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Randy Moss Displays Promise in 'Ad-Libbed' Vikings Debut

Oct 12, 2010 – 3:00 AM
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Dan Graziano

Dan Graziano %BloggerTitle%

Brett Favre and Randy Moss

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Randy Moss got a text message Monday from his old quarterback, Tom Brady. And while Moss didn't want to reveal what the message said, it seemed clear it had nothing to do with whose beard needed shaving or whose hair needed to be cut.

"Tom, I know you're watching, buddy," Moss said into the cameras at his locker after the Vikings' 29-20 loss to the Jets. "I appreciate that text. Sorry we didn't bring it home, buddy, but I appreciate the text."

If a rift between Moss and Brady had anything to do with Moss being traded last week from New England to Minnesota, it doesn't sound as if it's lingered. And in spite of the loss that dropped his new team to 1-3, Moss showed enough Monday night to get his new quarterback fired up to have him around.

"By the way, the addition of Randy Moss is a pretty good addition," Brett Favre said as he deflected questions about his off-field escapades and tried to steer the postgame conversation back to football. "In just a week's time, he's helped Percy (Harvin). So I think we're happy he's here."

"If we put our hearts and souls into what we're trying to do, the sky is the limit for this team. ... We need to dig ourselves out of this hole."
-- Randy Moss
Moss admitted that it wasn't easy to get up to speed after being traded from New England last Wednesday, but he said he did the best he could to make sure he was prepared to play.

"It's been a long week," he said. "I'm kind of worn out. It's frustrating. I've played the Jets twice in the last month and kind of figured out how they were going to play me, so I just wanted to stay on the same page as the offense. It had my nerves going. I studied hard this week, and I didn't get all the plays, but some of them I knew. I'm not going to say we ad-libbed out there, but it was a tough week."

Moss made four catches for 81 yards while shadowed all night by an inspired Antonio Cromartie, the Jets' No. 2 cornerback who drew the assignment of defending Moss because top corner Darrelle Revis is still struggling with a bad hamstring. Cromartie made play after play on Moss down the field as Favre repeatedly tried to connect with his new receiver on deep routes. Toward the end of the third quarter, Favre connected with Moss on a touchdown pass, but even that took a brilliant throw by Favre and an equally brilliant move and catch by Moss. It was a play on which there was nothing Cromartie could have done.

"That's a nice combination," Moss said of the Jets' secondary duo of Revis and Cromartie. "They remind me of the old Kansas City Chiefs when they had Dale Carter and James Hasty -- tough to throw on, both sides of the field. I give credit to both of those guys."

You know a dude's been in the league a while when he can throw out the Dale Carter/James Hasty comparisons, but Moss' veteran presence is one of the things Favre likes about him. They had less than a week to practice together after the trade went down, so they were still getting things together even as Monday's game was going on.

"I put a lot of air under those balls, but the thing about Randy is, he's connecting with me on the sidelines and saying, 'You don't have to put that much air under them,'" Favre said. "So that's good to know. Everybody says it's hard to overthrow Randy Moss, so I'll keep that in mind."

The Vikings continue to look like a team that will be better in December than it is now, especially if Favre can play with some consistency and look a lot more like he did in Monday's second half than he did in the first. And though the 1-3 record is surely cause for concern (especially as they prepare to face the similarly desperate 1-3 Dallas Cowboys on Sunday in Minnesota), there are reasons for Minnesota to feel as if things will get better. Randy Moss, who won't be going up against a lightning-fast, 6-foot-2 cornerback every week, is the latest one.

"I think, collectively, if we put our hearts and souls into what we're trying to do, the sky is the limit for this team," Moss said. "I'm definitely happy to be back home. Next week we'll be in the Metrodome, and hopefully we'll have that place rocking, because we need to get on a roll and fast. We need to dig ourselves out of this hole. I think with the group of guys that we have, we can dig out of it. I think we can."

It was yet another in the long history of controversial news weeks for Brett Favre, but as FanHouse TV's Dan Graziano reports, Favre made sure the game was entertaining.

Filed under: Sports