|Welker: ‘Disappointing’ that Moss wanted to be traded||10.07.10 at 3:23 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker said Thursday it was “a little disappointing” to know that Randy Moss had requested a trade early in the season, especially in the wake of how he interacted with the team throughout the early stages of the 2010 season.
“I think that was kind of a difficult thing,” Welker said. “Just because he was the guy always giving pep talks before the game, halftime, after the game. Not knowing that he was wanting to get traded the whole time was a little bit disappointing. But at the same time, he’s doing what’s best for him. It’s a business. You just have to kind of roll with it.”
Welker anticipates some aspects of the New England passing game changing.
“You know, I think Randy obviously brought a deep presence to him,” Welker said. “Things may change a little bit, but we have some fast guys that can definitely go deep and stretch the field and do some things. Obviously, Randy is one of the best in the game to do it. But we just have to collectively go out there and work hard and play hard and do everything we need to do to try and make up for him.”
|Rapid reaction from Patriots locker room on Moss trade||10.07.10 at 3:15 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Just got out of the Patriots locker room, and here’s some quick reaction from a handful of players on the Randy Moss trade:
Tight end Alge Crumpler on reacting to the trade:
“I just reacted. I’ve been a part of a lot of different moves throughout the course of my career. You just have to show up to work and come in and be a professional and make sure guys like myself keeps the guys in the locker room together so we go out there and continue to play. That’s all we can do. We still have 12 games to play, and it’s important for us to go out there as a team and try and make things happen. Look — we all in this locker room love Randy. He’s a Hall of Fame player. I’ve probably only played with more than two or three Hall of Fame players in my career. I studied him. I watched him. I learned a lot from him. And like coach said, I wish him well. We all wish him well. Except for when they come in here.”
Wes Welker on how the New England passing game might change:
“You know, I think Randy obviously brought a deep presence to him and going deep and everything like that. Things may change a little bit, but we have some fast guys that can definitely go deep and stretch the field and do some things. Obviously, Randy is one of the best in the game to do it. But we just have to collectively go out there and work hard and play hard and do everything we need to do to try and make up for him.”
How tough is that to know now that he wanted out?
“I think that was kind of a difficult thing. Just because he was the guy always giving pep talks before the game, halftime, after the game. Not knowing that he was wanting to get traded the whole time was a little bit disappointing. But at the same time, he’s doing what’s best for him. It’s a business. You just have to kind of roll with it.”
Vince Wilfork on his reaction:
“It’s a business. That’s how you have to look at it. I was very fortunate to play with a guy like Randy, and had a chance to know him as a person and an athlete. Great person, great athlete. Probably one of the greatest guys you’ll ever meet. The game, his personality, how he approaches the game. It’s business. … It happens all the time. But we are going to keep rolling. I’m pretty sure Randy’s going to keep doing what he has to do in Minnesota. One thing for sure is that we’re friends forever. I’ll talk to him. He’ll talk to me. Just because we’re on the other side doesn’t mean anything. I do want to beat him, but from a personal standpoint right now, good guy. Good guy. [But] that’s business.”
|Complete Belichick Q&A, 10/7||10.07.10 at 1:40 pm ET|
Thanks to the Patriots’ PR staff, here’s the complete transcript of today’s Q&A between coach Bill Belichick and the media at Gillette Stadium:
BB: I just thought I would try to shed a little light on the trade with Randy [Moss]. I’m sure I’m not going to be able to answer all the questions that you have, but I’ll just say that Randy was really a pleasure to coach. I enjoyed having him on our team. He made a lot of contributions to this football team. When I spoke with Randy yesterday morning, our conversations were consistent with what they’ve been over the last four years: honest, open, very forthright. We talked about a lot of things, which I will keep between Randy and myself. In the end, it was a difficult decision, but one that I feel is in the best interest of the football team. Organizationally, we’ve had conversations and obviously are comfortable with the trade. I wish Randy the absolute best. He’s been a guy – a player – that I have always had a good relationship with. He’s been very honest and when I’ve asked him questions about football, personnel, things like that, he’s been very helpful to me, personally, and [he’s] been very professional and, I think, a good teammate and a good contributing member of this team. But in the end, that was the decision. And I have confidence in our players. I think if they continue to work hard and improve, then we’ll be competitive [and] we’ll be able to win games. And that’s what we’re here to do: win games. We’ve won more games than any other team in the last decade. I hope we can continue to win them going forward. That’s what we’re here for. That’s really about the long and short of it.
Q: We’ve heard you say over the years that your bottom line philosophy is that the decisions you make are what’s the best for the team. Can you explain why this decision–
BB: Well, it’s a combination of things. That would be a much longer discussion than we’re going to have. It’s a combination of factors. But I would say this: there was never any incident or discipline problem with Randy. There never has been one with me in four years. And it certainly wasn’t about contract and money. I think Randy showed and proved the first year he was here what that was all about. What he did with his contract made the whole deal work. I think you can eliminate those two things.
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|Four missing at start of Pats practice||10.07.10 at 12:48 pm ET|
FOXBORO — According to multiple reports, the following players were not at the start of practice this afternoon for the Patriots: cornerback Terrence Wheatley, offensive lineman Nick Kaczur, running back Fred Taylor and defensive lineman Mike Wright.
|Belichick speaks about Moss trade||10.07.10 at 12:22 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Talking about the trade of Randy Moss Thursday morning, Patriots coach Bill Belichick denied that there was a single incident that led to the decision to trade Moss. He also called the report that there was an incident on the plane coming back from Miami a “total fabrication,” and added, “There was never any incident or discipline problem with Randy. There never has been one with me in four years.”
In a press conference that lasted just over six minutes, Belichick said Moss was “really a pleasure to coach,” and he “enjoyed having him on our team.” He also mentioned that the deal was not related to money.
“When I spoke with Randy yesterday morning, our conversations, consistent with what they’ve been over the last four years, were honest, open and very forthright,” Belichick said. “We talked about a lot of things which I will keep between Randy and myself. In the end, it was a difficult decision, but one I feel was in the best interest of the football team. Our team is, organizationally, we’ve had conversations and, obviously are comfortable with the trade. I wish Randy the absolute best. He’s been a guy that I’ve always had a good relationship with.
“He’s been a good teammate and a good contributing member of this team. In the end, that was the decision, and I have confidence in our players, that they continue to work hard and improve. We’ll be competitive, we’ll be able to win games, and that’s what we’re here to do is win games. We’ve won more games than any other team in the last decade. I hope we can continue to win them going forward. That’s what we’re here for. That’s really about the long and short of it.”
Belichick indicated the deal had nothing to do with Moss’s contract situation. The receiver, who was in the final year of a three-year contract he signed following the 2007 season, had expressed discontent about the fact he had not received a new, long-term deal from the Patriots earlier in the season.
But Belichick referenced Moss’s decision to have his contract altered when he joined the Patriots in 2007 as evidence that it was not all about money with the receiver.
“It certainly wasn’t about contract and money. I think Randy showed and proved his first year he was here what that was all about. What he did with his contract made the whole deal work. I think you can eliminate those two things,” Belichick said. “It was done in the best interest of the football team. It was a combination of things. That’s what we feel like was best.”
As for the reports that Moss and Belichick were involved in an incident on the plane on the way back from Monday night’s game in Miami, Belichick responded strongly.
“Absolutely not true. A total fabrication,” Belichick said. “I didn’t even talk to Randy on the plane.”
“There’s no incident. I never had one with Randy. Never. Not in four years.”
Belichick said that going forward, the Patriots will continue to operate the same way they have in the past.
“I have a lot of confidence in our total team. All of our players, our offensive players,” Belichick said. “And we’ll continue to try and do the best we can as a coaching staff and players, individually and executing their jobs and their assignments to be a productive team that wins games. That’s what we’ll do. Each week is different. Every game plan is different. What we do this week is what we feel is best for the Ravens, just like we did last week what we thought was best for Miami. That’s the way it’ll be every week.
As for replacing Randy Moss?
“Randy is a unique player, so I don’t know you replace a player like Randy or Kevin Faulk or guys like that. They are special players. They have a unique set of skills,” Belichick said. “Other players do different things. They bring different things to the table. As a team, it’s collectively about what do as a total football team. That’s what it’s always been. That’s what it will be.
“Right now, I think our big thing is to go out on the field like we do every day and try and improve and get better as a football team. That’s what we’re going to do today and tomorrow and next week getting ready for the Ravens,” Belichick added. “I think we’re going to work hard to be as good as we can be.”
|Cris Carter blasts Patriots over Moss trade||10.06.10 at 5:19 pm ET|
Cris Carter was a teammate of Randy Moss in Minnesota for four seasons, and the two reportedly developed a close relationship. On a conference call Wednesday afternoon, Carter — now an ESPN analyst — was critical of the Patriots for dealing Moss to Minnesota, saying quarterback Tom Brady and the New England passing game will suffer as a result.
Carter was asked if he thought the Patriots are a championship-type offense without Moss, he said, “Absolutely not.”
“There’s no way you take Randy Moss away from any quarterback in this league, and that quarterback gets better. It’s not possible,” Carter said. “This is a game about talented players. But you can only do so much if you don’t have the weapons. Tom will still be a great quarterback until he retires. He is that good. But he will have to work extra hard. Wes Welker’s job became a little bit harder.”
Carter said if Bill Belichick and the Patriots are going to succeed offensively, they need to return to their roots — the “grind-it-out” football that won them three Super Bowls in four seasons.
“You have to remember, they broke all the (offensive) scoring records, but they haven’t won any championships the last three years,” Carter said. “When they won their championships, they were a grind-it-out football team on offense, with a very inexperienced quarterback. They can grind it out now and have one of the best — you’re talking about spot routes and hitting people on target — Brady, he can do that. He was just playing at a stratosphere level when he had Randy, because he could pick them apart and still take the deep stuff.
“When they won championships, they were rock solid in the return game and their special teams,” Carter said. “The kick game was at an elite level and offensively, they were just able to grind it out. That’s the kind of team that Belichick is going to have to try to put on the football field because that’s the kind of personnel he has.”
|Rodney: Moss was becoming ‘distraction’||10.06.10 at 3:51 pm ET|
Former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison said Wednesday he believed that wide receiver Randy Moss “was becoming a distraction” in New England, but was still “a little shock[ed]” by coach Bill Belichick’s decision to trade him.
“You have a lot of players, young players in that locker room and Belichick didn’t want that negativity to feed over to those young players and impact them in a negative way, so Belichick made this move because Randy Moss was not happy, came out and spoke out against the organization. He felt like this was a move that had to be made to move forward.
“You have to understand, too, Belichick didn’t win any Super Bowls with Moss. They set a bunch of records offensively, but Belichick realized the locker room is more important than one individual. Randy Moss did a lot, he was a great leader in the locker room but at the end of the day the Patriots gave him an opportunity that he didn’t have when he came to the Oakland Raiders. So he can’t say that he wasn’t appreciated, he was appreciated in New England. They gave him a $27 million contract, when everyone else thought he was a bad apple in the NFL, they gave him an opportunity.”
Speaking with Waddle & Silvy of ESPN 1000 in Chicago, Harrison — who was a teammate of Moss for the 2007 season — said the move doesn’t make them a better team immediately, it does improve their chances down the road.
“Look at the draft choices coming up next year. Two first-rounders, two second-rounders, two third-rounders. I mean, the guy knows exactly what he’s doing,” Harrison said of Belichick. “So I wouldn’t question what he’s doing.”
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