Moss, who will return to the NFL after sitting out the 2011 season, said he has gotten “a bad rap” especially after playing for three teams in a nomadic 2010 season, but wanted to play again because he can’t get the game out of his system.
“Well, the thing about me being here is they've done their research on me. And I think when it comes to the world-wide sports media, I've gotten a bad rap,” Moss said (via CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco. “They've done their homework on me or they wouldn't have brought me in here.
“I really don’t want to get into that [his reputation and bad rap] because that’s not what I’m here for. I think that one thing I’d like the sports world to understand is the love and the passion I have for the game of football. I think every player wants to win and every organization wants to win.”
Moss, 35, said he’d retired because of family reasons and that those are now behind him. He impressed the New Orleans Saints in a workout last week and caught passes from 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh on Monday. With free agency opening at 4 p.m. EDT today, the Niners wasted no time in adding the tall wide receiver who has caught passes for nearly 15,000 yards and scored 153 touchdowns.
“I’m ready to go,” Moss said. “I think you can hear from my last workout with the Saints and here today with the 49ers, I’m ready to get back into the game of football. I think I can still play at a high level. So I look forward to learning the offense and getting with the group of guys in the locker room and learning what my role is going to be on this team. Like I said, I accept the challenge, and I’m ready to bring the fans out of their seats.”
It will be interesting to see how he meshes with Harbaugh, who brings a player’s intensity to the job of coach. Bill Belichick and Moss co-existed from 2007-10, but Belichick is the master of the icy glare. Moss and Harbaugh got a chance to interact Monday, with Harbaugh, a former quarterback, passing to Moss. Asked about how much Harbaugh still had, Moss tweaked his new coach.
“Yes, he can still bring it at his old age ,” Moss said. “I don’t know, he’s probably sitting there with an ice pack or something on his shoulder right now, but, yeah, he can still wing it.”
This could be a great addition, just what the Niners’ passing game needs, but it’s definitely going to be fascinating to see him interact with Harbaugh and with quarterback Alex Smith. (Smith still has not signed a contract, with free agency opening at 4 p.m. EDT.)
“I'm ready just to give back anything I have; my work ethic, my knowledge for the game and all the above,” Moss said of the 49ers’ wide receivers (via Shutdown Corner’s Doug Farrar). “I'm looking forward to going out here and working with these young guys and coaches included.
“I don't want to let them down. I just want to come and get back to what I do, and that's getting out there playing football and stretching the field.”
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