Moss can’t be contained
Normally silent, he speaks volumes
FOXBOROUGH — Randy Moss stood behind a microphone yesterday and answered whatever question came his way. He smiled. He laughed. He said he thinks people don’t like him. And then he walked away and left behind 14 minutes of ranting about his contract, his relationship with the Patriots, and his 13-year career.
Moss doesn’t acknowledge the media often, unless it is to decline an interview request. However, every now and then he gets the urge to speak publicly, and minutes after the 38-24 season-opening win over the Bengals, Moss poured out his soul. His priority was to clear up comments he made to a reporter last week, when he said he felt unwanted by the Patriots as he plays out the final year of his contract.
“If you do a good job and you think that you’re doing a good job, you want to be appreciated,’’ Moss said yesterday. “I really don’t think that me, personally, I’m appreciated. I don’t want you all to take anything out of context that I’m saying, because I am a man and this is a job. And I take my job very seriously, to heart.
“I want to let you all know, I want to let the fans, the real fans, of the New England Patriots know, I’m not here to start any trouble. I’m going to play my last year out of my contract. And as I’ve said time and time again since I signed my first contract here, I want to be here in New England. There’s a great group of guys here, a well-coached group here, and I never said I want to leave New England.
“But I think that a lot of things that are being written or has been said is looking at me in a negative light, and I don’t want it to be in a negative light. I just want everybody to understand you can print it, I don’t care . . . but, you know, I want to be here as a Patriot. I love being here, but I just think, from a business standpoint, this probably will be my last year here as a Patriot. And I’m not retiring. I’m still going to play some football. So, I just wanted to get that off my chest, and let you all understand, man, because this is a business. I’ll open it up for questions.’’
Moss had five receptions for 59 yards a few days after his comments of feeling “not wanted’’ made the rounds. The Patriots did their best last week to kill those comments with kindness. Bill Belichick, director of player personnel Nick Caserio, and receivers coach Bill O’Brien each described him as a professional and that they appreciated his presence. Quarterback Tom Brady followed up the comments by the staff with his own message of support.
“It means a lot coming from Tom,’’ Moss said. “He’s the face and the leader of this team. We do a lot of daily talking. Tom knows how I feel about this being my last year. Bill might call me into his office tomorrow, but then again, you all know this is my first time talking this season. I’m not going to be up here talking every week. And you’re not going to find me in the locker room. Well, you’re going to find me, but you’re not going to get me to talk, because I’m not here to talk. I’m here to play. It’s definitely very, very helpful for Tom to come to my defense saying that he wants me because I love playing here. I don’t want to leave here. I don’t. But the business aspect of it is, I’ve got to look out for me and my family. So that’s where I’m coming from.’’
Moss, with a baseball cap slanted on his head and headphones dangling around his neck, said he is not surprised some may be turned off by his personality.
“I’ve got a long history,’’ Moss said. “My history has nothing to do with anything too bad. Everybody has a certain mystique about them. I guess that people just don’t like the way that I carry myself. If that’s what it is, then that’s what it is.’’
Moss is in his fourth season with the Patriots, and was not voted a team captain after receiving the honor the previous two years. He is No. 2 all-time in touchdown receptions with 148.
Moss said he believes his past speaks for itself, and he still wants to play football. But he isn’t interested in talking to the Patriots in the offseason.
“This offseason? I don’t really want to get to that,’’ Moss said. “I’m 33 years old. I think that when you’re brought into this league earlier, you’re played off of what you’re capable of doing. I’ve already showed that I can play still at a high level at age 33. For me to be offered a contract after the season is over, I think that would be a smack in my face. So I don’t even really want to get into that.’’
With the Jets up next, the attention turns to cornerback Darrelle Revis, who contained Moss last season.
“Am I excited to see Revis? I think I am, because there was a lot of talk last year,’’ Moss said. “And I’m not taking anything from him, he did do some good things last year to be the shutdown corner that he is. And I’m not scared to say this, I prided my offseason on Revis. Like I said, I take pride in what I do, but what he did last year is something that . . . he opened my eyes up as a wide receiver, that there was a cornerback out here that I really had to get on my ‘A’ game. So I prided my offseason on staying off of Revis Island.’’