49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

March 12, 2012
Moss says he's misunderstood, still burns for the game


How will Randy Moss, who has a reputation for disruptive and selfish behavior, function in a locker room praised - cherished, even -- by coaches and teammates alike last year for its cohesion and selflessness? It's a question a lot of 49ers have right now and one that was posed to Moss tonight. His answer: Everything will be just fine.

"When it comes to world wide sports media, you know, I've gotten a bad rap," Moss said on a conference call just minutes after he signed a one-year deal. "They've done their homework on me or they wouldn't have brought me in here. ... One thing I would like the sports world to understand is the love and passion I have for football."

Moss said he got a good vibe from the 49ers as soon as they picked him up from the airport Sunday night. He had a physical this morning, then ran pass patterns for Jim Harbaugh and coaches - Harbaugh was the quarterback - then spent the afternoon meeting with team officials.

Associated Press reporter Janie McCauley asked Moss whether Harbaugh, who last played in the NFL in 2001, could still fire the football. "That's funny you should ask that, sweetheart," Moss said. "Because he can still bring it at his old age. I don't know if he's sitting there with an ice pack on his shoulder right now. But he can still wing it."

Moss said he stepped away from the game last year for personal reason, and he never contemplated returning last season even though some teams - the 49ers, especially - were in need of receivers during the playoffs. But he said on more than one occasion that he still has a hunger and love for the game.

"You can hear from my last workout with the Saints (last week) and here today with the 49ers, I'm ready to get back into the game of football," he said. "I can still play at a high level. I look forward to learning the offense. I'm ready to bring the fans out of their seats."

Moss said he doesn't know quarterback Alex Smith, and he's not familiar with the group of young wideouts he will be a part of. Moss becomes the fourth wideout signed for next season, joining Michael Crabtree, Kyle Williams and Joe Hastings.

"I'm ready just to give back anything I have, my knowledge and my work ethic," he said. "I'm looking forward to working with these young guys, coaches included."

The coach that stood out to him - that stands out to everyone - today was Harbaugh. "Harbaugh is a really young and enthusiastic coach, and I love his enthusiasm," Moss said.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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