NFL roundup: Belichick fires back
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. ó New England coach Bill Belichick fired back at two Carolina defenders who criticized the effort of wide receiver Randy Moss.
Belichick, who rarely rips opponents, said, “My response would be that’s a lot of conversation coming from a team that just lost another game.”
After Moss had just one catch for 16 yards in the Patriots’ 20-10 win over the Panthers, cornerback Chris Gamble and safety Chris Harris said Moss, who had a reputation for going less than full speed with Minnesota and Oakland when those teams struggled, didn’t go all out during the game.”We knew he was going to shut it down,” Gamble told the Boston Globe. “He’d just give up a lot, slow down, he’s not going deep, not trying to run a route. You can tell (by his) body language.”
“That’s what it is with him,” Harris said. “You get physical with him, and I don’t want to say he quits, but he kind of doesn’t run the routes the way they’re supposed to be run. If you get a jam on him, he’ll just ease up.”
Belichick came to the defense of Moss.
“If you watch other teams defend him, watch other teams play against him, they think the same way, other than these two guys from Carolina after they lost another game,” Belichick said. “I guess they don’t think that way, but they haven’t won a lot of games now.”
The Panthers steered clear of the issue.
“Who cares?” Harris said of Belichick’s comments.
Carolina coach John Fox said, “That’s not my job to evaluate (Moss). They won.”
PITTSBURGH ó Troy Polamalu hopes to play at least one more game this season, even though the slumping Steelers have only a slim chance of making the playoffs.
Polamalu has missed eight games and most of two others with a pair of ligament injuries in his left knee.
IRVING, Texas ó Dallas linebacker DeMarcus Ware could play Saturday night, an encouraging sign after a scary headfirst collision that left him sprawled on the field.
PHILADELPHIA ó Wide receiver Kevin Curtis, out since the second week of the season with a knee injury, could return for Sunday’s home game with San Francisco.
Curtis would replace rookie Jeremy Maclin, who reinjured his left foot Sunday and could be out for two weeks or more.
ALAMEDA, Calif. ó If Bruce Gradkowski is unable to start at quarterback for Oakland this week, coach Tom Cable isn’t quite ready to name former starter JaMarcus Russell as his No. 1 against Denver.
Cable said he considered replacing Russell with Charlie Frye in Sunday’s game and did not rule Frye out as an option this week.
HOUSTON ó Texans rookie tight end Anthony Hill has a torn knee ligament and will miss the rest of the season.
Hill, a fourth-round pick from N.C. State, has appeared in five games this season and has one reception for 9 yards. He missed some time early in October when he had the first confirmed case of swine flu in an NFL player this season.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. ó Vince Young has had a variety of tests on his right hamstring, and coach Jeff Fisher calls it a mild strain that will keep him day-to-day.
ST. LOUIS ó Guard Jacob Bell could miss the rest of the season after tearing a hamstring in Sunday’s loss at Tennessee.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. ó Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson will carry the Lombardi Trophy at the Super Bowl again.
The NFL will salute Dawson by having him carry the Vince Lombardi Trophy to midfield and hand it off to commissioner Roger Goodell for the trophy presentation following the Super Bowl. The game is Feb. 7 at Land Shark Stadium in South Florida.
Dawson was the MVP of the 1970 Super Bowl after leading the Chiefs to a 23-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings in New Orleans.