Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Favre out of loop on Moss' departure

Posted by: under Vikings, Vikings players, Brett Favre, Percy Harvin, Vikings quarterbacks Updated: November 3, 2010 - 10:14 PM

Brett Favre often has been accused of not only being the quarterback of the team that he's on but also attempting to serve as the general manager.

Favre made it clear Wednesday that wasn't even close to the case when it came to the Vikings' decision to acquire Randy Moss on Oct. 6 or let him go earlier this week. "I haven't been told anything," Favre said of the reasoning for the decision. "Just like when we brought him in here. I was watching the TV and ticker on the bottom said, 'Randy Moss is soon to sign with the Vikings.' Everyone’s calling me and I’m like, 'Hey, you know as much as I know."

What Favre knows is that after only four games Moss is a former teammate. This is a guy Favre tried to get to Green Bay on two occasions and ended up being very upset when it didn't happen. Favre, however, did a good job on Wednesday coming off as a guy who simply accepted the fact that Moss was gone. 

He said coach Brad Childress didn't give any real reason for why the move was made, although we know he told players that Moss was not the type of person he wanted in the organization.   

"As players, I know fans as well, don’t always agree with decisions," Favre said. "As players we’re no different. Right or wrong, an organization has to make decisions. As a player on the field, I have to make decisions. Maybe it’s the wrong read. But you do it as we all assume for the best interests of the team. I think that was done here. Surely, Brad, with his players, this organization, wouldn’t make a decision that was not in the best interests of the team.
 
"As when we brought [Moss] in, time would tell if it would be a good fit. We’ll see if it’s a good fit now. We’re back to where we were four weeks ago. The fact is, 1-3 over the last four games, is not what we had hoped for. Not one man’s to blame. It’s a collective effort. No reasons were given [Monday]. It was matter of fact. Let’s get on, watch the tape of yesterday’s game and move on to Arizona."
 
Favre did not want to get into any detail about what happened last Friday when Moss loudly criticized the food brought into the Vikings locker room by Tinucci's restaurant. "I wouldn't do it," Favre said of how Moss treated the local caterer. "I was sitting in my locker eating the food. I thought it was pretty good."
 
Favre might not have approved of how Moss acted at times -- and heck, who knows, Moss might feel the same way about Favre -- but that isn't the point here. All Favre cares about is being surrounded by the best football players possible and now he's lost a guy who remained very talented, despite the fact that at age 33 he has definitely slowed down.
 
Asked whether Moss is a different person than he thought he would be, Favre said: "A little bit from what you hear. I guess I didn’t find him a whole lot different than what the perception was. I’ll tell you he was a very, very knowledgeable football player. His instincts and things like that were actually better than I had thought. I didn’t know what he was like when he was drawing up Xs and Os and going over plays. He understands the game as well as anybody I’ve ever been around.”
 
And that's what Favre will miss. Moss caught 13 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns in four games with the Vikings but Favre went out of his way to say, "I think statistics are so deceiving, especially in Randy's case." Favre pointed out that aside from Moss' first game with the Vikings -- in which the Jets had corner Antonio Cromartie provide single coverage the whole game -- Moss consistently drew double teams.
 
That made it difficult to get the ball to Moss but easy to find Percy Harvin. Harvin's numbers in those four games: 19 catches, 287 yards, two touchdowns.
 
Favre also acknowledged that Moss might not have run hard every play but added that that is how Moss has played for many years. Favre didn't say it but his message was clear: The Vikings should have been well aware of this fact when they obtained him.
 
Obviously, Favre is not going to come out and say he's unhappy with the Vikings for this move but he did have an interesting response when asked if Childress still had the support of the team. 
 
“I think it never wavered," Favre said. "I can’t speak for every guy in the locker room. I’m not going to. But I think ultimately, regardless of scheme, philosophy, the bottom line is you’re playing for yourself first. If you don’t play well, you may be out of the league before too long.
 
"Secondly, you’re playing for your team. That order, depending on who you ask, may change. But if you want to stick around for a while and get a good contract or become a great player or consistently be a great player, regardless of coach, you have to do what it takes. That helps the team. So, does everyone agree with Brad on decisions? No. I would be the first to say that.
 
"Some of the things I do on the field, does he agree with or [offensive coordinator] Darrell [Bevell] agree with or any of the coaches that I’ve ever played under? No. But once again, I go back to good teams are the teams that can overcome adversity, work well together. Having a good working relationship doesn’t mean you have to like each other. That goes for any phase of business or sports. Last year, smooth sailing for the most part.
 
"This year, not as smooth. Now, I think we have the guys, the character to overcome it. As I said, nine games left. This could be a very good storybook ending or it could be a year to forget. Up to this point, it’s been a year to forget, but I’m trying to stay optimistic because I know it can easily turn around. Easily. Now, I don’t want to say it can’t get any worse because it always can. But I like the guys in the locker room. I think we’ll respond. We’ll just see what happens.”

 

 

 

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