Before star receiver Randy Moss declared dissatisfaction with how the New England Patriots were treating him, head coach Bill Belichick, director of player personnel Nick Caserio, and quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien had been scheduled for Tuesday conference calls.
As you might expect, each was asked about the comments Moss made Monday, saying he felt unappreciated because he has only one year left on his contract and wants an extension. Each offered praise.
Belichick: "I would just say on Randy that he is a professional. He's had a good training camp. He's played very well since he's been here. He's played at a very high level, and I hope that continues. He's brought a lot of passion to the game -- for the game -- since he's been here. He's well liked and he's well respected on the team."
Caserio, who used to be the Patriots' receivers coach: "My experience with Randy has been nothing but positive. From a football standpoint, he's a very smart football player. He's seen just about everything, every coverage in the book, and he understands football. He understands what we're trying to do. He understands what other teams are trying to do. He's good with his teammates. He's very insightful."
O'Brien: "He's never said anything like that to me. Since the day he's walked in here, he's been a productive, excellent player for us and a very professional player. I feel really good about our relationship with Randy, and that's how I feel. ... Until he says otherwise to me, I feel that way about him. I’m glad he’s here, and I’m glad he’s a part of our team. And he’s a big part of our team."
With all of that considered, the Patriots dodged questions about a contract extension. Moss is coming off a great season of 83 receptions for 1,264 yards and 13 touchdowns. Yet he will be 34 next year.
"We're glad he's here from the game on Sunday and that's what we're worried about," Caserio said. "He's going to help our football team, I'm sure. That's what we're focused on right now."