In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Moss said that
the close relationship he once shared with Culpepper in Minnesota
had deteriorated after Moss was traded to Oakland in the offseason.
"Once you grow to love a person, a breakup is kind of hard,"
Moss said. "I thought Culpepper was (my friend), but now that
everything's happened, it seems to me I lost a friend.
"I used to go over to Daunte's all the time. I'd call him up
after practice and ask him what he was doing. He'd say 'You know we
are doing it big. Come on over.' I thought I had a friend in
Daunte, but obviously I didn't."
Culpepper, in town for the team's developmental camp at Winter
Park, was clearly puzzled by the remarks.
"My phone number hasn't changed," Culpepper said, implying
that Moss has not contacted him. "If you're my friend, why haven't
you talked to me? Know what I'm saying?"
When Moss was traded, there was much speculation that his antics
behind the scenes had grown too difficult to compensate even for
his immense talent.
But Culpepper refused to say anything derogatory about Moss,
refuting reports that Moss hindered Culpepper's ability to lead the
Vikings coach Mike Tice did not speak to the media Monday, deferring all questions to offensive coordinator Steve Loney.
When asked about the situation, Loney said, "Joe Bugel told me in 1993, in my first pro coaching job, just to focus in on the guys that are there and I think that's the approach you take. You don't worry about contracts, don't worry about money, and don't worry about how seasoned a guy is. Coach the guys that are in the room and I think that goes onto the players. Don't worry about things that you can't control."
Culpepper said he understood why Williams and Chavous were not in camp, but was hopeful they wouldn't miss too much time.
"I wish they were here, but they have their personal issues
they have to deal with and I respect that," Culpepper said. "But
as a teammate, I want them here and hopefully they can get
everything worked out because they're going to help us win."
Culpepper is trying to show that his talent doesn't stop once he steps off the football field.
The affable and gregarious quarterback will make a prime-time television appearance on Tuesday in the season finale of ABC's comedy "The George Lopez Show."
In the show, Lopez's daughter dates the No. 1 high school
quarterback prospect in the country, who is being wooed by several colleges.
That's where Culpepper comes in. He has two scenes in which he tries to persuade Jason to attend the University of Central Florida, Culpepper's alma mater.
McNabb, of course, is pushing hard for Syracuse.
"It was a lot of fun," Culpepper said while flashing a big smile. "It was good, I had a good time."
Culpepper said he is working with his agent in hopes of landing more roles, whether on television or in the movies.