Going off what the 14-year veteran has done in training camp – on and off the field – the Niners see Moss as a difference-maker.
“I find myself saying, ‘Wow!’ a couple of times,” star tight end Vernon Davis said. “He’s been in the league, what? Fourteen years? Yet he can still do some of the things he’s done in the past.”
“I watched him on film the other day, then I tapped Delanie [Walker, another tight end] and said, ‘Man, he’s moving.’ He ran a ‘go’ route, and he left the corner behind. I looked at Delanie and said, ‘Wow, he’s moving. I can’t believe he can still run.’
“But he runs well. You can tell he’s getting older and that he doesn’t have some of the attributes he did when he was younger. But he can still get it done.”
Moss, apparently, is driving by one thing.
“All he wants,” one GM told cbssports.com, “is a ring. The guy loves the game and wants a Super Bowl ring.”
He is on a squad that could do just that. The 49ers had one of the top defenses last year and every starter from that unit remains on the team. And they bolster their offensive skill-position players. San Francisco signed Moss for one year at $2.5 million, not knowing what to expect from the future Hall of Famer.
But Moss has been the ideal teammate – so far. He has been among the first to arrive to team meetings and practice. He shares his knowledge with younger teammates.
“Randy can still stretch the defense,” linebacker Patrick Willis said. “He can still create a mindset with a defense where it’s ‘OK, where’s Randy? We have to know where Randy is at all times.’ And that’s going to allow other guys to be able to be free.”
“He’s going to be an asset,” said quarterback Alex Smith. “For a guy his size to play the ball in the air the way he does and to run like he does is a unique ability. Anytime you get in the red zone, if you want to load the box and play one-on-one with him that’s a gamble — and that makes him a real threat.
“Second, I just think the attitude and the professionalism he’s brought to the receiving corps is going to do nothing but contribute to us. The guy’s been in a lot of offenses and won a lot of games. I’ve learned a lot from him. He’s a great communicator as a receiver, and that’s good for our receivers to see.”