Steussie Criticizes Vikings' Moss

Friday, February 9th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Vikings tackle Todd Steussie says he loves receiver Randy Moss' talent, but not his admitted reluctance to play hard on every play if he's not going to get the ball.

``Absolutely, I have a problem with him on that,'' Steussie told the Star Tribune.

``Randy has pretty much admitted that he takes some plays off,'' Steussie noted in an interview published Thursday. ``And it's true that nothing negative may happen on some of those plays.''

Steussie said Moss does a disservice to the players who can't afford to take a play or two.

``I know Randy is his own man, and he's a great player, but he's going to have to start figuring this stuff out,'' he said.

In an interview published in ESPN magazine last month, Moss admitted he doesn't always give 100 percent.

``It doesn't really bother me when people talk about me taking plays off,'' Moss said in the interview. ``It only bothers me when I'm on the field and I take a play off, and the ball's thrown and I'm not where I should be. Or if (running back) Robert (Smith) comes through there and I'm taking that play off. Only when something bad happens on the field.''

Steussie did not limit his criticism to Moss. Nearly one month after the NFC title game, Steussie is still at a loss to explain the 41-0 pounding the New York Giants inflicted on the Vikings.

``People still see me and ask, 'What happened?' And I don't know. No one thing can explain a game like that. But we obviously did not put our best effort.

``I think that game was over far sooner than it should have been,'' he said. ``And I do think there were some guys who gave up in that game too soon, definitely sooner than they should have. Guys who acted like there was no point in continuing to play.''