ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -- As reporters gathered around cornerback Nate Clements after practice Wednesday, teammate Antoine Winfield piped up and said: "Nate, what are you going to say about Randy Moss this time?"
Not much, apparently.
Clements, the Buffalo Bills' emerging defensive star, was maintaining a more respectful tone as he prepared to face Moss, the Vikings' marquee receiver, in a game at Minnesota on Sunday.
"Oh, Randy Moss is definitely among the top receivers in the league," Clements said. "And like my father said, 'When you go up against a No. 1, it's your time to shine.' And I'm going to be up for that come this weekend."
That's a far cry from last month when, a week before the Bills met Minnesota in a preseason game, Clements boldly said: "I'm still waiting for the Vikings game to go against Randy Moss to see what all the hooting and hollering is all about."
Wednesday, Clements said those comments were blown out of proportion.
"I wasn't trying to pump everyone one up or get under their skin," Clements said. "I was just making a comment that I'm looking forward to going up against a receiver. It's a challenge and I'm definitely up for the challenge."
Moss might have taken the comments a little more personally, burning Clements and the Bills secondary for four catches and 71 yards receiving in one half of action in Minnesota's 24-21 victory.
Clements wouldn't make any predictions about this weekend, only to say: "The proof will be in the pudding. You walk the walk and you don't worry about the talking."
That's what Clements' teammates prefer to hear. Moss, who reached the 5,000 yards receiving mark faster than any other player, isn't one to shy away from a challenge.
"I can see if it was a guy who wasn't as fast or doesn't make the kind of plays Moss does. But you can't say those things to that guy," Bills receiver Eric Moulds said. "I told (Clements), 'Do your talking on the field.' And I think he will."
Coach Gregg Williams supported a lower-key approach.
"Maybe counsel him to keep his mouth shut," Williams said, smiling, when asked what he planned to do to help Clements cover Moss. "Don't provide him any extra incentive."
Clements, Buffalo's first-round pick in the 2001 draft, is coming off a promising season in which he was credited with 80 tackles and had three interceptions in 11 starts and 16 games.
The Bills enter this season counting on Clements to build off that, creating a solid cornerback tandem with Winfield, considered the team's hardest hitter.
While Clements and Winfield are required to play opponents man-to-man in many instances, the Bills are expected to mix up their attack, providing additional support to contain Moss, with the intent of also keeping mobile quarterback Daunte Culpepper in check.
"Our goal is to make them work and think, 'Who are they bringing this time?"' Bills defensive coordinator Jerry Gray said. "Then, when the ball is snapped, can they protect?"
Winfield, a four-year veteran and never one to make disparaging comments about an opponent, is well aware of Moss' potential.
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