Raiders are "mentally sound"

Cancer finds a way to spread - especially in the locker room. But don't count on that happening with the Oakland Raiders. They received some good news.                

Consider Randy Moss on board.

While publicity regarding a recent radio interview in Atlanta focused on his initial desire to play with Michael Vick in Atlanta, Moss has also given the Art Shell regime his stamp of approval. Although Moss hasn't spoken to the Bay Area media since last year's season opener, he has been selectively making the rounds on various radio outlets in part to promote a new business venture.

When he wasn't talking about smoothies and their health benefits, Moss was heaping praise on the Art Shell regime. Following last season's New Year's Eve loss to the New York Giants, Moss was last seen walking out of the locker room and to his car even before soon-to-be fired coach Norv Turner was done addressing the team.

"We've tried to straighten out a couple of things on defense and then bringing in a good coach like Art Shell and the team he's bringing with him," Moss told Sirius Satellite Radio. "I think we can really see what the Oakland Raiders are going to do this season, because, I think, personally, we're better and more mentally sound than last year."

While not ripping Turner directly, Moss said, "You can tell when the chemistry is good, when the chemistry is bad, when the coach has control of a team, and when he doesn't. We were in disarray last year and we could never get back together."

Moss said Shell reminded him of Dennis Green in Minnesota in terms of philosophy and approach.

Moss praised the arm strength and throwing skills of second-year quarterback Andrew Walter, but felt probable starter Aaron Brooks could bring the best out of a gifted receiving corps.

"I'm excited about playing with Aaron Brooks, (he's) a little more mobile than Kerry Collins. Taking nothing away from Kerry Collins -- I enjoyed playing with him and learning from him -- but the team had to move in another direction," Moss said.

Most important, Moss said the injuries he remained quiet about last season -- rib, groin and pelvis injuries suffered in Week 5 against San Diego -- were a thing of the past.

"I'm pretty much back to 100 percent," Moss said. "Last year was so frustrating. I think, with my injury, I could have had a couple of weeks off, but I had high hopes to try and have a push for the playoffs to prove the critics wrong. If people were wondering why I kept playing so nicked up, that's the reason why. I fought through it. I've rehabbed this off-season, trying to get my groin area a little stronger."

In an interview with an Atlanta radio station, Moss said he hoped to initially be traded to Atlanta but was told owner Arthur Blank was not interested in having him on the team.

When Moss signed with the Raiders, he said at the time he had to first be talked into it by former agent Dante DiTrapano as well as members of the Raiders and their front office.


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