By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Tuesday, January 29th, 2008 at 2:15 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Caught some of Randy Moss speaking about his time with the Raiders Tuesday courtesy of NFL Network.
It reminded me of the time when I asked him about why he seemed to be dropping so many passes, and he responded it was because he wasn’t happy and was in a bad mood.
“Things weren’t really going like I expected them to go, both as an individual and collectively as a team,” Moss said. “People in that organization had high expectations. I got traded there, we had Derrick Burgess, Warren Sapp, so you had a lot of guys that had names . . . I think a lot of things got in the way where football wasn’t really the main priority around there any more.”
No excuse for Moss going in the tank because he was unhappy. None. Not as the highest paid player on the roster, one who was laughably called a “captain” by Art Shell.
But the end of that answer is remarkable when you consider who he is talking about. When Moss says organization, he is talking about Al Davis. Davis is the organization. He is the lone owner in the NFL _ hell, in professional sports _ who was once a coach. He is one of the pioneers of the game, a Hall of Famer.
And here is this huge talent, the kind of player Davis salivates over, saying football wasn’t the main priority with the Raiders. It used to be the only priority.
Misunderstood stars thrived with the Raiders because all they had to worry about was football instead of the layers of miscommunication and confusion which currently emanates from Harbor Bay Parkway.
“Things started getting in the way with coaches and play-calling and stuff like that,” Moss said. “The team-concept was sort of screwed up in Oakland, and really not knowing, I would ever get on this stage, I had to stay positive.”
Moss was in no way “positive” in Oakland, but it has to gall Davis that another environment was more suitable than his own to bringing the best out of football’s most explosive receiver.
Fish to Atlanta
According to the Atlanta Falcons Web site, Jeff Fish was hired as the strength and conditioning coach on the staff of Mike Smith.
Fish has been the Raiders strength and conditioning coach for the past four seasons. Replacing him means they might need another training camp arm. Fish throws a nicer practice pass than some Raiders quarterbacks.
Williams on board
According to the NFLPA logs, Sam Williams is under contract to the Raiders for 2008 for $700,000. He was originally scheduled for unrestricted free agency.
No transactions have been announced by the club since the end of the season. Adimchobe Echemandu has been in the books for a $605,000 salary for a couple of weeks now and it hasn’t been acknowledged by the club.
According to the Raiders Web site, Fish is still the strength and conditioning coach.