With 49ers wide receiver Randy Moss going up against one of his former employers, the focus this week has been on him because he played four seasons in New England, including a record breaking season in 2007. The insight he will provide the Niners defense with his knowledge of the Patriots offense will help out, but you know he also wants to have a huge game to show everyone in New England he is still a threat at receiver. In anticipation of the game Moss spoke with the media after Wednesday’s practice, something he has rarely done this season.
There are multiple reasons why Moss has not talked to the media this season. Top among them is the receiver not wanting to be a distraction for the 49ers while he is trying to make a comeback in the NFL this season. In other words, he is putting the team first and himself second. Plus, after years of a tumultuous relationship with the media, I don’t think he has a positive view of them.
With a game coming up in New England even Moss could not hold back from talking with the media, although it lasted all of about five minutes. He had a lot to say about the Patriots, but what stood out the most were his thoughts on Colin Kaepernick,
I think his ability to be able to come off the bench and lead a team. I think that’s most important because, no disrespect to Alex (Smith), I think most backup quarterbacks as young as he is are waiting in the shadows just kind of like Aaron Rodgers was with Brett Favre. And I’m not comparing Alex and Brett, or Aaron Rodgers and Kap, but I think most second-year quarterbacks are just waiting in the shadow and just waiting to get their shot. I think Kap’s been able to come in and just lead us as a whole unit. Anytime a guy can come in and lead like that, and I don’t mean verbally, but leading by example is what we as football players look for in a player. Especially in a quarterback. So I really just compliment his leadership and going out there and leading our offense up and down the field.
Here is the full transcript from Moss’ interview:
Bill Belichick said you were the best deep-ball receiver and smartest wide receiver he ever coached. What did you get from Bill Belichick?
RM: Well, I’ve learned a lot from Bill Belichick. I’ve said time and time again, before I got to New England, I thought I knew a lot about football. But I think he taught me a lot from A to Z. I still carry it to this day. The compliments are good and I respect coach Belichick and that organization still to this day. Hopefully, we’ll have a good game coming up Sunday night. I look forward to the game and hope the fans do, too.
Are there similarities to the Patriots and 49ers in how they are run? Discipline? Things like that.
RM: I don’t really want to get into all that because whatever I say is going to be the wrong thing to say. So, basically, I’ll leave it at, I’ve still got love and respect for the New England Patriots and everything that we did as a team up there. But now I’m a 49er so, like I said, hopefully we go up there Sunday night and we give it a good game.
That offense has been so pass-oriented. This one has been kind of run-based. What can you take from this offense?
Moss: One thing we know is that it’s going to be a hard-fought game coming from the offensive side because of their ability to put points up. So, hopefully, we can complement our defense. Not telling what’s going to happen, but, like I said, we’ve got to play complementary football. I think if we do that and try not to let Tom and their offense run the score up on us, I think it will be a good game. Like I said, man, we’re just coming in. We’re working each and every day and I look forward to the matchup Sunday night.
It looks like you have a good rapport with Colin Kaepernick, on and off the field. What impresses you most about him?
Moss: I think his ability to be able to come off the bench and lead a team. I think that’s most important because, no disrespect to Alex (Smith), I think most backup quarterbacks as young as he is are waiting in the shadows just kind of like Aaron Rodgers was with Brett Favre. And I’m not comparing Alex and Brett, or Aaron Rodgers and Kap, but I think most second-year quarterbacks are just waiting in the shadow and just waiting to get their shot. I think Kap’s been able to come in and just lead us as a whole unit. Anytime a guy can come in and lead like that, and I don’t mean verbally, but leading by example is what we us as football players look for in a player. Especially in a quarterback. So I really just compliment his leadership and going out there and leading our offense up and down the field.
Can you do anything to help the defense prepare for the Patriots?
Moss: I think that New England has, you know switching offensive coordinators, I don’t know … everybody knows that Bill Belichick is a so-called genius. He changes it up every week so there’s not really much input that I can give for the week. I just said, you know, have your head on swivel and be ready for anything because of the way they’re playing, just coming off a Monday night game against the so-called best team in the league in the Houston Texans, They put 40-something points up and really embarrassed them, so I don’t think we want to be that team and get embarrassed on national television. So, like I said, hopefully we come prepared and ready to play a good game.
What happened when you injured your finger (against the Bears)?
Moss: Man, (Kaepernick) dislocated my finger. Really, the play was designed for the ball to be thrown in the first hole and I think I got to the second hole, or we call it windows as wide receivers. And when he found me in the second hold, it was really too late to throw it, but he threw it anyway, so he had to put one of those Randy Johnson fastballs on me and when it hit my finger, I felt my finger pop and I dislocated it. I had to come back to the sideline and the doctor had to pop it back in. It hurt for about a week and, like I said, throughout the game it hurts, but that’s nothing to cry about over a sore finger. I could see if it was a knee or an ankle or shoulder or something like that, but a finger? Everybody’s fingers hurt. This time of year everything hurts on everybody, so there’s no need or no room to be crying. I think it’s just time for us to just try to make this playoff push and it starts in Foxborough Sunday night.
Has that happened before?
Moss: I try to take pride in taking care of my body and finessing the balls as the come to me, but Kap throws hard. He’s very strong, he works out every day and I didn’t really say anything to him besides just keep doing what he’s doing. My finger will heal up. It hurt, it hurt, it really did. Tried not to show any tears, I don’t know if they caught me crying or not, but it did hurt. Like I said, man, this is not the time of year to be crying because it’s late in the season and, like I said, everybody’s hurt, everybody’s ailing, everybody’s feeling a little bit of pain and some go home and some keep moving and we want to be the team that keeps moving.