Notebook: Disappointed Harvin says cutting Moss 'came out of nowhere'
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The pair immediately formed a bond on and off the field after the Vikings acquired Moss from the New England Patriots on Oct. 6. Harvin called his mother to tell her about the trade and even gave Moss a ride to the Metrodome for the Dallas game on Oct. 17.
So, when coach Brad Childress walked into a team meeting on Monday to deliver the news of Moss' release, Harvin was in disbelief.
"We kind of looked at him kind of like, 'Are you serious?'" Harvin said on Wednesday. "It came out of nowhere. It caught a lot of us off-guard. But that's Coach's decision. If he felt that was for the betterment of the team, then that's what it is."
Moss and Harvin also share an agent, Joel Segal, who told ESPN Radio on Tuesday the Vikings players he'd talked to were upset by the move.
Asked on Wednesday if players were disappointed or angry, Harvin said, "I can't speak for everybody else. For me it's a little bit of both, but it's part of the business. I just have to move on and this team has to move on. We'll be fine."
No one seemed to benefit more production-wise from Moss' presence than Harvin, who had 19 receptions for 287 yards and two touchdowns in four games since the trade. That included six receptions for a career-high 104 yards in Sunday's loss to the New England while Moss had a safety playing deep against him almost the entire game.
Harvin said he's had "a couple conversations" with Moss since the move but declined to provide details.
"It's tough," Harvin said. "The whole thing was not my decision. We're friends and we'll remain friends. The things he taught me I'll continue to use that to elevate my game. The only thing that's changed is we're not teammates, but we're still in contact."
By comparison, quarterback Brett Favre's reaction to the news was measured, particularly as it pertains to the Vikings' work-in-progress passing game.
"We're back to where we were four weeks ago," Favre said. "The fact is, 1-3 over the last four games (since Moss' arrival) is not what we had hoped for. No one man's to blame. It's a collective effort.
"No reasons were given (for the move). It was matter of fact -- 'Let's get on, watch the tape of (Sunday)'s game and move on to Arizona.'"
Favre acknowledged he was "a little bit shocked" by the news but wouldn't say it upset him.
If anything, Favre seemed upbeat as he joked with reporters about passing his concussion test, shadowed receivers during individual drills and sneaked into a media scrum around Tarvaris Jackson's locker to pose a question.
With both Favre and Harvin missing practice on Wednesday, though, time is limited to sort out roles -- again -- for a receiver group that has been in flux since training camp.
"When Randy came in, I knew what he did well and I was going to give him every opportunity," Favre said. "Greg Camarillo, different player. Find out what he does. For me as a quarterback, Greg can't come in and say, 'I'm going to adjust to what you guys are doing.' Let's use what he does well and incorporate that into what we do.
"Hank Baskett, guys that will have to replace Randy. Bernard (Berrian), when we had a little walk-through out here, it was like we were playing for the Super Bowl. The guy is ready to go. I'm eager to throw it to him. I think all our guys, this is kind of a little poke in the side for all of us to say, 'Hey, here's our chance.'"
Childress refused to reveal much about the reasons behind Moss' release during Wednesday's media conference, and Favre was one of several players who said the coach didn't provide much explanation.
"Not that he should," Favre said. "I know fans ... don't always agree with decisions. As players, we're no different. Right or wrong, Coach, an organization has to make decisions. ... Surely, Brad, with his players, this organization, wouldn't make a decision that was not in the best interests of the team."
Camarillo provided one window into the thought process.
"Randy's a good player -- we can never take anything from that. He's a dominant receiver," Camarillo said. "But we need 53 team players, and that's what Coach emphasized, so that's what we have now and that's what we're going to roll forward with."
Derek Anderson's experience was the determining factor in giving him the start over rookie Max Hall on Sunday against the Vikings, coach Ken Whisenhunt said.
Hall replaced Anderson as the starter in a surprise win on Oct. 10 at New Orleans. But the Cardinals have lost two in a row since, and Hall's numbers this season -- 50.7 completion percentage, one touchdown pass, five interceptions and a 41.0 passer rating -- are even worse than Anderson's (53.5%, four TD passes, seven interceptions, 62.8 rating).
"I felt like in the last two games, where (Anderson)'s come in, that our offense -- we've moved the ball with him in there," Whisenhunt said. "I felt like, coming into this situation, where I know how tough a place it is to play in Minnesota, that having had that type of experience before as a starter in the league, that it gave us our best chance of competing against the Vikings."
• WR Bernard Berrian said the announcement the Vikings were waiving Moss -- who was claimed by the Tennessee Titans on Wednesday -- left him "shocked. A little disappointed. I liked Randy being here. He brought a lot of things to the table. Definitely was a leader in his own right. He spoke up and said things when stuff needed to be said."
• WR Greg Lewis, on the drama surrounding the Vikings: "That's for you guys to control, and luckily, some of this stuff has happened, so some of you still have jobs."