Words of wisdom from Moss to Burleson..
Very interesting article from startribune.com. Its like the passing of the torch From Moss to Burleson.
article from startribune.com
Last update: July 28, 2005 at 6:13 PM
Burleson heeds Moss' advice
Jim Souhan, Star Tribune
July 29, 2005 JIMS0729
Saturday morning, Nate Burleson will jog onto the practice fields in Mankato not as a quality role player or aspiring youngster, but as The Man Who Would Replace Randy Moss.
So, a few weeks ago, Burleson sought advice on how to handle the burden of becoming the Vikings first No. 1 receiver in the wake of the franchise-altering Moss trade.
How do you replace Randy?
That's what Burleson asked Randy.
"We had dinner, and he was the same Randy as before," Burleson said. "Big brother, with his little brother, dropping knowledge on me, allowing me to soak up the things he picked up along the way.
"He spoke to me not as a teammate, but as a human being. He enlightened me."
Many of us know Moss as the guy who squirted officials with water bottles, took plays off, said stupid things, and mooned entire states.
Burleson knows Moss as a mentor. And says that's a good thing.
So when Moss held his fishing tournament, he invited Burleson to participate, then to dinner.
They dined at Bellanotte. Moss ate steak. Burleson chose gumbo. And what is Moss, after all, other than an jumbled stew of talent, ambition, contrariness and -- according to Burleson -- wisdom.
"He told me, 'Continue to play the game for what it is,' " Burleson said Thursday. "He said, 'You've got to love the game, and do not allow anything or anyone to decrease the value of the game. Look at it as a game you were playing when you were little, that you played until the streetlights came on.' "
Some of us would be so cynical to note that he left the field well before the lights came on at FedEx Field. There are those in the Vikings organization who will never forgive Moss for walking off that field, and that's the camp in which I pitch my tent.
Yet you can find players who speak no ill of Moss, whatever his antics, and Burleson sounds as if he belongs to that group.
"I will always consider Randy a friend," Burleson said. "Football's just a part of my life, it's not who I am. And you encounter different people, and I don't believe that's by chance. Outside the game of football, after we're both done catching passes and scoring touchdowns, we'll hopefully build on our friendship.
"He's been great for me. I'm not just speaking on his ability to attract attention on the field, which allowed me to do what I've been able to do. He was able to pass on wisdom from people like Cris Carter and Dennis Green. He was able to teach me things that I wouldn't get from coaches, or watching films, just tricks of the trade. He wasn't selfish."
As if to offer his own counterpoint, Burleson, at another juncture of the interview, said this Vikings team will be "tighter in terms of chemistry now."
Burleson, by all indications, is the opposite of Moss as a player.
He lacks Moss' otherworldly athletic ability, but is more reliable, a better and tougher runner after the catch, and, from an outsiders' perspective, a friendlier, humbler guy.
In short, the two are not comparable, and yet the Moss trade will lead to direct comparisons. Burleson won't need to match Moss' raw stats -- because that would be impossible -- but will be asked to play a major role in a more balanced attack.
Burleson does not lack confidence in himself, or his offense. "Teams are going to be quite shocked," he said, "when we start unloading all of our ammunition."
Does Burleson agree with quarterback Daunte Culpepper, who says this team's goal should be a Super Bowl victory? "Yeah," he said. "I don't think there's time for selling yourself short. We have enough talent, with the core we have, and enough experience ...
"Hey, this town has seen its share of disappointing years, so we're looking toward the ultimate goal. We're not great yet, and we'll have our ups and downs, but we have the ability to do something special.
"So why not embrace that and use it to drive us toward our goal, which is to be the world champions?"
Then again, Burleson doesn't want the spotlight to sear his skin. "There will be a few more fans with my jersey on in the stands, calling my name," Burleson said. "But I hope the fans remember that this team spent a first-round draft pick on Troy Williamson, too."
Jim Souhan can be heard on Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon on KSTP AM-1500. He is at [email protected]
Burleson is a real class act!
Oh and if this has already been posted then close it! Thanks!