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Star-struck Moss excited to be a Patriot

Wide receiver Randy Moss and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick discuss the top story in the NFL: Moss's trade from Oakland to New England.

Randy Moss, a one-time first-round pick, had just been traded – for a fourth-rounder.

But the nine-year veteran sounded like a newly drafted rookie all over again.

"I'm still overwhelmed and, at the same time, kind of star-struck that I am part of this New England Patriots organization," a cheerful Moss told reporters Sunday afternoon.

Rumored to be in the works as far back as a couple of months ago, and again as recently as this Friday, the trade that sent Moss from the Oakland Raiders to New England was, after a whirlwind courtship, finally consummated at the beginning of Day 2 of the 2007 NFL Draft.

During his post-Draft briefing with reporters, head coach Bill Belichick revealed that "over 90 percent" of the talks with Oakland and Moss's representatives took place between midnight and 11 o'clock Sunday morning. It was the first time Belichick had ever had a direct conversation with Moss, and, apparently, it went well.

"Really, I was overwhelmed because I didn't expect to hear from Coach Belichick," Moss continued. "Once we talked and things worked themselves out, I was very overwhelmed. I'm still in shock at the same time and I can't believe I'm a Patriot."

The 30-year-old wide receiver is clearly happy again after two disappointing seasons in Oakland. He said as much in his conference call with the media.

It's also evident in the spring in his step. When asked about his recent 40-yard-dash time, reportedly clocked at 4.29 seconds, he playfully declared, "Let's put it this way…The Moss of old is back."

Belichick used effusive adjectives like "explosive," "dynamic," "smart," "versatile," and "enthusiastic" to describe his newest offensive weapon.

"I think he's a very competitive player, very experienced, is a winner, and I'm glad he's on this team," Belichick concluded.

From a business standpoint, the Patriots front office should be pleased with itself. For the price of a fourth-round pick (No. 110 overall, which they received in a trade with the 49ers on Saturday), the Pats acquired a first-round talent with something to prove.

"What I have done in my nine-year career was just a glimpse of what I can do," Moss opined.

Sublimely gifted athletically, but too often troubled off the field, Moss slipped to the 21st overall pick in the 1998 Draft, where he was taken by Minnesota. After several turbulent years there, he was traded to Oakland in 2005.

Never a perfect fit with the Raiders, Moss is now excited about the opportunity to play for a legitimate Super Bowl contender. And he says the combination of Belichick and two-time Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady is exactly what he needs at this point in his career.

Not surprisingly, Brady was the first Patriots player to speak to Moss, shortly after the trade was made official.

"I've always been a big fan of Tom Brady's," Moss admitted. "I talked to Tom Brady today, just to jump some things off and just let him know how excited I am to play with him and also the other players on this team.

"I think that Coach is going to give me his best as far as getting me prepared weekly and motivate me. I think that he is the kind of coach that can motivate me, and not just me, but the team, to go out there and win. I mean, he has a proven track record, so why not be happy? Why not be excited to come and play for this organization?"

Happy. Excited. Overwhelmed. Star-struck.

Yes, Randy Moss is many things today – including a New England Patriot.

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