On Monday, SiriusXM NFL Radio’s Rich Gannon relayed a conversation he had with 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh about Randy Moss. Gannon talked about conversations he has had with Harbaugh during the offseason and how the coach is really impressed with Moss and called him “our best receiver right now.” Gannon did not say when the conversations with Harbaugh took place.
Niner fans have grown accustom to Harbaugh lavishing praise on his players, even when it has been over-the-top. For an example look at Harbaugh’s comments about Michael Crabtree back in May describing the receiver as having the “best hands I’ve ever seen.” When it comes to the praise Harbaugh has for Moss, this time around it is different. For starters, Harbaugh is not saying this in front of the media but we are hearing this from a former player of Harbaugh’s. Gannon and Harbaugh have a close relationship dating back to 2002. In that year Harbaugh received his first coaching job in the NFL as an offensive assistant with the Raiders, which was also the same season Gannon won the MVP award.
When you are relaying conservations you had with someone in the past, there might be exaggerations from what was talked about. However, unless Harbaugh comes out disputing what Gannon said, I highly doubt he will, then Niner fans can believe what was said. Another reason for believing what Gannon said is by reading all the quotes from 49ers coaches and players which have been nothing but praise for Moss during the offseason workouts.
The most important thing to take away from what Gannon said was not just Harbaugh describing Moss as “our best receiver right now,” but the reason behind him saying this. In the audio, which you can listen to here, Gannon goes on to talk about the meeting Moss had with Harbaugh before he signed his one-year contract in May:
At the end of the meeting, Randy turned to Jim Harbaugh and said, ‘Coach, what do you want me to do, what can I do for you?’ And Jim looked at him and said, ‘For starters I’d like you to sit in the front row of my meetings.’
He said by doing that it’s brought guys like Crabtree, who’d hang out in the back, and some of these other young guys, now they’re sitting up front with Randy Moss. They don’t have the hoodies on anymore. They’re alert. They’re paying attention. Randy’s taking notes. Every meeting that coach has had, Randy Moss has been sitting in the front row.
Randy is trying to do the right thing. Randy is trying to be a leader. He’s trying to set a good example for these young players. It gets back to what the expectations are. Jim Harbaugh doesn’t have a ton of rules, but what the expectations are for Randy. ‘We can get you back to where you were a couple years ago. You can be a huge addition for our offense. You can help us in the vertical passing game. But here’s what you have to do.’
So far Randy Moss has bought in.
Listening to Gannon say Moss is showing leadership at team meetings by sitting in the front row and taking notes is fantastic and it is going to help all of the receivers. Most importantly, it is helping Crabtree who is buying into becoming a better player thanks to the examples of Moss. And all of this coming from a wide receiver who last played in the NFL in 2010, with three different teams, and who retired for the 2011 season because no team wanted to deal with his antics. Moss still needs to prove he can be productive on the field and be a starter for the 49ers. With what he has shown at offseason workouts and the examples he is setting for the team, the 49ers might finally again be in good hands at wide receiver. Pun intended.