ALAMEDA, Calif. (Nov. 16, 2005) -- Randy Moss wants no part of playing alongside Terrell Owens.
Nor does he see any similarity between himself and Owens.
In his first interview in more than two months, Moss addressed several topics with ESPN for a program scheduled to air in full Nov. 20.
"No, I'm not here," Moss said when asked how he would respond if Owens were to come to Oakland.
"I mean, T.O. could be good here with the Raiders but I don't think with his baggage and everything he's been through, and my baggage and what I've been through, I don't think that would work. As far as being compared to the league and myself, I mean they don't talk to me, I don't talk to them, so we don't even have a relationship. No communication."
Moss hasn't spoken to the local media since the Raiders' Sept. 8 season opener at New England despite numerous requests. Moss vowed from early in training camp to go about his job with little fanfare this season, minding his own business as he makes a fresh start following seven rocky seasons with Minnesota.
His teammates have supported Moss, saying he is a strong leader in the locker room and on the field. But the Raiders aren't winning with him -- Oakland is 3-6 heading into the team's game at Washington. Moss participated in only part of the Nov. 16 afternoon practice.
Moss has kept a low profile, constantly wearing giant headphones or chattering away on his cell phone. He has five touchdowns this season and caught a 29-yard TD pass from Kerry Collins in the 31-17 loss to Denver. Moss' six receptions in the game were his most catches since joining the Raiders in March.
In the ESPN interview, Moss seemed to think hard when asked about his relationship with coach Norv Turner, pausing several seconds before responding. Moss has played a limited role in recent weeks as he recovers from a hard fall against San Diego on Oct. 16, when he bruised his ribs, strained a groin and bruised his pelvic area.
"Um, I think his approach, being an offensive-minded coach, is something that I can accept, I like," Moss said. "I mean, he's the man, uh, and, you know, I'll leave that at that."
Turner started chuckling when asked to respond to Moss' interview, which the coach said "was actually very positive." Turner read the entire transcript, which he said was longer than the version that aired Nov. 15, and spoke to Moss about it Nov. 16.
"Let me wait 15 seconds to answer," Turner joked after practice. "I like the way Randy's approached this season. I like the way he's approached our team, our games. I wish he was 100 percent healthy, because I think he was really off to a great start. He's trying to get everything out of what he's got. He's been a real positive asset to our team. I think he's done a great job of coming in here and fitting in."
Owens was suspended by the Philadelphia Eagles on Nov. 5 and told not to return to the team following a series of incidents, including repeated criticism of quarterback Donovan McNabb and insulting the organization.
Oakland owner Al Davis is all for giving second chances to NFL veterans in spite of their past, so nobody around the Raiders would rule out Owens one day wearing silver and black.
"You know, T.O. is his own player; I'm my own player," Moss said. "We have no similarities whatsoever. I'm a playmaker, he's a playmaker. It's just who makes the most plays is what separates me and him."
Moss also said NFL is taking "the fun away from the game" by restricting how players can celebrate their achievements on the field.
Moss was fined $10,000 for pretending to pull down his pants and moon the Green Bay crowd during Minnesota's playoff win last season and also drew criticism for leaving the field with 2 seconds left in a regular-season loss against Washington.
Other transgressions included bumping a traffic control officer with his car in 2002, verbally abusing corporate sponsors on a team bus in 2001 and squirting an official with a water bottle in 1999, in addition to his infamous "I play when I want to play" comments.
"I mean, how can a guy go out there and really let everything, like I've always said, I like to play, within those white lines, I let myself go," Moss said. "I like to be free. That's why I have my time to just go and just erupt. And with all the rules and the guidelines we've got to follow, man, the league is, they're taking away the fun."