Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker's reaction to news that Randy Moss had been traded back to the Vikings on Oct. 6 was much like everyone else.
"I was a little bit surprised," Welker said Wednesday morning on a conference call. "Obviously Randy is such a great player and such a great guy and everything like that. It is hard to go out there and play without a guy who had been here for such a long time. But at the same time you trust in coach [Bill] Belichick and the decisions he makes and you roll with them and move on."
In three-plus seasons Moss caught 259 passes for 3,904 yards and 50 touchdowns. He set the NFL single-season record for touchdown catches with 23 in 2007, his first season with the team.
"He keeps the defense honest and wanting to make sure he doesn't go deep," Welker said. "You don't know which play he's going to all of a sudden take off on you. It definitely kind of kept those safeties in check."
Moss had only nine catches for 139 yards in four games before being traded. He did not catch a pass in his final game against Miami.
Moss and Belichick had a conversation the day of the trade and Belichick said Wednesday that he believes things ended on good terms between the two.
"On my end absolutely," Belichick said. "I have all the respect in the world for Randy. The things we talked about in my office the day we traded for him and he got here that Sunday of the draft in 2007 he did every single thing that he said he would do. He tried his best to do it and I totally respect that."
Belichick was then asked if Moss gave him a complete effort.
"I think I said how I feel about Randy Moss," he said.
Welker was asked what kind of reception he thinks Moss will get from Patriots fans on Sunday.
"It's tough to say," he said. "It could be 50-50. I think a lot of them will applaud him just because he did such great things for this organization the past three or four years. It's hard not to still like the guy and respect what he did for us."