Hartman: Moss says, 'I play when I want to play'

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 22, 2001 - 10:00 PM

Randy Moss, who caught 10 passes for 171 yards and three touchdowns in the Vikings' 28-16 victory over the Giants on Monday night, said playing in prime time when many NFL players are watching had nothing to do with his big contribution to the victory.

"I think that I got more emotional over them retiring Big K's [Korey Stringer's] jersey," Moss said. "Monday night had nothing to do with it. I think if it had been a regular game, retiring his jersey would have been just as emotional."

Moss has been criticized by some media members for not giving 100 percent all of the time. His veteran teammate, Cris Carter, will tell you there is not a player who goes 100 percent all of the time.

"I play when I want to play," Moss said. "Do I play up to my top performance, my ability every time? Maybe not. I just keep doing what I do and that is playing football. When I make my mind up, I am going out there to tear somebody's head off. When I go out there and play football, man it's not anybody telling me to play or how I should play. I play when I want to play, case closed."

Moss knows it helps when he goes at full speed.

"With me playing at my highest level, it gives us a better chance to win," he said. "But I think just with me going out there and playing, we have a chance to win. I don't really think my teammates really see the desire and determination to get in the end zone when we play a not-so-good team. Winning is really a team thing.

"If the team comes out wanting to play and they are feeling good, then it is going to be a hell of a day for everybody. But just by one individual coming out showing he is ready to play doesn't mean my team is ready to play. We have been just out of sync."

Asked why he had such a big game against the Giants, Moss said: "It was just really the flow of the game. There were a lot of things we put in just to get me the ball. They got me the ball, so good things happened."

Vikings offensive coordinator Sherman Lewis confirmed the coaching staff put in more plays for Moss against the Giants.

"We had more short plays," Lewis said. "We have run that little flip play to him before, but we usually had one formation to get it to him. This game we had three or four different ways to run the same play. We just tried to get the ball to him more often, even if it is the short pass. We just let him run with it."

Lewis said the Vikings plan to continue to involve Moss more.

"He is a great runner after the catch," Lewis said. "If we can get the ball into Moss' hands, the better the chance of an explosive play happening."

Doesn't want surgery Contrary to what you read and hear, Vikings trainers will confirm that Moss does have problems with his ankles, a problem that only surgery might cure.

"I am scared of surgery and that is why I say no," Moss said. "I read what coach [Dennis] Green said about surgery. Hopefully, it won't come to that. Hopefully, it is just sore. And I don't know if having surgery is going to take the soreness out of it during the course of my career. It just comes with the territory."

Green told the New York Times on Sunday the problem with Moss' right ankle is chronic and acknowledged that exploratory surgery at season's end was a strong possibility.

Moss said he has more problems with the ankle when he is on the sideline for a long time. "Other than that I feel pretty good," he said. "Most mornings I wake up sore, any other morning I feel the same."

Ernie Accorsi, the Giants' veteran general manager, paid Moss a real tribute Monday when he said: "He is one of the great receivers in the NFL. We were fortunate to do a good job on him in [last season's] NFC Championship Game. But he is the type of guy who can explode at anytime."

The media and others can criticize Moss, but when he plays just his normal game, he can do things no other receiver in the league can do.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland 53 3rd Qtr 7:00
Indiana 57
Washington 53 3rd Qtr 8:05
Philadelphia 47
Golden State 49 2nd Qtr 2:57
Toronto 26
New York 41 2nd Qtr 0:01
Detroit 53
Orlando 40 2nd Qtr 1:22
Atlanta 40
Charlotte 49 3rd Qtr
Boston 45
LA Clippers 17 1st Qtr 0:49
Memphis 13
Brooklyn 36 1st Qtr 0:56
Houston 25
Miami 25 2nd Qtr
New Orleans 24
Minnesota 21 1st Qtr 0:39
Chicago 25
Utah 8:00 PM
Denver
San Antonio 9:00 PM
Sacramento
Milwaukee 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
Portland
Boston 1 3rd Prd
New Jersey 0
Calgary 0 3rd Prd
NY Islanders 1
Washington 0 2nd Prd 4:45
Carolina 2
Chicago 0 2nd Prd 19:45
Tampa Bay 0
Colorado 7:30 PM
Dallas
Los Angeles 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Siena 63 FINAL
Quinnipiac 73
Harvard 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Penn 47 2nd Half 10:03
Brown 55
Fairfield 51 2nd Half 9:47
Canisius 48
Manhattan 46 2nd Half 9:58
Iona 58
Saint Peters 45 2nd Half 11:15
Marist 55
Princeton 53 2nd Half 7:49
Yale 60
Ohio 21 1st Half 4:16
Akron 20
Dartmouth 20 1st Half 8:05
Columbia 20
Valparaiso 9:00 PM
Cleveland State
Louisiana Tech 75 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 88
Seton Hall 68 2nd Half 8:03
Xavier 41
Cornell 27 2nd Half 20:00
Harvard 23
Yale 39 2nd Half 3:57
(14) Princeton 61
Elon 40 2nd Half 6:11
Drexel 45
Northeastern 30 2nd Half 15:52
James Madison 43
St Johns 53 2nd Half 6:24
Butler 39
Creighton 59 2nd Half 7:17
Georgetown 52
Brown 42 2nd Half 7:44
Penn 63
Columbia 29 2nd Half 13:30
Dartmouth 39
Canisius 44 2nd Half 4:43
Siena 46
St Josephs Brooklyn 25 2nd Half 12:14
NJIT 49
Western Carolina 58 2nd Half 11:22
UNC Greensboro 46
Colorado 24 1st Half 3:52
Arizona 21
Southern Ill 20 1st Half 9:38
Bradley 21
Drake 19 1st Half 7:30
Wichita State 20
Indiana State 32 1st Half 2:54
Evansville 21
Illinois State 20 1st Half 7:31
Loyola-Chicago 23
Northern Iowa 19 1st Half 7:39
Missouri State 21
Utah 7:30 PM
(10) Arizona State
Providence 0 1st Half 20:00
Villanova 0

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: With Adrian Peterson's suspension overturned, what should the Vikings do?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close