Favre on his emotions playing the Jets on Monday: “I look back at it as, especially the start, to me, a successful year. Only one team, and I say this each year, in the end can say it was a complete success. It’s easy to make excuses and easy to say what if, would have, could have, should have. I take a lot of the blame for the fall at the end. I was injured. There’s no question my accuracy and velocity made a big difference in the passing game in the latter part of the year. In hindsight, I look back and think maybe I should have sat. It was discussed, but I wanted to finish the job that I started. We started off great, almost too good.  It was a fun year, it was a tough year, and I really enjoyed the players. (Jets GM Mike) Tannenbaum and I remain friends regardless of what people think. I think a lot of (former Jets head coach) Eric Mangini. It was a good experience. (Jets owner) Woody Johnson, great guy. What they have done there, starting with that year up to now, has not surprised me one bit. They’re an aggressive organization who has made some good moves, and they’re playing as good as anyone in football right now, no doubt.”

Childress to Jets media on how long it will take for Moss to be up to speed:
“That’s an interesting question. Your attempt is to give him the whole game plan here, and I’m sure we’ll settle on what he’s going to do as we head through the week. Really, it’s kind of a season-long process. I would tell you the same thing with Brett (Favre). Both systematically and every year it kind of brings its own thing in terms of personnel and defenses you’re going to play and how does a guy run this route? How far can I lead him? That type of thing, so I just think it will be an evolution as we go week-by-week.”

Childress on whether Moss is the perfect fit for what they need with Sidney Rice out: “He’s a hell of a piece of the puzzle. He’s physical. Stature-wise, they’re very similar. Obviously, Randy’s got more of a pedigree. He has that past history. Sidney had the one tremendous year last year. I think he’ll be a good addition to our football team.”

Childress in his press conference on whether Moss will have a set amount of plays in Monday’s game: “As much as he can get or retain and we put the whole thing in. There’s a ramping-up process with everything from how you motion to snap-count, but we will try to get him more as opposed to less as we go in, and it has yet to be determined until we get to Monday.”

Childress on how Moss’ presence will help the other playmakers:
“You know what, everyone has to work. The one thing on the offensive side is a little different because he could be doing what he needs to be doing but somebody else could not be doing what they’re supposed to be doing. It’s just him taking care of his business and we’ll see. It remains to be seen how people want to play us, how they respect the runner in the backfield, the quarterback under center, the tight end or the other wideout and kind of develop as you go. One thing I told the guys today is they will need to play themselves into roles as we go every day. You create your own role. If you can do more and you do some things, we’ll find different ways to get you the football.”

Rex Ryan on his reaction to the Moss trade:
“Initially I was stunned, I think. Then the more I think about it, this I what I think needs to happen; I’m going to give Brad [Childress] a call and give him my idea on this. This is the deal; Randy, with the way the NFL is, what players face and all of that kind of stuff, let’s face it, he missed his bye week. I think he needs to sit out this week and let’s face it, a lot has changed since when he was back in Minnesota the first time, which has been several years now. He needs to find out where the surroundings are, all of that kind of stuff, house hunting. All of that needs to be done this week.”

Ryan on what type of impact he thinks Moss will have with the Vikings:
“I think he’s a tremendous player. The fact you got a guy that can shoot it out there to him, similar with (Tom) Brady. Even back in the days with Randall Cunningham, this guy when he’s covered, he’s open. That’s an issue for anybody that’s up against him. He’s got great speed. Obviously in my opinion, the best vertical (receiver) in the game or right there with them, just a huge weapon. When you combine Randy Moss with what they already have: [Bernard] Berrian, Percy Harvin, and wait until [Sidney] Rice gets back, that’s going to be sick. And then, ‘Oh, by the way you have Adrian Peterson back there at running back.’ This is a heck of a football team. That’s what I told our team, as well.”

Bill Belichick on Moss:
“I’ll just say that Randy was really a pleasure to coach. I enjoyed having him on our team. He made a lot of contributions to this football team. When I spoke with Randy yesterday morning, our conversations were consistent with what they’ve been over the last four years: honest, open, very forthright. We talked about a lot of things, which I will keep between Randy and myself. In the end, it was a difficult decision, but one that I feel is in the best interest of the football team."

Belichick on reported friction with Patriots coaches: “There was never any incident or discipline problem with Randy. There never has been one with me in four years. And it certainly wasn’t about contract and money. I think Randy showed and proved the first year he was here what that was all about. What he did with his contract made the whole deal work. I think you can eliminate those two things.”

Belichick on why the trade happened: “It was a combination of things, and in the end, we felt like we did what was best for the football team. And again, another part of it was just the personal relationship with Randy. And in talking to him, some of the feelings and things that he expressed that he and I talked openly about, when all was said and done and it all was put together, I felt like that was the best thing.”