Notebook: Excited to face Patriots? Randy Moss isn't saying anything
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- If Randy Moss is keyed up for his return to New England, he isn't saying so publicly. Or saying anything else, for that matter.
"I don't have any questions or answers for you, man," Moss said in the locker room on Wednesday, continuing a media boycott that is entering its third week.
The mercurial receiver has spoken with reporters only three times since arriving in a trade from the Patriots on Oct. 6: at an introductory press conference the next day, after the Vikings' loss to the New York Jets on Oct. 11 and in the locker room on Oct. 13.
He's been only slightly less quiet on the field, catching a pedestrian 12 passes for 166 yards (13.8 average) and two touchdowns in three games with the Vikings, who are 1-2 since his arrival.
Asked a follow-up question on Wednesday about why he wasn't talking, Moss waited several seconds and then said, "Hey, man, I'm done, man. Y'all can get on up out of here."
Moss, 33, has shown frustration with the Vikings' struggling offense on at least two occasions -- delivering an impassioned, expletive-laden speech at halftime of the Oct. 17 win over Dallas and extending his arms in disbelief when coach Brad Childress chose not to run a play in the final 26 seconds before halftime of Sunday's loss at Green Bay.
However, teammates roundly have been complimentary of Moss' leadership, and Childress said Moss was "very articulate" as he spoke with the Vikings' offensive and defensive coaches on Tuesday in an effort to help them game-plan for the Patriots.
"He did a good job," Childress said. "You never know what you're going to get and how they have to play him. He at least had some insightfulness on both sides."
Refusing to speak with Twin Cities reporters is nothing new for Moss. He almost never talked publicly before the end of his first stint with the team, ending with a March 2005 trade to the Oakland Raiders.
Moss subsequently left Oakland and New England on less-than-perfect terms. But he nonetheless received a rousing welcome when he returned to the Metrodome this month.
In a conference call, former Patriots teammate Wes Welker said the reception at Gillette Stadium on Sunday "could be 50-50. I think a lot of (fans) will applaud him, just because he did such great things for this organization over the past three or four years. It's hard not to like the guy and respect what he did for us."
Moss still hasn't gotten the contract extension he made clear he wanted in New England. The Vikings are paying the balance of his $6.4 million base salary for 2010 on a three-deal that expires after the season.
Rice getting closer?
Receiver Sidney Rice jogged and caught passes from receivers coach George Stewart after practice, marking another step in his recovery from August hip surgery.
The Vikings have until Nov. 9 to activate Rice from the reserve/physically unable to perform list. Once that happens, they'll have up to three weeks to evaluate him in team drills before making a decision on moving him to the 53-man roster.
Reviewing the review
A day after the NFL fined him $35,000, Childress wouldn't say whether he felt that was a steep price to pay for criticizing officials and revealing the league admitted error in overturning Visanthe Shiancoe's touchdown catch at Green Bay.
"It really doesn't matter what I think," Childress said. "Sometimes you pay a price for speaking what you believe to be the truth."
Carl Johnson -- the NFL's vice president of officiating who first admitted the error to Childress on Monday morning -- said on NFL Network late Wednesday that, on such catches, officials must determine "firm grasp and control, and did we see the ball move? Was there a bobble? Was there a loss of control? Did the hand separate from the football?
"In the referee (Scott Green)'s judgment, he thought that there was movement, that there was some loss of control, in his judgment. However, as we further assessed the play, we saw that there was not enough to change this call, and therefore, we wished the ruling on the field would have stood as a completed catch. There just wasn't enough to overturn this call."
• Three days after an emotional loss at Green Bay dropped to 2-4, the vibe was upbeat on the practice field Wednesday afternoon. "The mood is not down or anything like that," receiver Greg Lewis said. "People are working harder more this week to try to get a win, because obviously, what we've been doing hasn't gotten us a win. So, we're turning over every stone and trying to figure out a way to get a win."
• QB Tarvaris Jackson, who would start on Sunday if quarterback Brett Favre (foot/ankle) can't go, downplayed the significance of his uninspiring preseason numbers -- 12-of-26 passing (46.2%) for 60 yards and a 53.0 passer rating. "I really didn't take a lot of snaps in the preseason," he said. "It was kind of difficult to get a rhythm. But it is the preseason, so we'll see. This is when it really counts, so we'll see what happens if I get a chance to play."