In an telephone interview on ESPN's "SportsCenter" this afternoon, Patriots receiver Randy Moss matter-of-factly repeated many of the points he made during his stunning, meandering and wildly entertaining press conference following New England's 38-24 victory over the Bengals Sunday.
Moss, who spoke in an engaging tone while periodically plugging a personal appearance in Boston for a bank this afternoon, admitted his timing could have been better and said he did speak to coach Bill Belichick about his comments.
"I don't really want to get into me and Bill's conversation, I want to keep that in-house," Moss said in the 10-minute interview conducted by "SportsCenter" anchor Hannah Storm. "But one thing I will let out of the bag is that he told me to watch what I do and watch what I say. And I told him, point-blank, 'yes, sir, I've got you.' Simple as that."
Moss again reiterated what seemed to be the underlying point of his 14-minute statement and Q&A Sunday -- his desire to remain in New England beyond this season.
"Being on the football field between those white lines is something I love to do," Moss said. "So hopefully my teammates and coaches like me being part of the New England Patriots team, because I do."
Here is a transcript of Moss's 10-minute interview:
On why he chose to speak out about his contract situation after the Patriots victory, which seemed like odd timing and might have seemed selfish:
Moss: "Well, the timing could have been bad, but it was actually my first time speaking to the media this year, and I wanted to get it off my chest instead of waiting until Week 12, Week 13, on down the road to where it really could become a distraction to our team and what we're trying to accomplish. It was just something I wanted to try to do. Maybe it was bad timing, but it's something that, I cleared my mind to feel good about myself."
On leading the locker room celebration after the Patriots' victory and his popularity among his teammates, and whether he understands if his postgame comments detracted from that:
Moss: [laughing as ESPN shows the celebration video] "I do understand that. Hopefully my coaches and teammates didn't take it in a disrespectful manner and understood where I was coming from. But like I said, that was the first and last time you're going to hear from me talking about my contract. Like I said, it's just something that relieved me, that I had to get something like that off my chest, and like I said in my press conference, hopefully I didn't disrespect anyone, because that was not my intention. My intention was, I just wanted to get something off my chest. And me being a 13-year vet, I think I'm entitled to let something like that off my chest when I'm dealing with me and my family's security."
On why he doesn't often show the public his outgoing side:
Moss: "Well, because that's not me. I take my job seriously, I have a lot of pride in what I do, and I think any coach and any owner would want a guy like me on their team. I take everything to heart, I take the wins in stride, and I definitely don't like losing, but I take that in strike also. But I'm the type of guy, I love playing football. And all extracurricular activity that comes with football off the field, I really don't care too much about. But being on the football field between those white lines is something I love to do, so hopefully my teammates and coaches like me being part of the New England Patriots team, because I do."
On talking about his comments with Bill Belichick and what the Patriots coach said to him:
Moss: "Well, I don't really want to get into me and Bill's conversation, I want to keep that in-house. But one thing I will let out of the bag is that he told me to watch what I do and watch what I say. And I told him, point-blank, 'yes, sir, I've got you.' Simple as that."
On who he was talking about when he said Sunday that a lot of people don't want to see him do well:
Moss: "I wasn't really talking about nobody specific. I think a lot of the baggage that I've had coming to me actually came with me [here]. I don't really care about that, but all of the good that has come out of New England, people that don't really like Randy Moss doesn't like the good coming out of New England. They want to hear the negative and all the negativity stirred up in New England. I really wasn't point the finger at anybody in particular. I just think that I came with some baggage, I tried to straighten up and tried to have a clean slate here in New England, and I think I've done a good job of that. And then coming out and speaking on behalf of me and my family's financial future, it's just something that I felt was right. Like I said, it might have been inappropriate after the win against Cincinnati. I just feel like it was something I had to get off my chest."
[Moss begins discussing a personal appearance he has for a bank today.]
On whether he's talked contract with the Patriots yet:
Moss: "Uh, no. We have not. But you best believe if we do discuss it, hopefully by me opening [a bank account online], I'll be able put some of my dollars in [an] account."
On whether his reaction Sunday had to do with Tom Brady signing a new contract Thursday:
Moss: "No, by me seeing Tom's contract come across the screen, we talked briefly about it, but it's well-deserved. I'm a big fan of Tom Brady. By him being the highest-paid player [in the NFL], it's well-deserved. I've got a lot of respect for Tom and what he brings to the team each day, and on Sunday, so, you know it's not a shock to me that he's the highest-paid player at this time in the league. Like I said, it's well-deserved, he's worked hard to be where he is, and like I say, no, it didn't [encourage] me to come out Sunday and say what I did. It was the first time I've talked to the media since mini-camp, OTAs, it's the first time this season. Like I said, it wasn't nothing planned, it was just something I felt like I needed to get off my chest so it wouldn't become a big distraction later in the season."
On if there are teams he's thought about playing for if the Patriots don't bring him back:
Moss: "No, not really. I love playing the game. I think that if my skills is going to leave the New England area -- and I do not want them to, let me say this again because I love what they do here. I love coach Belichick, I love the team, I love the coaching staff, I love playing here on Sundays. But from a business standpoint, I have to look out for the best interests of me and my family. So next year, I don't know where I'll be playing. Hopefully it's here in New England, but if it's not here in New England, whoever wants to give me a shot to hopefully come and help their team, I look forward to that opportunity."
On why he thinks he hasn't had any contract talks with the Patriots:
Moss: "I don't really know. This is a business, Hannah, so I don't know why there hasn't been any discussion. All I'm doing is taking it in stride day to day, and hopefully at the end of the season I'll give this organization a reason to keep me. And if not, I'll give some other organization a reason to bring me in. But I'm still here playing and loving what I do day to day. So just what I said on Sunday is not going to keep me away from my job and my goal to go out and help the Patriots win, and that's it."
On matching up with star Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis this Sunday, and his reaction to Revis calling him a "slouch" during an offseason interview:
Moss: "Aw, man, words don't really hurt me. I guess he's entitled to say what he wants to say, but then again, we're coming to the Meadowlands on Sunday, so you've got 60 minutes of this slouch, so I don't really get into the trash-talking, but if what he called me was a slouch, I guess the slouch will be there to see you on Sunday."
On whether the Patriots should be considered a Super Bowl contender after their impressive performance against the Bengals:
Moss: "I don't really want to call it a Super Bowl squad. How about I just call it a team that's trying to work day to day to get better so hopefully late in the season we can make that playoff push. You know, I don't really call us a Super Bowl team. I think we come in every day trying to get better, we're working in practice every day to get better, we compete against each other, and I think that's all you can ask for on Sunday is a team, a group of guys that go out there and compete and help their team win. So that's what we're going to do each week, take it one game at a time."