October 31, 2010
There was a lot to dissect after the Minnesota Vikings' 28-18 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday afternoon. Brett Favre's(notes) lacerated chin was obviously the big story, but the undercurrent of the postgame experience (and perhaps the clearest window yet into just how dysfunctional this Vikings organization has become) was Randy Moss'(notes) postgame comments. ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert transcribed everything Moss said after the game.
Moss began with a soliloquy about the $25,000 fine he recently received from the NFL for refusing to cooperate with the media. "For the league to fine me $25,000, I'm not going to answer any more questions for the rest of this year," he said. "If it's going to be an interview, I'm going to conduct. So I'll answer my own questions. I'll ask myself the questions, then give y'all the answers. So from here on out, I'm not answering any more questions for the rest of this season."
Perhaps the most incendiary moment came when Moss basically threw his coaching staff under the bus for failing to take his suggestions as to how the Patriots, obviously Moss' former team, would play this game.
Minnesota went with a lot of its base sets on offense and defense -- a bunch of three-wide and Cover 2. The Vikings didn't throw a series of different looks at the Pats, nor did they attempt to stretch New England's depleted secondary with wider sets occupied by more receivers.
"The bad part about it, is you have six days to prepare for a team, and on the seventh day, that Sunday, meaning today, I guess they come over and say, 'Dag, Moss, I guess you was right about a couple plays and a couple schemes they were going to run.' And it hurts as a player, that you put a lot of hard work in during the week, and at the end of the week, Sunday, when you get on the field, that's when they acknowledge about the hard work that you put in throughout the week. That's actually a disappointment."
After a series of kind words about various people in the New England organization, Moss returned to the source of his disappointment.
"There is a lot of film study that we leave in that room each day. I know how hard these guys work in New England and the only thing that I really tried to do was take what the best coach in football history has brought upon me, or the knowledge that he's given me about the game of football, and I tried to sprinkle it off to the guys the best way I know how. So I'm going to go ahead and end this interview, I have my family to see."
There are a lot of implications in there, a lot of things that the Vikings will need to sort through with Moss at some point. Moss caught one pass for 8 yards in this game, and there's no doubt that his feelings about being such a non-factor against his former mates had to do with his emotions at the podium.
The primary issue with Moss and the quarterback who (occasionally) throws to him is that neither one is particularly adept when it comes to dealing with adversity. They've both made pointed comments about Minnesota's coaching in recent days, and if this continues, a team that is already 2-5 and on its last legs from a playoff perspective will fall apart.
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