Following Wednesday's Randy Moss trade to the Vikings, stories began to leak about possible disruptions caused by the receiver. He supposedly had an "outburst" with quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien during halftime of the Dolphins game. And then on the plane ride home, he reportedly ignored Bill Belichick.
Thursday morning, Belichick called a press conference to address those rumors. Considering the coach was not originally scheduled to meet with the media, this was essentially Belichick wanting to put to rest any talk that Moss was a disruption or distraction off the field. The Herald's Ian Rapoport described it as such: "Belichick is straight ripping reports of Moss being a problem."
Indeed, the coach did not mince his words.
"Absolutely not true. I didn't talk to Randy on the plane. I just said, there is no incident, I've never had one with Randy. Never. Not in four years."
While he didn't specifically address the rumored dust-up in Miami, he made a point to say that he's never had a problem with Moss.
"There was never any incident or discipline problem with Randy," Belichick said. "There never has been one with me in four years. And it certainly wasn't about contract and money. I think Randy showed the first year he was here what that was all about, he re-did his contract and made the whole deal work. I think you can eliminate those two things."
Here's complete opening statement from Belichick (emphasis added):
"I thought I would try to shed a little light on the trade with Randy. I'm sure I'm not going to be able to answer all the questions that you have. I'd just say that Randy was really a pleasure to coach. I enjoyed having him on our team. He made a lot of contributions to this football team. When I spoke with Randy yesterday morning, the conversations were consistent with what they've been for the last four years - honest, open, very forthright. We talked about a lot of things that I'll keep between Randy and myself. In the end, it was a difficult decision, but one that I feel is in the best interest of the football team.
"Our team, organizationally, we've had conversations and obviously are comfortable with the trade. We wish Randy the absolute best. He's been a player I've had a good relationship with. He's very honest, when I've asked him questions about football and personnel and things like that. He's been very helpful to me personally. He's been very professional and I think a good teammate and a good contributing member of this team.
"But in the end, that was the decision. I have confidence in our players, that if they continue to work hard and improve that we'll be competitive and be able to win games. That's what we're here to do - win games. We've won more games than any other team in the last decade. Hopefully we'll continue to win them going forward. That's what we're here for."
This was clearly a time for Belichick to fire back at all the doubters and negative reports that came out on Wednesday following the trade.
Oh, and when asked if Tom Brady had any say in the this move, Belichick responded: "Tom doesn't make personnel decisions."