Moss will be well-received
He still has admirers left in Foxborough
It has been 21 days since the Patriots parted with Randy Moss. Now he is five days away from returning to Foxborough.
This weekend will mark the first time that Moss arrives at Gillette Stadium as a visitor since 2005, when he was with the Raiders for a season opener that ended in a 30-20 victory for the Patriots. Moss had five receptions for 130 yards and a touchdown in that game.
While Moss may be returning as a Viking, he is expected to be welcomed by his former teammates.
“He’s a good guy, a great teammate, and hopefully it’ll be a fun game,’’ Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo said.
When it comes to playing against opponents who are also friends, Mayo said the best time to talk is after the game because “during the game, it’s all about business, and that’s how I’m approaching this game.’’
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said he has exchanged text messages with Moss since the trade but he expects any communication will happen after the game.
“Probably after the game,’’ Brady said on WEEI yesterday. “That’s how I like to do it. I see guys after the game. Getting ready to play a game, not the best to talk and hang out and b.s. I’ll wish him luck maybe if I see him, but I will certainly say hi to him after the game.’’
Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he is excited to see Moss return to Gillette Stadium and continues to praise the receiver.
“He created a certain buzz and electricity in our locker room,’’ said Kraft. “He was special and unique. He made many great contributions to the Patriots.
“You think of the ’07 season, which was really remarkable. Unfortunately, we didn’t win a championship, but we accomplished something very special and he was a big part of that. He and [Brady] broke the record for quarterback-receiver touchdowns, so he’s a great player.
“I’m sure he’ll be motivated. We still have affection for him. When he was here, he made certain commitments to me of how he would play and conduct himself, and he did that, so we thank him for what he did for us.’’
Brown came up with a key play at the end of Sunday’s 23-20 victory against the Chargers when he wrapped up tight end Antonio Gates and stopped him short of a first down. Brown picked up more snaps because safety Patrick Chung left the game with a knee injury.
The Patriots originally signed Brown as an undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame, where Corwin Brown was the defensive coordinator before joining the Patriots this season as a defensive backs coach. Nick Caserio, the Patriots director of player personnel, said Sergio had several qualities that interested the team.
“He’s a big guy. He’s got good size. He had good straight-along speed. He’s a good tackler,’’ Caserio said. “He played safety at one point and then he ended up playing a lot of the slot position or the nickel position. So there was a little bit of position flexibility and versatility.
“And then he’d played in the kicking game as well, so I think there were some attributes that we liked that we saw on tape that we thought he’d be a player that we might want to work with moving forward.
“He made the most of his opportunities to this point. Hopefully, he will continue to improve each week.’’
Monique Walker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.