Moss gives stamp of approval

Randy Moss doesn't speak much these days, at least not to the media. But the Raiders wide receiver opened up briefly following Oakland's preseason win over Philadelphia and told reporters he's pleased with the direction the team is going under Art Shell.

''Guys are more tuned in and more disciplined, on and off the field,'' said Moss after the Raiders' 16-10 win over the Eagles in the Hall of Fame game. ''I've been saying time and time again in the offseason, the addition of a guy like Art Shell coming to our team, he's very soft-spoken but he demands a lot. That's one thing you can appreciate in a man, if he doesn't really have to be too verbal. Just his presence alone, he got our attention.

''Hopefully this is a new Raider team. I'm not just saying that because we won in our first preseason game. I'm just saying it just because we have a great coaching staff. Coach Art brought in a great coaching staff. We believe in him. And that's the one thing, as a player, you need someone you can believe in and someone to follow. Right now, he's our leader and we're following him.''

It was Moss' first interview with reporters covering the Raiders since last September. While he has done occasional radio and television interviews, Moss had maintained his silence with the Bay Area media until Sunday.

Though he did not catch a pass or even have one thrown his way in the preseason win over Philadelphia, Moss said he was generally pleased overall with the way things went for the Raiders.

He acknowledged that he and quarterback Aaron Brooks need to develop better timing -- ''There's a lot, lot, lot more work to do,'' Moss said -- and also talked about returning to Minnesota for the first time since being traded to Oakland a year ago. The Raiders meet the Vikings on Aug. 14 in their next preseason game.

''It is going to be something special,'' Moss said. ''Hopefully the Metrodome will sell out because I'm coming back, but I'm a Raider now. In a certain sense, it is going to be special but at the same time I still have a job to do. What I did in Minnesota, what I accomplished in Minnesota, is way, way behind me. But this being my first trip back to the Metrodome, it will be special.''

Moss also said he spoke briefly with former Raider coach and newest Hall of Fame inductee John Madden.

''I just told him congratulations,'' Moss said. ''An honor like that and all the praise he got from the fans, and then, of course, from the team ... just by the smile on Madden's face, it felt good inside just to see how loved he was here in Canton.''

* Wide receiver Kevin McMahan was scheduled to see a jaw specialist after getting hammered by a pair of Philadelphia defensive backs Sunday night. McMahan also had to have stitches after biting his tongue.


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