He Can Still Bring It

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 7, 2010 – 2:39 pm

It’s been a blur around Winter Park the last couple of days with the Vikings acquisition of WR Randy Moss still setting in for the organization and its fanbase. But after Moss’ 1st practice and press conference back in Minnesota, one thing is clear – he can still bring it.

And if Moss brings even half as much spark to the offense that he brought to his press conference on Thursday, the Vikings will be in great shape. The media contingent gathered at Winter Park for Thursday’s press conferences was the largest since perhaps Brett Favre’s 1st press conference as a Viking. Several times while speaking with the media, Moss had the gallery of reporters laughing after comical – and also candid – answers.

The general message from Moss was clear, though. He was enthusiastic about being back in Minnesota and he certainly looks forward to reinvigorating the tremendous relationship he had with the Vikings fanbase.

“I’m very fortunate to be back home where it all started,” Moss said. “It’s been a hectic last 48 hours and I didn’t really know what to expect. But I’m back home and it kinda feels weird knowing that I was just in New England trying to make things happen and then over night just get traded back home.

“I thought about this time and time again about how this thing was going to play out and ‘Is the love for me still here in Minnesota?’ But all I’ve been seeing is nothing but positive. So to all the Vikings fans that’s coming to that Metrodome, pull your 84 jerseys out. I think this is going to be a fun ride.”

As for his on-field experience on Thursday, Moss said it felt good to be out with his new teammates and that he’s kept an eye on this Vikings team in recent seasons.

“I’ve paid attention to the team and the success they’ve had over the years,” Moss explained, “and by bringing me back here I just want to see if we can get this thing done.”

Vikings fans have missed Moss and his playmaking abilities ever since he was traded to the Oakland Raiders after the 2004 season. And Moss indicated there was a part of him that missed Minnesota, too.

“I have strong faith,” Moss responded when asked if he ever envisioned being back in Minnesota as a Viking again. “I have a lot of faith in God that he’d put me in the right situation. I think me being traded from New England to here, I guess this was his plan. So I’m going to embrace it, take it in stride and hopefully bring it home.”

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Setting The Table For Vikings-Jets

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 7, 2010 – 9:50 am

The Vikings acquisition of WR Randy Moss has consumed the headlines over the past 2 days and will likely remain a hot-button topic throughout the rest of the week, but let’s not forget that there’s a game to be played on Monday night.

And it’s a high-profile game.

ESPN has a ratings bonanza for their Week 4 Monday Night Football matchup, as a pair of teams who played in conference championship games last season meet in the Big Apple (actually they’ll play in New Jersey). The Vikings and Jets matchup is a much anticipated one for many other reasons, too. Let’s take a look at a few of them…

Great Expectations: Both the Vikings and Jets entered the 2010 season with great expectations and they enter this matchup in different situations. The Jets are 3-1, having scored 3 consecutive AFC East wins, and have looked progressively impressive during their winning streak. The Vikings are 1-2 and enter the matchup coming off a bye, which should’ve helped several players recuperate from some early-season ailments.

The Jets have control of their division and have an opportunity this week to continue their surge. The Vikings have a chance to rebound from a couple of early-season losses and begin a tough month of October with road victory over one of the AFC’s hottest teams.

Adrian Peterson and LaDainian Tomlinson: Remember the last time these 2 great RBs played in the same game? Peterson set a new NFL single-game record by rushing for 296 yards. Certainly we can’t expect a similar output from Peterson on Monday night, but given his success so far in 2010 (averaging 130.7 yards per game) it’ll be fun to watch Peterson run against a talented and vicious Jets defense.

Tomlinson left the Chargers via free agency this past offseason and was courted heavily by both the Vikings and the Jets. He eventually chose to sign in New York and cited his familiarity with Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. So far in New York, Tomlinson has proved both the Jets and Vikings right for pursuing him. He’s 7th in the NFL in rushing, is averaging 6.1 yards per carry and has 3 TDs.

WRs Return: Both teams will welcome a fresh face to their WR corps on Monday night, with the Vikings rolling out Moss for the 1st time since acquiring him via trade on Wednesday and the Jets rolling out Santonio Holmes for the 1st time.

Moss will become just the 2nd player in NFL history to play in back-to-back games and he’ll be doing it against his former team’s biggest rival. With the New England Patriots, Moss matched up against the Jets twice a year for 3 seasons and has recently been linked to Jets CB Darrell Revis. Both players are elite at their positions and they’ve gone up against each other on numerous occasions. They’ll do so again on Monday night and many an eye will be on them.

Holmes was also acquired via trade and he’s coming off a 4-game suspension to make his 1st appearance for his new team. He’s a well-rounded player with good speed, terrific hands and versatility that allows him to stretch defenses outside and also use the middle of the field.

Brett Favre: We can’t build hype for a MNF game without mentioning Favre, right? So here it is, Favre returns to the MNF stage, where he’s performed well in the past. And he also returns to New York. Favre was the Jets QB in 2008 and got the team off to a great start before the season unraveled.

Also, Favre is just 1 TD pass away from his 500th, a feat no other QB has accomplished. I’ve got a feeling Vikings fans would love to see Favre connect with Moss to reach the milestone.

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Submit Your Moss-Related Question For Coach Childress

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on October 7, 2010 – 8:18 am

Submit your Randy Moss-related question for Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress to answer on this week’s episode of  “Vikings GamePlan,” which airs at 10:30 AM CST Sundays on KARE 11 and on FS North, and you could win an autographed picture from Coach Childress.

To submit your question, click here.

Vikings GamePlan presented by Sports Authority is the official Minnesota Vikings pregame TV show. Co-Produced by Vikings Entertainment Network and FS North, GamePlan airs on Sunday mornings at 10:30 AM on both KARE 11 and FS North. Vikings radio Play-by-Play man Paul Allen gives viewers an inside look at what to expect in the upcoming game through exclusive Film Study with Head Coach Brad Childress. KARE 11’s Tim McNiff goes head-to-head with opponent’s media in the popular Media Matchup. GamePlan also wires Vikings players during the game bringing you closer than anyone else can!

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Roster Maintenance

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 7, 2010 – 7:52 am

The big news of the week is of course the trade for WR Randy Moss. But the Vikings completed some other roster business this week as well.

Before the deal for Moss, the Vikings traded DE Jayme Mitchell to the Cleveland Browns for an undisclosed draft pick.

After the deal for Moss, the Vikings waived WR Logan Payne from the practice  squad and signed T Andrew Gardner to the practice squad.

Gardner played college football at Georgia Tech and was selected by the Miami Dolphins in the 2009 NFL Draft. Miami cut Gardner and then Baltimore signed the 6-6, 305-pound T to their practice squad. He was a 2-time First-Team All-ACC performer (2007, 2008).

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Statistically Speaking: Where Moss Ranks In Vikings History

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 7, 2010 – 6:51 am

By the time Randy Moss was traded away from the Vikings in February of 2005, his name was etched in the Vikings record books. Fortunately, that etching was not in stone because Moss has returned to the club that drafted him in 1998 and now he’s poised to add to his already-accomplished Vikings career and resume.

Let’s take a look at where Moss ranks in the record books…

– Moss was selected by the Vikings with the 21st overall pick in the 1998 draft and it took him no time to make an impact. In his 1st regular season game as a Viking, Moss had 4 receptions for 95 yards and 2 TDs. He went on to have a record-breaking rookie campaign, hauling in 69 receptions for 1,313 yards and 17 TDs, all franchise rookie records. He was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

– Among Vikings WRs, only Cris Carter ranks ahead of Moss in career receptions, receiving yards and receiving TDs. Moss has 574 receptions as a Viking for 9,142 yards and 90 TDs. Carter had 1,004 receptions with Minnesota, so Moss has a long way to go to catch him in that category. But Moss is 20 TDs and 3,241 receiving yards behind Carter.

– Moss posted the top 3 single-season receiving yardage marks in team history – 1,632 in 2003, 1,437 in 2000 and 1,413 in 1999. His 204 receiving yards against the Chicago Bears in November of 1999 ranks as the 2nd-best single-game performance in club history behind Sammy White’s 210 yards against the Lions in November of 1976.

– No Vikings WR has more 100-yard receiving games than Moss. He has 41 so far in his Vikings career, 1 ahead of Carter’s 40.

– Moss is the Vikings 4th all-time leading scorer with 552 career points, behind Fred Cox (1,365), Carter (670) and Fuad Reveiz (598).

– No player has led the Vikings in receiving yards for more seasons than Moss. He’s done it 6 times (1998-2003), with his best campaign coming in 2003 when he recorded 1,632 yards on 111 receptions; he also had 17 TDs. The reception and receiving yardage totals were career highs for him that year and the TD reception mark ties his career high.

– Moss and Carter share the team record for most TDs in a season with 17 (Moss in 1998 and 2003, Carter in 1995) and they also share the franchise record for most consecutive games with a TD catch (7 – Moss in 1998 and Carter in 1999).

– Carter has the franchise’s top 2 single-season reception totals, but Moss has the #3 and #4 efforts of all-time. In 1994 and 1995 Carter had 122 receptions, while Moss put together a fine stretch of back-to-back seasons with 106 grabs in 2002 and 111 in 2003.

– Moss recorded 8 100-yard receiving games in 2000 and 2003 and he registered 7 such games in 1999 and 2002. Carter did it 6 times in 2000.

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