Vikings coach Brad Childress had an interesting response Monday when asked if he regretted acquiring Randy Moss from New England last month. "Do I regret acquiring him?" Childress said. "Not at present I don't, no."
In other words, Childress' thinking could be subject to change given how things go with the recalcitrant wide receiver over the coming weeks. During his day-after-game news conference at Winter Park, Childress attempted to downplay the bizarre statement Moss gave to the media on Sunday after the Vikings' 28-18 loss to the Patriots.
Moss, who was fined $25,000 last week for failing to cooperate with the media, informed everyone that he would no longer take questions for the rest of the season but instead would ask himself questions and then answer them. Moss then proceeded to praise the Patriots, while criticizing the Vikings for not listening to the tips he gave them about his former team. Moss also took a shot at Childress for not kicking a field goal at the end of the first half and instead going for it on fourth down at the New England 1-yard line. Adrian Peterson lost 2 yards.
Childress disagreed with Moss' assertion that he had not heeded the advice the veteran gave about how New England would approach things. “I think we did a pretty good job of heeding it, both offensively and defensively," Childress said. "He gave us some windows into how we thought they would end up playing. That’s obviously in his eyes.”
Childress said he had not talked to Moss about the comments and that he had allowed the wide receiver to stay out East so he could visit with his family. Moss is expected back for Wednesday's practice. But it doesn't sound as if Childress thinks there's much to talk about.
“Do I find [the comments] incendiary?" he said. "I just think he was going back to a spot that he has a lot of affection for and I thought by and large those comments were regarding the people there, the coach there, the ownership there and obviously there’s a fondness in his heart for those guys on that football team. Hey, you’d like to go out there and beat their tails off, nothing he would like better, but at the same time he enjoyed his stay there.”
Moss had only one catch for 8 yards on Sunday and has 13 catches for 174 yards and three touchdowns in four games since joining the Vikings. Despite these figures, Childress said Moss has expressed no frustration to him at all about not getting enough passes.
A big part of the issue on Sunday was the fact the Patriots were providing safety help on Moss throughout the game and were not going to let him beat them. This did open up things for Percy Harvin, who caught a game-high six passes for 104 yards.
Childress said the Vikings did expect Moss to become a key part of their offense, "as soon as we felt like he was up to speed and understood us conceptually and could get in and out of the huddle and not have to think about what he’s doing system wise."
But what made things tough Sunday was that the Patriots always had safety help on Moss and were not going to let him beat them. "All you had to do was watch the safety in the middle of the field," Childress said. "When they are playing man with a free safety who usually stands in the middle, doesn’t favor a side [and then] it’s tilted all over to his side. It would have been foolish to try to stuff the ball to him a bunch of times.”