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Randy Moss Ready for Familiar Foe

Posted by Alex Espinoza on December 12, 2012 – 6:01 PM

Wearing his blue and white No. 81 jersey, Randy Moss rewrote the NFL record books with Tom Brady from 2007-2010. On Sunday, Moss will return to Foxboro, Mass., wearing No. 84 in the white and red threads of the 49ers, trying to help San Francisco secure its second straight playoff berth.

Since Moss left New England, Brady and company have maintained their status as one of the most prolific offenses in NFL history. The Patriots enter Sunday’s contest averaging 36.3 points per game, a shade off the NFL-record pace they set in 2007, when Moss hauled in 23 touchdown catches to help the Patriots score 36.8 points per contest.

“It’s going to be a hard-fought game coming from the offensive side because of their ability to put points up,” Moss said. “Hopefully we can complement our defense.”

Moss’ resume was already impressive by the time he latched on with New England, but working with Brady and coach Bill Belichick helped the future Hall of Famer achieve new heights. From watching recent tape this week, Belichick said Moss still looks like a dangerous threat, while adding Moss is the “greatest deep-ball receiver that’s ever played.”

“He’s an explosive, dynamic player that’s probably the smartest receiver I’ve ever coached,” Belichick said in a conference call Wednesday. “I know he absolutely knows what he’s doing, knows what the defense is doing and knows how to attack the defense.”

Likewise, Moss had praise for Belichick for helping his development as a football player.

“Before I got to New England, I thought I knew a lot about football,” Moss said. “But I think he taught me a lot from A to Z and I still carry it to this day. … The complements are good and I respect coach Belichick and that organization still to this day.”

Moss is fully focused on his role with the 49ers now, one which increased last week in the absence of receiver Mario Manningham.

The veteran leadership of Moss has been well-documented throughout the season, but he’s taken on an even bigger role in recent weeks with second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is 3-1 as a starter since taking over for Alex Smith. Moss has been seen and heard talking to Kaepernick on the sidelines during games, giving words of encouragement to the young, talented signal-caller.

“Kap’s been able to come in and lead us as a whole unit,” Moss said. “Any time a guy can come in and lead like that – and I don’t mean verbally, I think leading by example is what we as football players look for in a player, especially a quarterback. I really just compliment his leadership and going out there and leading our offense up and down the field.”

Despite their past history, don’t expect Moss or Belichick to go easy on one another Sunday night. The Patriots (10-3), who have lost their three contests by a combined four points this season, have already wrapped up the AFC East but both teams are jockeying for playoff byes in January.

True to Jim Harbaugh’s message of trying to get one mile an hour faster every day, cornerback Carlos Rogers said the 49ers might try to pick Moss’ brain for insight into the New England offense. Listening to Moss, he’s not sure how much he could ultimately help.

“Everybody knows Bill Belichick is a so-called genius and he changes it up every week,” Moss said. “There’s not really much input I can give for the week. I just said, ‘Have your head on a swivel and be ready for anything.’”

Game Pass: San Francisco 49ers

Posted in Announcements | 13 Comments »

13 Responses to “Randy Moss Ready for Familiar Foe”

  1. By 1eyedIdaho on Dec 12, 2012 | Reply

    Glad they got rid of the only trash talker we had on the team. These type of match ups show professionalism.

  2. By TheGhostofOak on Dec 12, 2012 | Reply

    Dear 49ers.com,

    Please let Greg Roman know that Moss signed with the Niners for the 2012 season.


    Desperate for Offense

  3. By WINS 20 OF 26 UNDER JH...GETS BENCHED on Dec 12, 2012 | Reply

    Dear Jim Haarbaugh,

    Please start Alex Smith against the Pats and for the rest of the season if u plan on winning a super bowl this year. Dont get me wrong Kaepernick IS good he WILL be a beast, but not this year, in years to come YES!,, but if the 49er’s organization is planning on winning a super bowl THIS year, they need to start the QuarterBack with the most experience in the NFL/and in this type of offense, and that’s The Man Alex Smith

  4. By Larry Lawson on Dec 13, 2012 | Reply

    If Brady had not been lost for the season, with a knee injury in the first game of 2008, Moss would have had another record breaking season. It is one of those “What If” moments in sports.

  5. By Humble Gold on Dec 13, 2012 | Reply

    A 49er Win over New England Pats on Sunday night, will probably result in a Super Bowl appearance next year. A loss will be a complete set-back, etc..

  6. By phatalerror on Dec 13, 2012 | Reply

    Alex Smith’s Rating When Targeting Randy Moss: 117.7
    Colin Kaepernick’s Rating When Targeting Randy Moss: 67.4

    A fifty point difference between the two was well beyond what I expected, but the fact that Alex Smith’s numbers are superior to Kaepernick’s at every measure of the rating except interceptions (which will come with targets) was not a surprise. Even if you give Kaepernick Moss’ TD drop from week 14 (and that without charging Kaepernick with the interception that would have resulted except for a smart no-call offensive interference by Moss to bail him out), his rating would still just be 105.7.

    Smith’s completion percentage was better, his yards per attempt was better, and his TD completion rate was better. When throwing to Randy Moss, the 49ers’ offense under Smith has been more explosive.

    One more thing: In five weeks of play, Kaepernick has targeted Moss 16 times compared with 20 by Smith over eight weeks. So please stop this nonsense about asking Greg Roman to ‘open up the offense under Kaepernick’. He already has. Kaepernick simply isn’t experienced enough to know what to do with Moss except to throw to him against broken coverage.

  7. By RED N GOLD on Dec 13, 2012 | Reply

    Dear Greg Roman,

    I just figured out a new scientific formula that can dramatically help the offense score.

    You take the element freak of nature called Moss, combine it with vertical route and pigskin. All of these combined will be called a touchdown. This is a highly dangerous fuse. Use with Kaepernick and keep out of reach of corners(db’s)

  8. By Hermie on Dec 13, 2012 | Reply

    Phalacio has it all figured out. We have us a new 11Yrs that changed stripes. He knows more than Harbaugh, Roman, Cryst, Christianson, and Evero put together. I guess in your eyes, the coaches tanked the season for us by playing someone they really feel will give us lesser odds of winning. Do you really think they would be playing Kaepernick if they felt he gives them lower odds of winning it all???

    C’mon Man!!!

  9. By 49thsamurai on Dec 13, 2012 | Reply

    Moss had a TD last week if it wasn’t for the hold that never got called. And who got it to him more on point than Smith could ever hope to throw? Please Niner fans enough with the Alex Smith nonsense. He was a good guy and a good QB. Kaepernick is our Starter and he is doing well. Good luck this weekend to my Niners can’t wait for the best game of the year.

  10. By phatalerror on Dec 13, 2012 | Reply

    I can only call it as I see it. Harbaugh’s decision would have to be based on the following: Alex’s future salary cap hit vs. Colin’s, Alex’s present and projected value vs. Colin’s, and Alex’s fit in the current system vs. Colin’s. When I’m playing Madden, I go with Kaepernick. In real life, Alex seems the obvious choice for a 2012 Super Bowl run.

    There is no question that the 49ers’ offensive line doesn’t protect well on dropbacks. The possibilities exist that Harbaugh is keeping the physically more vulnerable Alex aside during the growing pains of the offensive line in order to protect him, or that he is exposing Colin to quality snaps so that in the event of an injury to Alex during the playoffs (a start he unquestionably earned back in Training Camp and through the first nine games of the season), Colin won’t be completely inexperienced.

    If the foregoing has been Harbaugh’s plan, I’m 100% in favor of that. Certainly he could not say that he’s starting his number two quarterback for the rest of the season because that would be locker room fodder for the other teams’ defenses. The problem is that while he is noted for effusive praise toward his players even when not entirely warranted, he has been especially so toward Colin when it was even less warranted. Having to back off from his “hot hand” comments have further muddied that possibility.

  11. By phatalerror on Dec 13, 2012 | Reply

    Side note: I dislike having to resort to creative phrases in substitution for the English word signifying “a thrown football” and all of its conjugations for the sake of getting around a forum filter.

  12. By Ojay on Dec 13, 2012 | Reply

    I’m a die hard fan also and don’t nobody cares about these blogs that we are writing. Let the coaches coach and let the players play, because that is what they get paid to do. Everybody is trying to be a analyst, but we don’t get paid for that either, so just have faith in the Niners and we will win and shock the world again! Luv y’all GO NINERS DEFENSE AND OFFENSE!

  13. By Jeff on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    Why are my fellow 49er fans fighting? Bottom line is we are 49er fans and we have 2 good QB’s on our roster. We should pull for and hope the best of whoever is starting that day or night. Let the Raider nation fight each other. Us as 49er fans we are bigger than that. 49er Nation for life!!!!!!

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