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  1. #1
    Prophet Guest

    Brzezinski & Tice speak out about free agency...

    3 march 2005

    Brzezinski: I think Mr. McCombs outlined the Randy situation pretty well. Coach and I just wanted to have the opportunity to address everybody, me specifically on the trade and the transaction if you had any other questions, and then Coach, who is the face of our organization on the football team. The organization just really wants to thank Randy and everything he has done, not only for our football team and our fans, but the community. This guy did so much under the radar that he didn't want people to know about. Randy is a good person. He has done a lot for the community and this organization. We will be thankful forever.

    Just a couple of things we want to address from a business standpoint. We weren't underground this past week. People need to understand that there are first of all league requirements that have to be fulfilled before any trade can take place. All that we could confirm was that there were discussions. The deal was not in fact done literally minutes before Randy's press conference began in Oakland. I don't want in any way for people to feel misled. There were just too many hurdles in the deal and it was not in fact done until minutes before the conference last night.

    There have been a lot of rumors the past couple of years regarding Randy, and it's important for people to understand that there has been some smoke, but there was never anything serious regarding the Vikings and even entertaining trading Randy Moss. This was something that came to fruition pretty quick with the Raiders. A lot of smoke the past couple of years never had any teeth. There was nothing significant there. I guess it brings us down to the million dollar question, why did you do it? I think Mr. McCombs answered that about as best as it could be answered. The only thing that I can reiterate is that there wasn't anything specific that led to this decision. It really had nothing specifically to do with things that people like to point to with Randy off the field. It was an organizational decision based on all of the facts and circumstances and knowledge that we have as far as what we're trying to do to build a football team to bring a championship to Minnesota, and that's what we're trying to do. It's critical for people to understand that this is not a rebuilding mode for the Minnesota Vikings. We were able to acquire a critical pick in the draft, the 7th pick, a linebacker we have a great deal of excitement that we have been able to bring into our organization, Napoleon Harris. We have another full draft ahead of us and we've had a lot of success under Mike Tice the last couple of years. Last night we were one of the first teams to make a significant impact in free agency and signed one of the premier players out there, Pat Williams, who Coach can talk about a little bit. There are a lot of exciting things for our franchise at this point. We are going to continue to be aggressive and do all of the things that we can do to field a winning team in Minnesota. The last thing that I want to make a point on before we turn it over to Coach Tice is that we appreciate all of the different perspectives from the fans of the Minnesota Vikings. We have the greatest fans in the country. There are a lot of people that say that, but there is no building that is louder than the Metrodome and there are no more exciting or loyal fans than we have. People have had a lot of different opinions on this transaction, whether or not we should have traded Randy Moss, and we want everyone to know that we respect that, but in the same sense, we want everybody and encourage you to be on board. This is going to be an extremely exciting time for the Minnesota Vikings as we continue to try to do some work in free agency and have two of the top 18 picks in the entire country for the college draft coming up. So with all of that said, I'm going to turn it over to Coach Tice here.

    Tice: Thanks Rob and Red for taking everybody through where we are at. It's obviously an emotional time for me and many of us in the organization, and players I am sure too and coaches, that we lost in a trade we made with Oakland some offense. For me personally I lost a very close friend and certainly somebody that I have tried to mentor and grow together, me as a head coach and him as a professional. But at the same as Rob indicated, we've spent exhaustive hours analyzing our football team to try to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together so we can be the New England next year, so we can be the world champion. That is the ultimate goal in all of this, to be the world champion. Not to be the highest-paid head coach, not to be the most explosive offense, but to be the world champions. We haven't got to that pinnacle yet, not only under my tenure, none of the other great head coaches that have come before me, not under their tenure either. So we try to do the best things at all times for the organization. The organization has made the decision to make this trade and attempt to add some more pieces to the puzzle. We all know that puzzle is being better on defense, being better on special teams. So we believe with the 7th pick and the 18th pick in the draft, it gives us an opportunity to add significant players to our roster. At the same time, add a young and exciting Sam linebacker (Napoleon Harris). For all of you people that are speculating, Middle or Sam, he will play Sam linebacker. Napoleon Harris, a guy that really wants to be a part of this team. He is from the Chicago area and he's back in the Midwest. Very exciting meeting with him yesterday, and then add another puzzle last night. Rob and his staff did an excellent job of battling with many teams for Pat Williams. We were able to consummate that deal last night. Pat will be in today. We need to be better on defense. This particular area may take some plays off the field, probably takes a bunch of plays off the field offensively, but gives us the ability to continue to grow as a team, add talent to the other side of the ball, and that's what we're attempting to do as an organization. Rob answered a lot of questions and took you through some things over the last couple of years with the rumors. I'm sure Red took you down some paths today. Really that's about all I have to say. I'm excited about the addition of Napoleon Harris and I'm very excited about the addition of Pat Williams. People say why Pat Williams? It enables us not to have to play Kevin Williams, one of the bright, young stars in the National Football League, at nose tackle at all. He'll be strictly a 3 technique with Spencer Johnson, a great find by our personnel department and a great job of developing by Brian Baker and Jim Panagos, to be our wave guy or our backup at 3 technique and nose tackle. That makes us significantly better against the run and it makes us deeper. We have no slack off on the inside and that's a significant step for our defensive football team to be able to stop that run inside. So just another step we are taking to answer the pieces of the puzzle. I too agree with Rob, I enjoy the passion of the fans and their comments and I enjoy the passion of the media. A lot of you guys and women I am very close with and I try to answer your questions as best as I can. As I said to one of my good friends in the media the other day, we're always going to know more than you know about our team, because we do it 24/7. We're always going to attempt, sometimes we fail, to make the best decisions, sometimes hard, for our organization. Our goal is to win a championship. Our goal is not to put a lesser team on the field. Our goal is to put a better team on the field. So that's always, when we make our decisions, they are going to be made to put a better team on the field, and that's what we're attempting to do right now.

    Q: Red said he gave serious thought to making a coaching move this season. What is your reaction to that?
    A: I gave serious thought to quitting too. Sometimes I say I don't need this stuff, so I guess we are even.

    Q: Did it surprise you though?
    A: I've told you guys consistently over three years that I never worry about my job. I just try to do the best job that I can do every day when I come in. I'll say this until I am blue in the face, so maybe one day you'll believe me, I start every day trying to improve Mike Tice. That's all I can control. I can't control people yelling for my head, people questioning a trade, people questioning a draft pick. I remember getting booed when we picked Kevin Williams. Now he is an All-Pro. I can't control any of that. What I can control is every day set a goal for myself to be a better coach, to help my coaching staff be a better coaching staff, and then it is their job and my job to get the players to be better players. I can't control that.

    Q: Why would he bring that up?
    A: You'd have to ask Red that.

    Q: Doesn't that hurt?
    A: Well, I'm not going to go to lunch now with Travis Taylor because I don't think my food would taste very good, if you want me to answer your question. So I'm out on lunch, I'm not going?

    Q: Rob, could you talk about the timing of the trade?
    A: The only thing I can say is timing is everything on a transaction like that. We just felt like that was the right time.

    Q: Do you felt if you had held on to closer to the draft you could have got more?
    A: We just felt it was the right time. You've got to have a sense on these things. First of all, acquiring a guy like Randy will change not only our offseason plan considerably, but anybody that would acquire him considerably. You're talking about a tremendous player at a tremendous contract and we just felt it was the right time.

    Q: One thing Red said was that Randy can do a lot more than the team got out of him. Do you feel that no one can get more out of him than you did?
    A: I won't agree with that comment. I think we utilized Randy as best as we saw fit. We built our offense around him, so I don't know how else we could have got more out of him. We'll leave it at that.

    Q: How does this affect Nate Burleson?
    A: We think that Nate Burleson is an excellent football player. I'm sure that came into the organization's decision, that we did have Nate Burleson in the pipeline and he has made a lot of plays for us.

    Q: Will it be tough for him to not have Moss on the other side?
    A: It also opens up opportunities for other players too, not only players that we have in the building but players that we will bring in.

    Q: Why couldn't you be a better football team with Randy? What went wrong?
    A: Team is the key. We have to be a better football team. Right now we are not good enough in some areas to win a championship. We need to address those other areas. We feel like being number one in offense, although it may make for more standing and cheering at the Metrodome, doesn't necessarily help us win the world championship. We need to be in the top 10 in defense and we need to address that significantly. That really is where we are lacking. If you evaluate our team, like I said we do 24/7, 12 months a year, that is what we came up with as so-called experts, Viking experts, which we believe we are. We think we know the team better than all. We need to get in the top 10 in defense. We've had 556 points, number one in offense, number one in rushing offense, number two in offense, number three in offense, we haven't got to the Super Bowl yet.

    Q: If you were to bring in Travis Taylor, would that reduce your interest in Mike Williams?
    A: Absolutely not. That would absolutely not affect that interest in Mike Williams and other players of his caliber. Absolutely not.

    Q: If he's there at #7, is he your guy?
    A: It's March, what's today the 3rd or 4th? It's much too early to have a strategy in place. We certainly enjoyed our time with him at the combine, but we enjoyed our time with many other players too at many other positions.

    Q: Do you feel like you already have a #1 receiver?
    A: We certainly do in Nate Burleson feel like we have a #1 receiver. Absolutely, no question.

    Q: Do you feel like you have to hit a home run with the #7 pick considering what you gave up to get it?
    A: I can't answer that because we don't know if we're going to go up with the pick and package the two and go to three, or go back and get another first-round pick. I can't answer that because we have a lot of time to go before the draft and a lot of different strategies will be in play. So I can't sit here and say we have to keep the pick. Certainly I haven't heard any discussion of hey, we've got the pick and now we've got to trade out of it, if that's what you are asking. I haven't heard that discussion. I think we have to develop a strategy that is best for us to be a better football team. How do we get more blue-chip players, that is the key, on defense?

    Q: How much will your offensive philosophy change?A: I don't think the offense will be that different. I want to make sure we all understand in the five games where there was an injury to the player last year, our quarterback carried our football team and we scored a lot of points. We had a lot of offense and we lost two games on last second field goals, one (to the Packers) and one on Monday Night against Indianapolis against two very good football teams, and I think everybody needs to remember that. We have other weapons. We will not be a lesser offense. We will lose some plays, absolutely and positively, but we have some players on our roster that can play football. And I'm an offensive head coach and we're going to be good on offense, I'll promise you that.

    Q: But will your philosophy change?
    A: No. We've had a scheme that has been in place since 1992. I was a part of putting that scheme in in 1992 as a Viking player. We have gotten better with our scheme and the way that we approach things and our audible system over time. We will be better this year because we have spent exhaustive hours over the last three weeks in looking at us, and what do you do when you look at us? What are we doing well, what are we doing poorly, what are we doing good, what are we doing bad, and then you fix those things. Sometimes you've got to fix how you teach it. Sometimes you've got to get players to play better, and sometimes you've got to get rid of stuff that the players can't handle. Sometimes you add some stuff. That's what we spend our time doing. We will be excellent on offense. That's one thing I can stand here on March whatever it is and promise you. I know offense. My good friend Brian Billick left here and he hasn't had offense since he left me. I told him that the other day. Read the stats.

    Q: What did he say?
    A: He laughed, because he knew I was kidding him. But it's the truth. We're going to have offense.

    Q: So is that why Travis Taylor is here, untapped talent?
    A: Travis Taylor is a player that is intriguing. He's a 1st-round pick. He has not been explosive in the league. You look at that offense and see that not many people have been. At the same time, he really wants to be here. I believe he approached us, so that's why he's here. We want to sit down and listen to the young man. Was our schedule to bring offensive players in the first week of free agency? Not really, I think we had a different strategy. But this young man is aggressively I want to say pursuing us, so we're going to sit down and talk to him. He's a fine football player. Very articulate young man, and dresses well.

    Q: On paper, the defense doesn't look markedly better with Williams for Hovan and Harris for Claiborne. How much more do you need on defense?
    A: We have two 1st-round picks, one very, very high. The last time we had the 7th pick we got Kevin Williams with the 9th pick. You're the first ones to laugh at that joke. I've said that joke five times in the last three days. Rob doesn't like it. But we got Kevin Williams. We need players like that, and free agency is not finished yet. I think Rob and his staff, my staff, Paul Wiggin's staff, have an excellent free agent plan in place. We'll see how that plays out. We need more bullets and we need to coach better too.

    Q: Rob, one quick question for you. Is there an organizational decision to defer bonus money?
    A: I think Red answered that. You'll have to talk to the boss.

    Q: Could you talk a little more about your free agent plan?
    A: No, I don't think we will. I think, like I mentioned, Rob and I are very close in everything we do. We communicate very well. His staff and my staff work very well together, especially in free agency. We have an excellent plan. We like the plan. We had some players ranked that we didn't go after for certain reasons. We have targeted some players. I guess everyone knows that we wanted to go after (Antonio) Pierce. I talked to the young man yesterday. I thought we had a shot to get in the game there. I don't think they really gave us a chance to get in the game for whatever reason. Pat Williams was a player that we chose also, that we wanted to significantly improve our inside run defense and at the same time allow either our best or second-best defensive player to not have to play a position that gives other teams a chance to take him out by double-teaming. I think it was a great signing for us. This guy is a first and second down beast against the run. It's going to be exciting to see how physical we can be in the middle.

    Q: Do you see the line as Williams, Williams, Udeze, Scott?
    A: Absolutely. Doesn't it sound good with Spencer Johnson and Kenny Mixon as backups, and then whoever else we find in the draft or free agency or whatever. In 2002, go back and check your notes in maybe one of my first press conferences, besides moving Jimmy (Kleinsasser) to tight end, I talked about we wanted to build our defensive team from the front back. We've come a long way over three years with the help of Rob and Scott Studwell and his staff, and Paul Wiggin and his staff, of trying to make that one of the strengths of not just our defensive football team, but of our football team. Right now coming back from the combine and talking to peers, which we do when we're at the combine and at the Senior Bowl, they like the same thing I like. They like our defensive front, and that was before adding Pat Williams. Now you add a Pat Williams, I wonder what my peers are saying? We have a very formidable, athletic, defensive front and it got better today. That's exciting to me.

    Q: Could you talk about Harris more?
    A: He played his best football in college as a Sam linebacker and a rusher and an on the line guy. He's played at Sam, he's played at Will, he's played at rush end. In talking to him yesterday I was very, very pleased when I asked him the first question of where do you want to play, and he said outside. So I'm very pleased that that's where he wants to play and that's where he has his passion to play. It fits us perfectly that he's a Sam linebacker. With that said, that made us better on that front too because if he's an on the line player and you have those four defensive linemen that I was talking about, that's five pretty formidable guys in your front seven.

  2. #2
    cajunvike's Avatar
    cajunvike is offline Jersey Retired
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    Sep 2004

    Brzezinski & Tice speak out about free agency...

    Starting DL: Williams, Williams, Udeze, Scott

    Starting LB:Nap as the Sam LB...probably means that they use EJ at the Mike and DT at Will...unless they sign someone else...not too bad (if EJ and DT come around) but I would like it if they at least pursued someone at Mike that was a vet (Trotter?) and let EJ and DT fight it out for the Will.

    Starting DB: Winfield and another FA (BWill took a step back last year, but I wouldn't mind him or Irvin at FS...sit Russell), FA SS (sign Griffith and sit Chavous)

  3. #3
    coreyd is offline Coach
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    Dec 1969

    Brzezinski & Tice speak out about free agency...


  4. #4
    Prophet Guest

    Brzezinski & Tice speak out about free agency...

    Might as well tack on Redneck's comments too:


    Red McCombs: To all of you guys thank you for being there. I have heard from all of you and it was very difficult for me not to return the calls because you know, in the 7 years I have been there, I'm a very accessible person. By League rules we really could not discuss the Randy Moss thing until it was (completed). That didn't happen until late yesterday afternoon. So, to all of you, I would just say I was in a little bit of a trap there. There was no use returning any of your calls because there was nothing I could say. Knowing how adept you are at asking questions that intrigued me of talking when I shouldn't be talking. At any rate, I wanted to make some comments on the Randy situation and then I'm prepared to take any questions on any issues that any of you may have. I consider my 7 years as owner of the Vikings one of the most powerful, pleasure full, exciting 7 years of my life. A big part of that excitement was having Randy Moss. I've been fortunate in my 50 years of sports ownership, Randy was the 3rd person I've had that will be a super star from now on. I was fortunate enough to have (George) Gervin and have David Robinson and then have Randy Moss on my team. Randy, in addition to all of his talents, he's the most exciting player in the NFL. No one wants to play against him which is the best thing you can say for him. At the owners meeting yesterday I was getting at-a-boys and high fives from all the guys in the national conference and particularly in our division because they don't have to face him again. As I mentioned to him that I was of the same mind because I told Rob (Brzezinski) when we decided to pull the trigger on this that there was one thing that was a certain, that I didn't want to trade Randy inside the National Conference, because I don't want to play against him unless we're playing in the Super Bowl. That's just how much I think about him. The obvious things such as Randy's little antics which have all been well reported, honestly never had any real issue with me. That was not an issue. We knew that Randy wasn't a jerk. That's one of the big tests that I have, how does the locker room address the player, and I recognized as we were moving into last year that there were some things that were beginning to just not fit. There were not specific instances or incidents, but there were some things that just weren't really coming together. Then unfortunately, Randy had his injury. During the time Randy was injured and out I began thinking, this thing is probably, if we don't really get somewhere this year, Randy is going to be so disappointed when the season is over, we're going to be disappointed, and I began to think, what could I do to make something happen there and I gave very serious thought to replacing Mike (Tice) about the time that Randy was coming off the injury. My thought was that Randy had had two really good coaches in his 7 years there and here we were nearing the end of the 7th year and we really had not accomplished much. I knew that he was disappointed and certainly we were disappointed. I'm still thinking how can I make this thing work to where we'll get that spark, the spark that comes from a player like Randy. There were no instances or issues between him and Mike or me and Mike or me and him and Mike. That was just how far I was thinking of going to see if we could preserve this player who will be one of the greatest players in the 100 years of the NFL, I have no doubt about it. And then you get to thinking and you go through and I made the decision that I wasn't going to do that. I just wasn't going to do it and I just hoped that everything would come together and that we would still have that team feeling which I kind of felt like we were slipping away from some and of course at the Green Bay game I thought, ‘maybe we're coming back?' then when we kind of fell back into our old mode at the Philadelphia game, it looked like we had looked like for most of the season, it just became obvious to me that there was something that needed to be done. There was no one person that made the move to make a trade with Randy. It was totally an organization move, I totally concurred with it. As far as getting value for Randy, I knew we couldn't get value for Randy. If we'd have gotten twice what we got, because you can't measure the ability and potential that is in that player. Personally, Randy was one of my favorite players, he's one of the favorite people I've known in sports, that will always remain that way. I hope he goes on and does what he's capable of doing which is far more even than what we saw and we saw a lot. I'm ready to discuss the League meeting yesterday, free agency or anything else that you guys want to discuss. I'll just kind of talk a little about it, until Randy's deal was (completed) I really couldn't talk about that and what brought it on and how we got there so touching on that, I will touch a little on the League meeting yesterday was essentially, almost totally taken up with discussion of the progress on the new collective bargaining agreement. There is progress being made. I feel comfortable that although it may take some more time before that is accomplished that it will happen. Commissioner Tagliabue opened the meeting by addressing the Vikings sale and he told the owners there that he had met personally with Reggie and he had discussed personally with Reggie the discrepancies in his resume that was released. He discussed with him the questions about his financial ability. He was very comfortable with the answers to all of that and he was very comfortable with Reggie and that the process was moving on through. I would say on the issue of the CBA that we are moving forward and making progress on that. The operation of the club, which I know is an issue and always should be, very, very straightforward agreement with Reggie that all of the decisions will be made by us period. That's not to say that I wouldn't give him input on certain major issues and I certainly contacted him to tell him on Randy's situation that we were in serious discussions, but that was some several days before a deal was actually done. He thanked me for sharing that with him. As we move on to operations in free agency, there are several guys that we have determined that we would like to have, that we were fortunate in concluding the first deal on that last night. It was a big deal. We paid really a Pro Bowl contract to a guy who hasn't been to the Pro Bowl, but we think is a Pro Bowl player in Pat Williams. Coach Cottrell had a lot to do with that because of his references to Pat. As far as we're doing there, as far as our situation, we're moving on and I'm making decisions as if I were to continue to be the owner of the Vikings although I fully expect that Mr. Fowler's deal will be consummated. I'd just like to comment on the kind of team that we're turning over, as I mentioned to the owners in my remarks yesterday about leaving the NFL, I didn't accomplish what I set out to do and that's why I'm leaving. I definitely made no headway on the stadium and that is the issue that takes me out of the NFL. Having said that, when I bought the team we had a club, as you well know, that most of the games were being blacked out. The fans of Minnesota have responded and we've had absolute sellouts, no funny numbers, absolute sellouts for every event that we've had there, preseason included in all. We've made a lot of progress. The club had 28 million dollars debt money when we bought it and was way over the salary cap. We now have no debt money as we pass the club on, and we are under the salary cap by more than any team in the League at the same time still fielding a very competitive team, being one of the last teams standing last year. And then, in addition to that, we go into this draft with a selection of higher picks than any team in the playoffs, where as normally to get the kind of picks that we have you have to be a bottom tier team, here we come in as a top tier team, with the 7th and the 18th pick and we're very pleased with it. Add that to the fact that in the trade with Oakland (we acquired) Napoleon Harris who we're very, very high on. The fact that we have Jimmy Kleinsasser coming back and (Mike) Rosenthal, that we lost most of last season, in that we're talking about 4 very substantial starters added to the team with Pat Williams and Napoleon and Jimmy and Rosenthal. So, I think we have every reason to be very excited about this upcoming season. With that I'll kind of slow down and take any questions that you guys have.

    Q: Red, there has been talk of two of the partners pulling out from Fowler's group. Have you heard any of that? You said you fully expect it to go through. Does that mean you're not concerned at all about his partnership falling apart?

    A: Well, you have to be concerned because that is a critical part of Reggie's proposal. I have not been aware of it. I think if it were something that were substantive, that affected the possibility of that going through, I think I would have heard of it, but I have not been given any information about that at all.

    Q: Red, I want to go back to something you said earlier. Did you say you gave thought or you almost fired (Mike) Tice?
    A: That is correct.

    Q: What was the context of that?
    A: The context was, maybe I didn't make myself clear, that was in how can we keep Randy? What we were doing was not working. We had all done all that we could do, Mike and everyone else. Obviously, in this business when you look and you say, ‘well, maybe change coaches and you'd get a spark or something will happen'. I seriously considered making that change to have that effect about the time that Randy was coming off his injury because I fully believe the team we had last year was capable of winning the National Conference. I never felt that we would have too good of a chance against New England, but I fully expected even late in the season that we had that chance if we could get the spark and Randy had to be the key to the spark so maybe moving a new head coach in there would be the right way to do it. I gave serious, serious thought to that and as I said obviously I decided not to do it. I never mentioned that before and nobody else was ever aware of it. I've never mentioned it to anybody.

    Q: Who would have been the coach?
    A: I had the coach in mind. He doesn't know it, he never will know it because he has no reason to. But I had the coach in mind, I had no doubt but that he would've reported the next day or whatever. I think it would've happened. In my years of ownership, I'd never gone after a coach that I did not get.

    Q: Was he in the organization?
    A: I'm not making any comments to who it was, it serves no purpose. I'm proud of Mike. You can look at it one way and say, ‘well, in the end I decided that we're better to be with Mike than to take another way of trying to see Randy's involvement in the club. So, I selected Mike and I'm proud of Mike and that's the reason (why his contract has been) extended and that's the reason he's there. But, I tell you that, I cannot tell you how strong I felt about having a player like Randy. Without saying that I was to the point to where I seriously considered and spent sleepless nights about, ‘would it be totally crazy to pull the trigger late in the season and bring on a new head coach?' The more I thought about I thought, ‘that's really the best chance to salvage Randy at the end of this season and I decided not to do it'.

    Q: So what you're saying is that Randy and Mike Tice could not work together?
    A: No, they work together very well and the records are there. It's all out there for everybody to see, but it wasn't getting us to where I felt like we had the chance to go. Neither did Dennis (Green) get us there. Would the coach make that much difference? That's kind of foolish to say that it would, but I was grasping for straws to say, ‘is there anything I can do?' because I really did not want to part company with Randy. On the other hand, I felt like if we finished the season about the way we had the last few seasons that it had to happen. How do you come to that conclusion? I know that Randy can do a lot more than what we got out of him. But we had 7 years to do it and we didn't get it.

    Q: Does (Mike) Tice know that you considered that?
    A: Yes, he does. He didn't know it until an hour ago.

    Q: Red, you've given very compelling reasons for keeping Randy Moss. I don't know if it's still clear why you got rid of him?A: It's one of those things, when your wife finds out she doesn't love you anymore and it's kind of hard to say when that time is going to come, but you've got to split. It was time to make a move. It was time for Randy and it was time for our organization. The timing was right.

    Q: Your ball club won't be as good without him. Mr. Burleson will find out that he won't be as effective without Mr. Moss...
    A: Well, that could be, but I will refer you back to when we had another player, I wouldn't put him in the category of Randy, but when we lost Robert (Smith) and we didn't have a clue we were going to lose him, our running game didn't go in the tank. We've had some guys step up and do very well. If we look at Burleson's games last year, his games were the best games when Randy was out.

    Q: When you decided that it was time to move on, what was the process at that point? Did you call down and say it was time to trade him or what?
    A: No, it was an organizational move. It just kind of had its own life. There was no one person involved in that, it just kind of evolved and suddenly we were there. And certainly I concurred.

    Q: Red, what was Reggie Fowler's reaction when you told him about the Moss trade?
    A: Thank you very much for sharing that information with me. I appreciate it very much. There was nothing negative in his response whatsoever.

    Q: Did he know about that before the sale was completed?
    A: He knew about it before it was (completed), but it was pretty well along the way.

    Q: Before you agreed upon the sale of the team, did he know?
    A: No, he didn't know about it all before. Nobody, we hadn't decided to do it before then.

    Q: If that's the case, why did Reggie Fowler tell me that under no circumstances did he want to trade Moss?
    A: Sid, the only way I can respond to that, and you'll have to ask Reggie himself, but in the 7 years I've been there I've many times questioned why certain people tell you things.

    Q: You said that you know Randy can do a lot more than you got out of him. Do you think that it's up to him or did he not get the type of coaching from Denny Green or Mike Tice to get enough out of him?
    A: Well, it's not a shot at them. I think they would say the same thing. I don't know what Mike's response would be, but I think Mike would tell you that he always felt that there was a lot more there. All of us did everything we could to get it. We didn't get it. I still believe it was there. I think Denny would say the same thing. There was more there than what we could get out. Randy, in addition to being such a great talent, Randy is a good guy. Randy is not a jerk. I like Randy a lot.

    Q: Is he injury-prone? Is that a concern that you might not be able to get anything for him maybe two years from now?
    A: No, but of course that's always an issue, Sid, with anyone that's been in the League for 7 years. Every day you get closer to that, you know it's going to happen, you just don't know when. In 7 years we had had all kinds of opportunities and we couldn't cash in on them. Randy is so competitive and wants to win so badly that I knew that he would be disappointed. We were disappointed. I've said maybe times people say, ‘how do you put up with Randy Moss?' my response has always been, ‘I wish I had a dozen more just like him'.

    Q: In other words, his mooning and stuff like that had nothing to do with the trade?
    A: Nothing.

    Q: Did you consider it a team chemistry issue for next year then?
    A: No, I just considered that we weren't going anywhere with the way we were. We just had to have a change.

    Q: You didn't get much for him, did you?
    A: Well, I guess Napoleon (Harris) wouldn't quite agree with that. You can discuss that with him. And the guy that we'll get at the 7th pick you can discuss that with him. I doubt that they would agree with that.

    Q: Red, if this Fowler team were to fall apart. What are the chances that you would keep the team for another season?
    A: I'll keep it until I find somebody else to buy it. If I find somebody else the next day I'm going to sell it.

    Q: Was it easier to make this move with Randy because you're trying to get rid of the team?
    A: No, because I have to really close that door. The moves that we're making, just like agreeing last night to pay Pat Williams a big, big contract, if I'm looking at that like, ‘well, I'm going to sell the team'. I'm not going to do that. I have to look at this as if I'm going to own the team from now on. You've got to remember this is not the first team I've ever sold. I've been through this before. We don't know when these things are finalized or if they're going to be finalized. We have to be ready to go and we keep all of our people, I give all of them the credit out there, we have a wonderful organization. They're the best. We've spent 7 years getting it to where it is now from top to bottom. We have a great, great solid organization.

    Q: That thought that you had mid-season about either Randy or Mike, did you reconsider it at the end of the season?
    A: No. Once I didn't pull the string then I decided that that wasn't going to happen. That left my mind. That was no more a part of any of my thinking.

    Q: Along the lines of operating a team. There have been indications from agents around the League that the Vikings have asked for some of the guaranteed money to be deferred until summer, which conceivable would be after you sell the team. Is that accurate?
    A: We will not be discussing any of our discussions with agents on any player. I'm sure that you can find any kind of comment out there that you want to look for. The bottom line is, we had a deal that we wanted to do and we got it done. If we find another one that we want to do we will get it done.

    Q: Regarding deferring free agent money....
    A: We have our plan, our program, it's moving, it's working well. We signed our first free agent. Very few free agents were signed yesterday. I think only four or five teams were at the plate, we were there I think that speaks for itself.

    Q: What would be your inclination on addressing the receiver position?
    A: Well, that would be Mike and Stud (Scott Studwell) and Paul (Wiggin) and Frank Gilliam and all will come to that. They'll come to those decisions. I really don't know where they're headed. When they do they'll run it by me and see if I've got any objection to it or such, but I really don't know about that.

    Q: Why do you think as an organization you didn't get more out of Randy? Did you speak to him about this also?
    A: No. I'm a trading guy. My whole life since I was 10 years old has been trading things. When is anyone ever satisfied with a trade? The guy that is trading A for B doesn't think that he got enough and the guy that got it thinks he paid too much. You go to the market and you do what you do and then you decide whether you're going to trade or not.

    Q: Why do you think you couldn't get more out of Randy?
    A: Well, that was where the market was.

    Q: As a player, why couldn't you get more out of Randy?
    A: I understand. I just felt like Randy had the ability to score on every play. Was it because we couldn't get the ball to him? Was it because this or that? The bottom line is we had 7 years and we didn't do it. Randy is the kind of guy who I think is a 5 touchdown player in every game.

    Q: You talked about considering replacing Mike during the season. Since you didn't, why did you choose to bring that up now?
    A: That's a very good question. I wanted you to know how strongly I felt in trying to find a way in my mind that it would make sense to keep Randy. That was the extent I was prepared to go.

    Q: If you felt he was a 5 touchdown guy, why wouldn't you change coaches?
    A: Well, because at the end of day I just felt that there were too many intangibles there that I didn't have the answers for and I'd be better to go with the people I think can move me up. I think I have a better chance with Mike and the team than I did with Randy out there on an island by himself.

    Q: With all the room left under the cap, it would seem that there are a lot of moves you could make to improve this team. You talked that you would do whatever it takes...
    A: No, I said that we would do what is in the best interest of the club. That's a judgment factor. We've always done that. We've been fairly good at it and we'll continue to do that.

  5. #5
    cajunvike's Avatar
    cajunvike is offline Jersey Retired
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    Sep 2004

    Brzezinski & Tice speak out about free agency...

    There was one more Q&A that you missed:

    Q: What do you like to do in your spare time, Mr. Combs?

    A: Oh, there's nothing better than blowing a few goats...I especially like to go out to Sconnie and sample their stock...the goats don't mind that much, since they are used to it. :lol:

  6. #6
    Foreman44's Avatar
    Foreman44 is offline Starter
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Brzezinski & Tice speak out about free agency...

    Red: Take a f'in' walk already! Get the hell out of town. Haven't you done enough damage? Shut up and sell the team. We don't care about your logic or lack of it. It's an insult to every Viking fan to hear you discuss anything having to do with this team now. :salute: :angryfire:

  7. #7
    coreyd is offline Coach
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Brzezinski & Tice speak out about free agency...

    The real question should have been....
    Q: Red, there are numourus reports from a lot of sources saying that you have been walking around with your head up your ass. My question do you do it so well?

  8. #8
    Del Rio Guest

    Brzezinski & Tice speak out about free agency...

    Q: As a player, why couldn't you get more out of Randy?
    A: I understand. I just felt like Randy had the ability to score on every play. Was it because we couldn't get the ball to him? Was it because this or that? The bottom line is we had 7 years and we didn't do it. Randy is the kind of guy who I think is a 5 touchdown player in every game.

    Red is a complete moron.


  9. #9
    RK.'s Avatar
    RK. is offline Ring of Fame Rally Cross II Champion
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    New Mexico

    Brzezinski & Tice speak out about free agency...

    Q: Red, you've given very compelling reasons for keeping Randy Moss. I don't know if it's still clear why you got rid of him?
    A: It's one of those things, when your wife finds out she doesn't love you anymore and it's kind of hard to say when that time is going to come, but you've got to split. It was time to make a move. It was time for Randy and it was time for our organization. The timing was right.
    That is the lamest crap I have ever heard in my whole freakin life. What an idiot. :angryfire:

    Just step up @$$hole and tell them you did it for the money. I have to say I am happy for Randy that he has gotten away from this lame ass organization. You read crap like that and you begin to understand why he was frustrated and said and did some of the things he did this last couple of years.


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