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SUPER BOWL NOTES

Moss: Packers weren't right fit

January 31, 2008|Sam Farmer and David Wharton | Times Staff Writers

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- There was a lot of talk last spring that Randy Moss, then on Oakland's roster, might wind up in Green Bay.

Moss thought that might happen, too, but said Wednesday he soured on the idea of playing for the Packers in his discussions with personnel executives there.

"Green Bay was in the picture, but things were told to me about maneuvering money around and making it a good fit," he said. "The Packers were really talking about the wrong things, and not the right things. When they started talking about the wrong things, I just hung up the phone and didn't want to talk to them anymore.

"I thought at first it was something that could have worked, for the fact that Brett Favre was there, but I think as the conversations occurred throughout the day and the next day, I didn't really want to go to Green Bay."

Asked what he meant by the Packers talking about the "wrong things," Moss said: "They were just talking about their team concept and the wide receivers, and Donald Driver.

"It was like they were telling me that they were going to somewhat take a chance on me, but, 'If you do come here, these are the things you have to watch out for, and be on your best behavior, and Donald Driver is the top receiver here, so don't come in and try to step on his toes.' "

Evidently, Moss would disagree with people who would argue the Packers were merely protecting their interests and those of a receiver already on their roster. Moss did, after all, have a documented history of attitude problems in Minnesota and Oakland.

Still, he felt slighted by the Packers.

"I didn't think that was right because my whole career I have been taken out of context sometimes," he said. "But at the end of the day, all I wanted to do was win games. . . . I didn't really feel they wanted me. I felt that Brett Favre wanted me, but I didn't really feel the Packers wanted me."

In the Manning family, Peyton has the most experience facing the New England Patriots, if only because his Indianapolis Colts play in the AFC.

So younger brother Eli of the Giants asked for advice in preparing for the Patriots.

"All he really said was that the more film you watched on them, [it] can get you a pretty good feel for what they do," the younger Manning said. "They don't change up all that much . . . there will be a new look in the game, a new blitz or coverage, but a lot of it is just that they play sound defense."

Manning is taking a similarly common-sense approach to the hoopla surrounding Sunday's game. "There might be more TV timeouts and there are more cameras there, but it's still the same game you've been playing your whole life," he said. "It's still that same 60-minute game."

Giants defensive linemen know their ability to reach Patriots quarterback Tom Brady -- without too much help from blitzers -- will be key to their team's chances for an upset victory. It's something they weren't able to do quite enough while losing to New England in the regular-season finale in December.

New York was credited with hurrying Brady eight times and sacking him once.

"You can never hit a quarterback enough times," defensive end Osi Umenyiora said. "I think all of that has a cumulative effect."

Teammate Michael Strahan said the Giants' front four learned Brady does not drop too far back and is good at remaining calm under pressure.

"If you watch him in the pocket, he looks like he is on ice skates in the way he glides in the pocket and gets away from pressure," Strahan said.

The defensive line is considered a strong point of the team, but New York failed to sack Brett Favre in the NFC title game two weeks ago.

"We're starving," Umenyiora said. "Hungry isn't the word."

--

sam.farmer@latimes.com

david.wharton@latimes.com

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