Super Bowl Media Day recap: Randy Moss discusses his role in the 49ers offense

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We break down some of Randy Moss' comments to the media on Super Bowl media day. He discussed his role in the 49ers offense, and how he views himself in the pantheon of wide receivers.

Super Bowl Media Day is officially a wrap, and there are thousands of comments to pour through. There are some interesting nuggets, but it is overshadowed by a host of cliches and answers to the most random questions imaginable. I don't think we got a "What kind of tree would you be?" question, but I'm sure I missed some crazy ones.

Randy Moss had a good-sized crowd for much of his media session, and after a season of keeping mostly away from the media, he had plenty to say on Tuesday. I am seeing mentions that he said he was the greatest receiver in the NFL. I was not there for that, but I am seeing tweets from other media about it. Apparently Marshall Faulk said he felt he was the greatest running back of all time and there's nothing wrong with that.

Personally, I think Randy Moss is in the running for most physically gifted receiver of all time, but Jerry Rice remains the G.O.A.T. At the same time, if a player wants to think they're the greatest, I really don't see the problem. Last year, Joe Flacco talked about how he was an elite quarterback, and people guffawed. Some might view it as disrespecting history, but you have to be confident to be great. I can live with it.

The other interesting comment was about his role as a decoy in the offense. His response:

"I don't like my role; I don't. I like to be out there playing football. One thing that I've always had to really understand was being a decoy. It was put to me, Coach Dennis Green just said, ‘Even though the football is not in your hand, you're still out there dictating how the defense is playing the offense.' It took me awhile to really understand where he was coming from. Later on and now in my career, I understand that my presence out on the field, I don't always have to touch the ball to be able to help the offense score touchdowns. Like I said, I don't really like that, but it's something that I'm used to. I have to grow to understand and grow to like it. I've always been a team player. I've never been about self. Anything that is going to push our team to victory and hopefully win a Super Bowl, I'm willing to do."

Again, I don't think there's really anything wrong with the context of this comment. When you've been at the top of the game, it is not easy accepting some kind of lesser role. He spent most of his career as the best receiver on the field. Now, he is in a drastically different, albeit still important role.

It will be interesting to see what kind of action he gets this Sunday. The Ravens know Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis can both go big. Do they shade over those two and take their chances that Randy can't beat them deep? It's a matchup to pay close attention to on Sunday.

Here is the first half of Moss' media day transcript:

(on if he plans on coming back and playing another season) "I've thought about it. I do want to play another year."

(on what he has said to his teammates regarding their business this week) "I think for us being here, and this is my second trip here, some guys have never experienced the atmosphere of the whole week of the Super Bowl. It's more of a business approach. Early in the week, get your fun out of the way. Whatever partying that you may do, get it out early in the week because I think towards the middle of the week, and the end of the week, it's all preparation. We put a lot of work in last week because we didn't really know what to expect this whole week. It's more just getting the fun out of the way early in the week and starting this evening all the way up to Sunday, it's all business."

(on getting another chance to play in the Super Bowl at the end of his career) "It's actually a dream, really. By me taking a year off and having to work out for almost a whole year, being able to come back and be in the Super Bowl one year later is just a dream. I really didn't expect this. Everybody has their own goals and has their own dreams of what they want to do and what they want to accomplish. For me to be here, I couldn't have told you this back in June or July. It would've been more of a, ‘Keep your fingers crossed. I hope I'm in New Orleans for the Super Bowl in February.' Now that it's here, I just want to make the best of it and take advantage of it and bring a trophy back to San Francisco."

(on what having a Super Bowl championship would mean to him) "I think that what I've accomplished in my professional career and throughout my whole life of playing football, I've really wanted a championship on every level. I've always told myself that I wanted to win a championship on this level. Having a Super Bowl ring, I think my career would be complete."

(on if he came back just to win a Super Bowl) "No, I think the reason I came back was I really wasn't ready to leave the game. I think I told y'all earlier, just going through some family problems with my kids and trying to put them on the same page because football takes a lot of our time up. Sometimes we forget, as parents, about our main objective in life. I think that I keep my family dear to my heart. I really do. I play each and every game. I collect the game check and my family spends it. I think that for me to be able to take a year off; I've said it before that I really did cry, I really did. I love this game of football so much. I don't like everything that comes with it, but going out on the field between the white lines and playing football is something I've always done. I've been doing it since I was six years old. For me to be able to just walk away from the game, knowing that I wasn't ready, mentally or physically, it really hurt me, man. It really depressed me. It warmed me up to know that I wasn't ready to leave the game. Now that I've made the decision to come back and play, it was something that I was ready to do. I think that my conditioning in the offseason really showed that I was ready to go. I feel good. I really do. Throughout the whole season, I've been healthy. I've come out of games where it felt like I didn't really do anything. I always want to compete. I always want to contribute to the team. For me to be here, it's just like a dream because I would have never thought in a million years that this would happen. It's something that you keep your fingers crossed and hope you get here."

(on if he has taken on a leadership role of the team) "I don't really want to get into that, because I never considered myself to be trying to be a leader. This team already has the leaders. It already has Joe Staley, has Justin Smith, has Patrick Willis, Frank Gore of course. I just wanted to play football. That's something I've always done. I've never been vocal. I think it's something you develop over time, especially when your peers look to you for vocal leadership. If there is anything that I've been able to give back to the younger guys, it's my experience. That's something I've taken to heart because by looking at the younger guys and how they respond and how they look at me, it's something I never would have imagined. I never wanted to be a vocal guy and lead by my mouth. I always wanted to lead by example and that's by making plays on the field."

(on the main thing that he missed when he was away from the game) "I think the main thing that I missed was the locker room, the meetings each week and going out here to put a show on for the fans. I really consider us as entertainers because I've always said [that] no matter what a person may go through during the week at their 9-5 job, that they can always depend on the NFL to keep them smiling and perk them up. That's the main thing, just going out here to compete, being around my teammates and going out here and showing out for the fans on Sunday."

(on the difference between his Patriots Super Bowl teams and this 49ers squad) "In '07 with the Patriots, we were riding high being undefeated leading up to the Super Bowl. I think that's just something that we wanted to accomplish as a whole team, something to set ourselves in history. Being here with the 49ers-they were so close last year with a couple mishaps against the Giants in the NFC Championship game-I think by the way we practice and the way guys speak in the locker room, they were determined to get back here. I just wanted to be a part of it."

(on kids using the term ‘Mossing someone' to describe catches over defensive backs and what he sees as his legacy in the game) "For me to be able to go up above the defensive back and make a catch, sort of like a slam dunk, I hear it still to this day and it's really hard to believe that it's me that they're talking about. I try to stay focused and try to stay humble and try to stay grounded, but if you go out to different parts of the country, and sometimes different parts of the world, and you hear that phrase, that little slogan, it's hard to believe. I'm overwhelmed by it. I never thought in a million years that something like this would happen. I've always just wanted to play football and everything else comes secondary. For that slogan, ‘You've been Mossed', is something I definitely hang my hat on."

(on how he spent his Sundays when he wasn't playing last year) "My Sundays last year, I watched a little football. I usually would fish during the week or maybe on Saturday, but I still love football. It's hard to get away from. It really is. I like to see the guys go out there and compete even though I'm not playing. I think for me to be able to sit home on Sundays one of these days and just watch guys I played with and the future of the NFL will hopefully grow. I look forward to it. I would like to, one day, tailgate a football game. I've always said that. I think there is something that I'm missing from the food to the drinks and seeing the camaraderie and how the fans interact. I think that most of my Sundays were spent watching football. I watched a little basketball, but mainly football. That's what I do; I'm a football player."

(on the discussion he had with his family about returning to football) "We were at dinner, at my Mom's house. I told my 18-year old daughter. She's actually a freshman at the University of Florida. I asked her if it was okay for me to get back into football. She said, ‘Dad, I don't even know why you left the game.' For her being older, I had to really sit down and explain to her the importance of family and how much I love them and what I've sacrificed all these years so they're able to have and able to do. After I explained it to my mom, I had to explain to her that if I come back to this game, you're not going to see me as much. She didn't earlier in her life. She said, "Dad, if you come back to the game, I want you to win a Super Bowl because I'm going to the University of Florida to win a National Championship [in basketball].' That really made me smile because I've never heard my daughter talk like that. For her to be able to tell me that face-to-face, well I'm on the verge of trying to win my first Super Bowl. Hopefully, we'll get it and the next thing is to see her get her NCAA Championship."

(on his role in the offense as a decoy compared to earlier years) "I don't like my role; I don't. I like to be out there playing football. One thing that I've always had to really understand was being a decoy. It was put to me, Coach Dennis Green just said, ‘Even though the football is not in your hand, you're still out there dictating how the defense is playing the offense.' It took me awhile to really understand where he was coming from. Later on and now in my career, I understand that my presence out on the field, I don't always have to touch the ball to be able to help the offense score touchdowns. Like I said, I don't really like that, but it's something that I'm used to. I have to grow to understand and grow to like it. I've always been a team player. I've never been about self. Anything that is going to push our team to victory and hopefully win a Super Bowl, I'm willing to do."

(on his love for the game) "I don't think I've really expressed how much I love to compete. I've been in fights in practice. I've been in verbal arguments in practice with coaches and players, even in college and high school. I don't think the football world understands how much I love to compete. When I hear people talk about how talented I am and how easy I make it look, I can honestly tell you people that it's very hard work. I work out five times a week. I put the work in and for me to be able to go out there and have results it something I am proud of. It's not always the individual results that I'm proud of. For me to be able to talk to a Michael Crabtree or talk to a Frank Gore or Percy Harvin and for them to go out there and have a good game that week, that's something I can be proud of. That's just me giving back to the NFL. I've always said, I don't like what the NFL does for me because I'm very blessed. My family is blessed. I've always been the type of person to know what I can do to make the League better. At this point in my career, if I'm able to be vocal, to share a little knowledge and also to go out there and play, if that's what it takes to win a championship, then I'm willing to do that. I've always been that way."

(on Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith) "We don't like to talk about how age finds every player, but I think that Anquan Boldin, I've watched him back when he was in college. I was a fan of his since he was in college. He went to Arizona and teamed up with (Larry) Fitzgerald. There are a couple duos out there in the NFL that are very exciting to watch. I think Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith are a nice duo to watch. The guys in Atlanta [Roddy White and Julio Jones] are a nice duo to watch. I don't know how many years he has left, but in the 3-6 years, I think they can do some magical work."

(on the Harbaugh brothers facing each other and how he would be if he was facing his own brother) "Knowing they grew up in the same house-same room? That makes it worse because me and my brother shared a room. I don't really think that I could talk to my brother for that week. If our mom came down to have dinner, I'd probably have to cancel that. I understand that it's the 49ers against the Baltimore Ravens, but I know John and Jim would like to beat one another. That's bragging rights forever. You know what I'm saying? They could be long gone, grandfathers or great grandfathers, but they still have something to hold over the other brother's head. I think that both Jim and John want to beat each other. They don't care how they do it. They just want to win. I think that's the approach of each team."

(on how he would describe Jim Harbaugh) "A coach."

(on where he ranks Colin Kaepernick among the other quarterbacks that he's played with)

(on what his responsibility is to the younger players around the league) "My responsibility is to try and lead, going out there and showing them how professionals are supposed to work. Early in my career, I looked at Cris Carter, Randall McDaniel, Randall Cunningham and John Randle, just seeing how professionals are supposed to work each and every day. That's something that I thought I knew how to work, but then I went up to New England and ran into Kevin Faulk. Me and Kevin Faulk, we have a little bit of history together because we came out the same year in high school and were on the same All-American team. I said, ‘Man, this is really how y'all work?' Like I said, I thought I knew how to work. I was working out in the mornings doing this and doing that. He took it an extra mile. He took it to the next level. What I've learned and what I've experienced and what guys like the Faulks and the John Randles and the Carters have taught me is that it's my duty to give it back. Like I said, I've always wanted to make the NFL better because there are different topics, good and bad, that come up every day about the NFL. As you know now, talking about concussions and trying to take player safety downward instead of upward, I think it's my duty to do whatever I can to give back to the league to make it better."

(on what he has done to become a better professional) "I just think my work ethic and my preparation each and every day. I don't do anything different. Probably the last five or six years, I've always taken the approach to do everything that I need to do in the morning. Once you sit in the classroom all day and jot down your notes, look at film and go out to practice, I think I'm so mentally and physically drained that I can't go lift another weight. There are a lot of guys that can vouch for this, that once that evening meeting comes after practice, a lot of guys are tired and a lot of guys do doze off. Not in Coach Harbaugh's meetings. He'll call you outside and want to talk to you for a minute. What's said? I don't know. I haven't been caught yet. Hopefully, I'll be able to hold strong this week."

(on what are some of his good memories from New England) "The memories that I have in New England are just something that I hold dear to my heart because of what we accomplished. I'm trying to do something here special in San Francisco, too. I don't want to sit up here and talk about the Patriots because the Patriots are the past. I'm living in the present. It's not hard to get what we did because we did some great things up there. I think being here with the 49ers and the organization giving me the opportunity to come back to this game, it's something that I wanted to do and I just want to go out here and play football. I know in a couple days, this stadium is going to be full of cameras, full of 49ers and Ravens fans. The atmosphere is going to be crazy. It's something that I look forward to and hopefully I'll step up for the moment."

(on why he's always been so reserved with the media) "Because I live for myself. The thing about the media is that everything is not said and the truth is not always told. I grew up just respecting myself. I do respect other people, but when it comes to the pen and pad that you're writing on right now, you've got a job to do. You've got papers to sell. I've always said I've never come off negative. I think a lot of people see my focus. I don't like anything that comes outside of football when it comes to sports. I love the game. I love to play in between the white lines. It's like a kid at school, when you're sitting in the classroom and the teacher says it's recess and that door opens. All the kids just go running and screaming and jumping on swing sets and swinging and stuff. That's kind of how I treat the football field because we are clamped up all week. We have to do the interviews and things like that. Once it's kickoff, it's like you're opening that door. Any time that I step on the field, that's when I feel free and I can do anything I want and act any way I want. You're having fun and it's all a game. It's like me and you sitting down and playing a game of Monopoly. It's just a game. I love to compete and I keep it dear to my heart."

(on Moss TV) "Moss TV, it was something for the fans. A friend of mine told me that I've never really given back to the fans. I think that when I started Moss TV, that was just the way of my fans being able to interact with me and ask questions and things like that and feel like we were face-to-face. I couldn't see them, but they could see me and I could see their questions. I think that was just my way of giving back to the fans. I know there are some true Moss fans out there. I mess with them every day on Twitter. My little slogan is ‘My comeback is our comeback.' I really do believe that because I do know there are some true fans out in the world that love me for who I am. I really thank them for that. When I'm able to give back, it's what I do on Sundays. I look forward to a good game this Sunday."

(on if he wishes the end of his career was celebrated the way Ray Lewis' career is being celebrated currently) "No, because that's not me. I'm not a celebrator. I love to do my work and go home. A lot of people see me out there in public and I've always wanted to be normal my whole life, from elementary school until now. I've been a big fan of Michael Jackson's, I really was. Everybody grew up, in the era I grew up in, was a big Michael Jackson fan. I think it was his sister or brother, one of them said Michael just always wanted to be normal. I'm not putting myself on Michael Jackson's pedestal, but I kind of understood where they were coming from. I always wanted to be able to go to the park and play a game or go shopping or go to the grocery store. I've always wanted to be normal, still to this day. When people see me and they are overwhelmed that they're meeting me for the first time, I just try and let them know and understand that I'm normal. I just want to be a normal person. Hopefully, one day, I don't know if I will ever get to do that, but one day, hopefully all of this will die down where I can just live my life and just go play a pickup game and go to the grocery store and just be normal."

(on his post-football plans and if he thinks he'll do any coaching once his playing career is over) "I think if I do any type of coaching, I think I would like for it to be on the high school level. The collegiate level and professional level takes up a lot of your time. Being able to go to high school is where you're on the verge of thinking you're something and you might not be, but you could be something. My experience, throughout my whole life, I think that's where I'm able to impact and give back the most is probably on the high school level. So if I did any type of coaching, it would be on the high school level. I just want to love my family and do a little fishing. That's about it."

(on if he's ever had an imaginary girlfriend) "No. If I did, I never told anybody about it."

(on what would happen if someone tried to hoax him) "Speaking of the linebacker from Notre Dame, I feel for the young guy. We all do some things in our life that we wish we could have back or we regret. Like I said, when you're going to a prestigious school such as Notre Dame and being in the limelight, being up for the Heisman, I think that you have to expect-I've always said you have to take the good with the good and the bad with the bad. I've been a fan of his since he came on the scene playing football and being catfished I guess. He's not the only one. Big ups to him and I hope he keeps his head up."

(on if he still thinks about the Super Bowl loss to the Giants) "I still think about it. I still think about the loss in '07. I can still say that I haven't seen the game. I haven't watched the game of it yet. The only time that I really watch the game is when we are doing film study and critiquing ourselves after a win or loss. I go to the coaches-I've always been coachable. I think there was some stuff out there early in my career that I wasn't coachable. I still don't know everything. I think when it comes to players and coaches, sometimes the coaches need to sit their butts down and listen too because they expect us to listen. We're out here playing. We're out here putting our lives on the line. I think I've always been coachable. I love to be coached by a guy that loves to listen."

(on if he typically watches the replays of games) "I would probably love to watch it. I really do. There's just something about '07, being undefeated going into a Super Bowl and losing it like that. I'll never forget that moment because it's not fun when you're sweating and you have confetti dropping down and sticking to your face knowing that you're not on the winning side of the confetti."

(on if winning this Super Bowl will make up for losing in 2007) "No, I think I'll still remember that because if I win this one, that means I could have had two. That's something I'll never forget."

(on comparing Jim Harbaugh to Bill Belichick) "They both have their styles of coaching. I think Coach Harbaugh, he loves to have fun. He has a lot of stories. Some are very, very comical. Others are just pushing forward and keep striving. Coach Belichick is very business-oriented. He doesn't really show a lot of emotion. He prepares his guys and really doesn't crack a smile. I think the comparison between the two, if I could put it on, is Coach Belichick is really straight forward and Coach Harbaugh sometimes gets off the road and keeps it humorous."

(on if Bill Belichick was a good listener) "Yeah, not every coach is going to listen because certain coaches are stuck in their ways and I'm not talking about any particular coach. If a certain coach has gotten to this point doing it the way he's done it, they just do it their way. This game has changed and evolved like no other. I think it's time for the coaches, and you can take it down to high school even, these guys watch us train. I think if coaches would take time to really talk to the players and see how they see it on the field because if you're sitting up there watching as the eye in the sky or watching from afar to see what's going on, it might not be as easy as it looks because football is a game of reaction and how you react to the play."

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