Moss talks team first in return to Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS-- Oakland Raiders wide receiver Randy Moss made his return to Minnesota, high-fiving a fan on his way into the stadium. He made one catch and talked about the nostalgia of returning to where it all began after the game.

How did it feel to back? It seemed the fans gave you a good cheer.

Randy Moss: It felt good to be back. I think that with all of the off-season, I started to count down for me coming back to the Metrodome. A little nervousness, but a lot of excitement at the same time. It was just an overwhelming welcome that I received.

Did it feel odd coming back and getting dressed in this locker room?

Randy Moss: No, that is one thing that I really tried to stay away from as far as getting caught up in the moment. I did not want to do that. For the whole week of practice, the plan was I tried to do my film study, tried to study how they were going to play, and we couldn't really get a real feel because they had a new coaching staff. We just wanted to come in here and concentrate on having some success from an offensive point. We got a lot of work to do. That is one thing that people were going to come and see Moss, but I just wanted to see how our offense was going to work as a whole. There was some times there that we got stopped, times when we stopped ourselves and they had a good defense as well. I wish training camp was over, but it is not so we are going to just go back to the drawing board and see what we can do.

You think that 40-yard catch was inbounds or did you know you were going out when you caught it?

Randy Moss: I knew the ball was going out but I wanted to try to get my feet down and make that catch. I think it was just too far out of bounds for me to catch it and concentrate on my feet staying in bounds. It was just a hard catch and I tried.

Were you pretty determined not to leave until you got a catch because you left right after that catch?

Randy Moss: No, I was more pissed off because I have never in my career been taken out of a preseason game during a drive. That is funny to me but I do not call the shots so it is just back to the drawing boards. I just wanted to be successful from an offensive standpoint. I didn't really care about scoring or catching balls as long as we moved that ball. I really wanted to concentrate on helping the team move up and down the field. The biggest thing is that we did some things wrong from a football standpoint and from a coaching standpoint. Like I said last week, we can hang our heads on this and enjoy our victory on the way back and then practice starts back up on Wednesday. I do not look forward to it but then we are back to two-a-days.

What happened on that third play of the game when you were in the end-zone and I saw you waving your hands?

Randy Moss: I think if (quarterback Aaron) Brooks would not have gotten flushed to the right, because I was on the left. You never want your quarterback throwing across the field. So I was more just mad that he got flushed than that I was wide open. It was just the result of the play more than me not getting the ball. I was hoping that he could have just stayed in the pocket and stepped up so he could hit me but I was just getting anxious. Started getting caught up in the moment but it is something that we can appreciate is just coming in here and getting a victory. Things look good but there is still a lot of work to be done.

Now that there was a new coaching staff and a new ownership, did that change the emotion of how you looked at this game?

Randy Moss: As far as an organization standpoint, I don't care, don't have any feelings towards the Vikings organization. They did what they did and I look past that. I am a Raider now, but I just wanted to come in here and see the fans and really give them something to scream about. I have had my fun here in the Metrodome and they have had theirs too. That is one thing that I really wanted to do is just come back here and give back to the fans.

Have you reached a comfort level with Brooks yet?

Randy Moss: No, but that is what training camp is for. We go out there and work hard every day with two-a-days. We don't really try to emphasize it but we are going out there working in the sun, running routes and hopefully by September 11 we are ready to go.

Do you see any progress from last week to this week?

Randy Moss: I don't see it. Hell no, I don't see it, but when it comes to practice it seems like we are but when it comes to the games I can't see it. They have a great group of guys over there. You know Kevin Williams is still over there. We can just really hang our hats that we are 2-0 in the preseason. Hopefully we become 3-0 and we can build off that.

What did the coach say about taking you out? Is that something you guys are going to talk about?

Randy Moss: I am going to keep that in house because it really kind of pissed me off to be taken out during a series. I wasn't really in the flow of the game. Just because of them throwing me a couple balls does not mean that I was in the flow of the game. Once our offense and all 11 of us can start moving the ball and getting in a rhythm then that is fine they can take me out of the game but we were just not in a rhythm. I can understand where he is coming from but at the same time I love the game, love playing ball and I don't feel we were in a rhythm. He made a decision and he is the head coach and I have to live with it.

Are you ready to make a big play in that first regular season game?

Randy Moss: I don't really care too much about that. Everything that we've been through in 2005, and everything that we're going through right now in 2006, I'm just trying to get off to a good start man, so we can really feel something inside of us. That this can be done, from a team standpoint. For me to go out here, I just want to stay healthy and make my right reads as far as my blocking reads, and my decision making, my routes and catching the ball. As far as the big plays, I'm not really too concerned. I want our offense to be successful moving up and down that field, no matter how it's done.

On seeing purple No. 84 jerseys in the stands.

Randy Moss: It makes me feel good to know that I'm kind of still loved here no matter what with the bad blood that kind of spilled when I left. The people in the stands with the 84s on and what not, they understand now that I'm a Raider, and there is no coming back. But what I did here is something that I'll take to my grave as far as Red McCombs giving me the opportunity to be coached by a guy like Dennis Green, and coming in playing here in the Metrodome with wonderful fans. Right now it's just a memory, and I still have memories. I really do. I'm a Raider and continue to be a Raider. Hopefully I'll retire a Raider, and we'll leave it at that.

Did you talk to Red McCombs after the trade?

Randy Moss: I think when the trade went down there was a lot of smoke in the air, and there were a lot of people shying away from questions and answers. I asked the question, "Why did it happen?" but I never got an answer. I let that go; I know this is a business. Football doesn't last forever. Like I said, one thing that I really appreciate is the opportunity that I was given here.


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