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NFL NOTEBOOK

More of same fare from Moss

Turn as a food critic wasn’t well-received

Randy Moss officially hit the waiver wire yesterday afternoon, according to multiple reports, and teams will have until 4 p.m. today to place a claim on the receiver.

Vikings coach Brad Childress told his players Monday that he intended to waive Moss, and yesterday another episode that may have contributed to that action came to light.

According to a report on Yahoo! Sports, Moss angered some teammates when he criticized a post-practice meal in front of the local owners of the restaurant that catered it.

Last Friday, Tinucci’s Restaurant and Catering of St. Paul served chicken, pasta, ribs, and other dishes after practice. While his teammates lined up for the food, Moss yelled, “What the [expletive]? Who ordered this crap? I wouldn’t feed this to my dog,’’ a player who witnessed the incident said.

Gus Tinucci, co-owner of the restaurant, confirmed the report to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

“If [Brett] Favre would have had a ball, he would have beaned him right in the head. Favre looked at him like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ ’’ Tinucci told the newspaper.

Redskins eye Russell
Former Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell worked out with the Redskins yesterday, just three days after coach Mike Shanahan benched Donovan McNabb in the closing minutes of a loss to Detroit.

Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, Mike Shanahan’s son, said Russell was one of many players, including at least one other quarterback, who were getting a look from the team.

Kyle Shanahan said yesterday that McNabb was told in advance of the possibility of getting pulled from the game if coaches felt the veteran was struggling.

McNabb went on the radio and immediately claimed otherwise, saying: “I didn’t hear that part.’’

The Redskins routinely invite out-of-work players for workouts on Tuesdays, but the timing of Russell’s visit only added to the team’s quarterback drama of the last few days. McNabb’s benching raised questions about the six-time Pro Bowl player’s future with the team, and Mike Shanahan added to the confusion by offering varying explanations for the decision.

Russell, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft, was released in May after three disappointing seasons with the Raiders. He regressed on the field, was fined for being overweight, and was criticized by the coaching staff for his work ethic.

Merriman waived
The Chargers waived outside linebacker Shawne Merriman, three weeks after he was placed on injured reserve with a “minor injury’’ designation. The Chargers said back then they would release Merriman once he was healthy . . . Browns president Mike Holmgren says he will not interfere with coach Eric Mangini’s decision on picking Cleveland’s starting quarterback for Sunday’s home game against the Patriots. Holmgren has been encouraged by rookie quarterback Colt McCoy’s development and performances in two starts, but warned it’s too early to say if he’s the future. Holmgren will give his input and opinion to Mangini, but said those discussions won’t take place until injured QBs Seneca Wallace and Jake Delhomme return.

Replaying a situation
The Steelers apparently didn’t challenge a possible touchdown run by Rashard Mendenhall against the Saints because their assistant coaches stationed in the press box couldn’t see the same replays that were viewed by the millions of fans watching on TV on Sunday. On a second down play from the 2 early in the second quarter, the officials ruled Mendenhall didn’t get the ball across the goal line before being brought down. NBC replays appeared to show the ball touching the goal line before Mendenhall was tackled, but coach Mike Tomlin didn’t challenge the call. Mendenhall was tackled for no gain on third down, and the Steelers settled for Jeff Reed’s 19-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead, rather than the 7-0 lead if Mendenhall had scored. The Saints won, 20-10. “Maybe we missed an opportunity there, but I don’t think that’s the reason we lost the football game,’’ Tomlin said . . . Fresh off a fourth straight sellout at London’s Wembley Stadium, NFL vice president of international business Chris Parsons is optimistic the league will be playing multiple regular-season games in Britain. The 49ers rallied to beat the Broncos, 24-16, Sunday, and with more than 84,000 fans packed into Wembley, Parsons already has started thinking of ways to keep the momentum going.

Heitmann on IR
Longtime 49ers center Eric Heitmann has been placed on season-ending injured reserve because of a neck injury, clearing roster room for the addition of new linebacker Thaddeus Gibson . . . Rookie defensive tackle Brian Price was placed on IR by the Buccaneers because of a pelvic injury. Price, a second-round draft pick out of UCLA, appeared in five games this season, finishing with six tackles and three quarterback pressures . . . Kurt Warner, the quarterback who played a starring role in Mike Martz’s “Greatest Show on Turf’’ while with the Rams, says he sees Bears QB Jay Cutler struggling with “confidence and understanding’’ while trying to adapt to Martz’s complicated system, which doesn’t necessarily mesh with his natural tendencies. Three losses in four games after a 3-0 start left the Bears (4-3) staggering into their bye last week and put Cutler and Martz under scrutiny . . . Jacob Tamme, a third-year player from Kentucky thrust into a starting role for only the second time in his career after All-Pro tight end Dallas Clark was lost for the season because of a wrist injury, caught six passes for 64 yards and a touchdown to help host Indianapolis move into first place in the AFC South with a 30-17 win over the Texans Monday night. “I think you always want to see how a guy responds,’’ quarterback Peyton Manning said. “Certainly, a high-pressure situation. It was nice to see a guy that had a calm, cool look to him the entire night. That was encouraging to see.’’ 

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