On an otherwise slow news day, San Mercury News writer Cam Inman posted an article regarding some comments Rich Gannon made on SiriusXM Radio earlier today. You can listen to an MP3 of Rich Gannon discussing comments from Jim Harbaugh regarding Randy Moss. After the jump, I've posted a transcript of the 2:07 audio. I don't know exactly how long ago these comments took place.
According to Gannon, he recently had a chance to talk to Jim Harbaugh, and they took some time to chat about Randy Moss. In the 3+ months Moss has been with the team, his only interview came during the conference call after he signed with the team. Gannon's comments gave us a little more insight into what has gone down with Randy Moss in the months since he signed with the 49ers.
The most intriguing part is the ways in which he has "bought in" to what Coach Harbaugh is preaching. According to Gannon, Randy Moss asked Coach Harbaugh what he needed from him, and that led to Harbaugh asking Moss to sit in the front of the class during the classroom portion of offseason activities. Moss is one of the most accomplished receivers in NFL history, so it would seem Coach Harbaugh was hoping such leadership by example would provide a boon for the rest of the team.
Gannon said that Harbaugh mentioned this brought some of the other young receivers out from the back of the classroom. Based on all the discussion surrounding the team's offseason activities, it sounds like Michael Crabtree has taken to Randy Moss. Coach Harbaugh pointed to both of them as having A++ offseasons, which would hopefully bode well for the offense in the coming season.
The two big questions for many fans with Moss is 1) Does he still have "it? and 2) How long will he buy in with the 49ers. For the purposes of offseason workouts, Moss appears to still have something resembling "it." We won't know for sure until exhibition and regular season action gets here, but all things considered, the signing is off to a good start for now.
As for the second question, I don't really know what to expect. He is "buying in" at this point and seems to understand the situation he is in with the 49ers. Hopefully that is all that matters and there are no problems for any parties involved. Whether that will happen or not remains to be seen. It's safe to say this will be an interesting story to follow all year long.
Rich Gannon's Comments
Let me share a little story with you that Jim Harbaugh told me. This, I think, is really exciting if you're a Niners fan. He said, when he first sat down with Randy, and talked about his past, talked about the time in Oakland, talked about why things didn't work out there, talked about what happened at the end in New England, and of course going to Minnesota and Tennessee. He really just laid it on the line, what the expectations were, how they practiced, how they prepare, what the meetings are going to be like, and really what they were expecting from Randy.
And this offseason he's been incredible. He said, "he's our best receiver right now." How about that? "He's our best receiver." And basically 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,"You know what, for starters, I'd like you to sit in the front row of my meetings" ...
And he said, that by doing that, it's brought guys like Crabtree who would hang out in the back, and other young guys. Now they're sitting up front with Randy Moss. They don't have the hoodies on any more. They're alert, they're paying attention. Randy's taking notes. And so, he said he asked him in the beginning, every meeting that Coach has had, Randy Moss has been sitting in the front row. Randy is trying to do the right thing. Randy's trying to be a leader, he's trying to set a good example for these young players.
I think it gets back to what the expectations are. I think, you know, Jim Harbaugh, not a ton of rules, but what the expectations are for a pro like Randy. "Hey, I'm hear to help you. We can get you back to playing like you did 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." It's almost a contract. And I'm not talking about the ones on paper where you sign your contract in terms of dollars and the salary. This is a contract between two people. Here's what I'm gonna do for you, here's what you're gonna do for me. And so far, Randy has bought in.