Kiffin: 'I think he'll be on our team'

Oakland coach feels Randy Moss will remain with Raiders

Many people expect Randy Moss to be a member of the Green Bay Packers for the upcoming season. One problem with that, though. The Oakland Raiders expect Moss to be playing for them.

First-year Raiders coach Lane Kiffin, speaking at the NFL owners meeting in Phoenix on Tuesday, dismissed the oft-repeated rumors of Oakland trading Moss to Green Bay.

"I've never had a conversation with Randy at all about trading him," Kiffin said.

Later, Kiffin said, "I think he'll be on our team. I do."

The 31-year-old Kiffin said he talked to the 30-year-old Moss the day after he was hired, and squelched rumors that one and only conversation turned ugly on Moss' end.

"I called Randy Moss the day after I got hired," Kiffin said. "Randy was good. No insults. Nothing like that. We had a conversation that lasted about 15 minutes. Got to know him a little bit. Talked about our offense, my belief in the (receiver) position and what that position means to an offense. That was the extent of our conversation."

Moss loafed through much of last season. He admitted to taking plays off and giving less than his best during an ugly season in which Oakland won just two games and fielded one of the worst offenses in NFL history. Kiffin thinks he can get Moss refocused.

"What motivates players?" Kiffin asked. "Money and winning. And let's be honest. Money is probably more important than winning to some of them. So, how do they get they money? Well, they get new contracts because they play better. That's what (the coaches) can help them do.

"I want these players to feel how I can help them get better and get more money. That's what motivates them in the end. How do they get more money? They play really good."

Beyond that, Kiffin said he'll make Moss a big focal point of the Oakland offense. That, too, he said, will help bring the best out of the talented Moss, who's had three consecutive subpar seasons — including career lows of 42 catches for 533 yards and three touchdowns last season — after being the league's most dangerous receiver for his first six years in the NFL.

"You'd go through games where he'd have two balls thrown in his direction in 65 plays and you're behind," Kiffin said. "I'm not being critical of the play-calling — that's not what I'm getting at. What I'm getting at was he was frustrated. Sometimes, that's not bad. Sometimes, if you've got a player who wouldn't be frustrated, you've got to wonder how competitive they are."

Some around the league wonder if Moss has lost too much physical skill and mental edge to be an elite receiver. He had 102 catches the last two seasons combined after catching 106 in 2002 and 111 in 2003. Kiffin doesn't see it that way.

"I saw a player that at times made some talented plays," Kiffin said. "I saw a player that was not playing to the standard that I would want a player to. But ... I'm not going to make a judgment on that because I wasn't in those meetings. Did they sit down and tell him this is what I need from you or did they allow it to happen?"


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