The Tennessee Titans don’t feel like they took a chance claiming Randy Moss on waivers. They think they got lucky and hit the lottery.
Though no one else in the NFL wanted the 13-year veteran, the Titans feel Moss now is on the right team at the right time.
“This is a great opportunity for him,’’ coach Jeff Fisher said yesterday. “It’s a fresh start. We’ve got a great locker room. They’ll accept him. I’m confident he’ll accept his new teammates as well.’’
In his 16th full season, Fisher also has enough clout to make personnel decisions as he sees fit. Not that the Titans are expecting any issues.
They did their homework on Moss, including talking to backup quarterback Kerry Collins. Moss and Collins were teammates for a year in Oakland, and Collins calls him a great teammate. Fisher also talked to Moss and said the receiver is excited to come to Tennessee.
“We think that he can help us, and I’m looking forward to seeing him run under those deep balls,’’ Fisher said.
Meanwhile, in Minnesota, the restaurant whose food was sharply criticized by Moss is giving him something to chew on.
Tinucci’s in suburban Newport will offer free lunches today to the first 50 people who come to turn in their Moss jerseys. For everyone else, the lunch buffet will be marked down to $8.40, a takeoff on the receiver’s No. 84 jersey.
Restaurant co-owner Gus Tinucci said he was catering lunch for the players at the Vikings’ practice facility last Friday when Moss entered the locker room and looked at the buffet line.
“Randy came up to the table and said, ‘Who ordered this [expletive] stuff? I wouldn’t feed it this to my [expletive] dog,’ ’’ Tinucci recalled. He said the locker room went quiet and somebody told Moss to shut up. “We didn’t see him again. He didn’t eat and that was the end of it.’’
Tinucci said he got an apology this week from a member of the Wilf family, which owns the Vikings.
If the Giants are going to add to their knockout list of quarterbacks, it won’t be the Seahawks’ Matt Hasselbeck
Hasselbeck, Seattle’s starter, is out for Sunday’s game because of a concussion. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll announced that Hasselbeck had not been cleared to play. Charlie Whitehurst will make the first start of his career.
“I think it’s a little more serious than I thought. I visited with Matt after the game and I didn’t realize there was anything going on. Not till Monday did we really . . . there were some symptoms and then we took it very seriously,’’ Carroll said.
Hasselbeck suffered the concussion late in last Sunday’s loss at Oakland. Carroll said Monday and Wednesday he hoped Hasselbeck would be able to play. Instead, it’ll be Whitehurst, who was brought to Seattle in a trade with San Diego in the offseason, but has never thrown a pass in a regular-season game.
“The circumstances are good,’’ Whitehurst said. “We’re playing a good team. Playing at home. It’s all you can really ask for. I plan on going out there and executing and helping this team win.’’
Harrison fined again Steelers
linebacker James Harrison’s
hard hits on the field keep getting matched by the NFL’s hits to his paycheck. Harrison was fined $20,000 for a late hit on Saints quarterback Drew Brees
last Sunday, the third time he has been fined this season for a dangerous tackle. The penalties total $100,000, including a $75,000 fine for his Oct. 17 helmet hit that left Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi
with a concussion. “The amount of money is becoming an issue,’’ Harrison said. “The fines that they issued to me, two of them weren’t even called penalties. I don’t even know what to say anymore.’’ . . . Eagles linebacker Ernie Sims
called his $50,000 fine by the NFL “outrageous,’’ and said he planned to appeal. Sims, a five-year veteran, was docked Wednesday for a hit on Titans wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins
Oct. 24. According to a league statement, Sims was guilty of “unnecessarily striking a defenseless receiver in the neck and head area with his forearms.’’ “I don’t care how much money you make, that’s a ton of money,’’ Sims said. “I just think it’s crazy.’’
Bush closer to return
Saints running back Reggie Bush
participated in practice on a limited basis, raising his prospects for getting back in the lineup for the first time since breaking a bone in his lower right leg in the second game of the season. “It felt pretty good — still a little bit of pain there but nothing that I couldn’t handle,’’ Bush said. “We’ll just keep pushing every day and see what happens at the end of this week.’’ Coach Sean Payton
stopped short of saying he thought Bush would be ready to go by Sunday’s game at Carolina . . . A day after acquiring former Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman
on waivers, Bills
coach Chan Gailey
announced after practice that Merriman is tentatively scheduled to report to the team today. Merriman, however, will not play in Sunday’s game against the Bears in Toronto. There’s a chance he could play against the Lions Nov. 14. “Mentally, it won’t be that hard, because he’s used to the 3-4 defense and what we’re doing,’’ Gailey said . . . Colts linebacker Clint Session’s
agent, Harold Lewis
, said his client dislocated his right elbow and broke his right forearm Monday against the Texans. “As far as I know, he is not going on injured reserve and he hopes to be playing this weekend,’’ Lewis said . . . Raiders coach Tom Cable
said Jason Campbell
will make his fourth straight start Sunday against the Chiefs. According to Cable, Bruce Gradkowski
is still not fully recovered from a separated right shoulder. Campbell has led Oakland to wins the last two weeks, helping them to consecutive 500-yard offensive performances for the first time in franchise history . . . The Chargers, who might be without tight end Antonio Gates
Sunday against the Texans because of a foot injury, signed former Patriots
wide receiver Kelley Washington
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