On Monday we passed along a quote from the Detroit News in which Lions defensive back Chris Houston referred to 49ers receiver Randy Moss as a “possession receiver.” The Detroit News reporter who got the quote from Houston wrote that “Chris Houston talked a little smack about Randy Moss,” but Houston says he did nothing of the kind.
Houston took to Twitter to give his version of the comments he made about Moss, saying that his “possession receiver” quote was actually a compliment in context: Houston was saying that Moss can do everything, including both stretching the field as a deep threat and moving the chains as a possession receiver, and that the Lions’ best chance to contain Moss would be to take away the deep threat and force him to be a possession receiver.
“Media sure do change your words to make a game and sale tickets,” Houston wrote. “No way I could talk negative about Moss he’s a legend HOF WR. . . . I said moss can take the top off of defenses and he can be a possession WR to move the chains simple and plain. How did they twist my words?”
The transcript of Houston’s comments at MLive.com seems to back up his explanation: He doesn’t seem to be “talking smack” and saying Moss is only a possession receiver, he seems to be saying he’ll have his hands full when he’s covering Moss and will try to force Moss to be a possession receiver.
Josh Katzenstein, the Detroit News reporter who initially tweeted the alleged smack talk, has now tweeted an apology, saying he thought Houston said Moss “can’t still take the top off” an opposing defense, when Houston actually said Moss “can still take the top off.”
“Apologies to @Chris23Houston. An honest case of mishearing ‘can’t’ instead of ‘can.’ Didn’t realize my tweets would be used for nat’l story,” Katzenstein wrote.
And so if Jim Harbaugh thought he had some bulletin-board material this week, he’ll have to look elsewhere. Houston showed nothing but respect for Moss.