Randy Moss returns to Gillette Stadium on Sunday, and he’ll celebrate Halloween by dressing up as a Viking. It’s the first time he’ll get a chance to really catch up with some old friends since the trade went down Oct. 6, and his former Patriots teammates sound like they’re looking forward to it.
“Randy is a great player,” Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said. “I’m glad I don’t have to defend him. I’m sure he’ll want to come out and have a great game against us.”
Moss has 12 receptions for 166 yards and two touchdowns in three games with the Vikings, and his statistical production has increased since the start of the season, when he caught nine passes for 139 yards and three touchdowns in four games with the Patriots.
Yet, as of Wednesday afternoon, the Patriots hadn’t watched any Moss-specific game film, as they instead went heavy on Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. Maybe the Patriots will get to Moss later, preferring to focus their attention on Minnesota’s other weapons like Peterson, quarterback Brett Favre, wide receiver Percy Harvin and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe. Or, maybe the Patriots will simply go light on the Moss prep, since they already know him pretty well by now.
“He’s still the same player,” Pats head coach Bill Belichick said. “We’ve worked against him and obviously have a good knowledge of him, but he knows a lot more [about the Patriots]. We know one guy. He knows all of us, so I don’t know if there is a big advantage there. Practicing against somebody, I don’t think there’s any better preparation than that, than actually going up against them.”
New England’s defensive backs will have just as much pride on the line as Moss does in the reunion tour. That’s because Moss was close with that group, and the young cornerbacks and safeties will want to prove themselves against a Hall of Fame wide receiver.
“We’ve lined up against him a fair amount of times,” said cornerback Kyle Arrington, who might want a little revenge from the times Moss one-upped him on the basketball court. “So I mean, we know him well, and he knows us well. It’s going to be whoever goes out there and performs better.”
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