Randy Moss is thankful the Vikings and former coach Dennis Green took a chance on the receiver almost 20 years ago.
Moss returned to Minneapolis for Monday Night Football Oct. 3 and sat down with Paul Allen of the Vikings Entertainment Network to reflect on his successful NFL career, his new role as an NFL analyst with ESPN, and other topics such as U.S. Bank Stadium, Brett Favre, Tom Brady and the 2016 Vikings.
His appreciation for Green and the role he played in Moss' life was highlighted throughout the interview.
“Coach Green gave me an opportunity most people didn’t want to give me,” Moss said. “I think that the Vikings fans worldwide should be very blessed and very thankful, because I am. I was able to showcase my talent for the Minnesota Vikings helmet and logo and the organization, and if I was able to give the people the show, and they enjoyed watching the show, I enjoyed giving it.”
Moss regrets not being able to thank Green before he died in late July of a heart attack at age 67.
“It was so sudden,” Moss said. “All I ever wanted to do was play football … and he gave me that opportunity.”
Fans showed their appreciation for Moss by chanting his name throughout the night Oct. 3 when he returned as part of ESPN’s Monday Night Football crew and had the opportunity to sound the Gjallarhorn before kickoff.
The Beyond the Gridiron interview with Allen describes Moss as “Entertaining. And one of the most popular players in team history. … Rose to prominence with a record-breaking rookie year and became a household name with fans across the world.”
Moss is now making a name for himself as an NFL analyst, one of the last things he imagined himself doing later in life.
“As you mature and grow, you start to open your eyes and lean more things are out there,” he told Allen. “I think the transition from the football field to the desk has been fun. A lot of things I didn’t know. A few things I didn’t expect. But for the most part … we have a great time being on the air.”
Moss raved about the new U.S. Bank Stadium and said expects the Vikings new home to be electric. He also praised the Vikings defense.
“[The defense] is fun to watch and I haven’t seen a Minnesota defense that fun to watch,” Moss said. “I know they made it to the NFC Championship [in 2009] … but that defense wasn’t playing like this defense. … If there was a weakness in that defense, it would probably be the secondary, and that’s not really a weakness.
“How far they go, I don’t know. But I like what I see. I like coach [Mike] Zimmer. I like what he brings to the table. … The Vikings are moving in the right direction. I’m glad they beat Green Bay here a couple weeks ago. … As long as your beating Green Bay, that’s a successful season.”
Some of Moss’ most favorite memories are beating Green Bay and battling Brett Favre. Though they were never on the field at the same time as rivals, Moss said he always took it upon himself to outdo Favre.
“My rookie year, everyone was saying how hard it was to win in Green Bay,” Moss said, “and I really took it upon myself to go out there and try and do whatever I could to go out there and make plays and try to lead the team in the right direction.
“I’ll never forget [my rookie Monday Night Football game against Green Bay] because of the impact I was able to make. … I think after that game, they knew something special was brewing in Minnesota.”
Moss also reflects on his time playing with Favre, and his days as a receiver for Tom Brady and the Patriots. Watch the full interview for these details and a lot more.