When Randy Moss was with the Patriots for three-plus seasons, he didn’t really like chatting with reporters. When he relented, he would often tell us we had three questions, and you crossed your fingers, hoping that if you couldn’t get one in, that they would be good questions.
Maybe then it was because he didn’t really see the need to do media, and maybe it was the Patriots’ rules on being tight-lipped, but at his podium on Super Bowl Media Day, the now-49er had lots to say about lots of topics.
* Moss, who is almost 36, has had a limited role in the San Francisco offense (28 catches for 434 yards and three touchdowns in the regular season) and candidly said he doesn’t like it.
“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 [in Minnesota] 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 a while 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.”
* Asked how he would describe 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, Moss said, “A coach.”
* Moss compared Harbaugh to Bill Belichick thusly: “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 (about) just pushing forward and keep striving. Coach Belichick is very business-oriented. He doesn’t really show a lot of emotion. He prepares 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 straightforward and coach Harbaugh sometimes gets off the road and keeps it humorous.”
* Though he sat out the 2011 season, saying it was to deal with family issues, Moss returned because of his love of the game, and wants to play another year.
He didn’t return to play to reach the Super Bowl again, but being back, “It’s 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 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 have been more of a ‘keep your fingers crossed. I hope I’m in New Orleans for the Super Bowl.’ Now 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 having to face your own brother in such a big game, as Jim and John Harbaugh will:
“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.
“They could be long gone [from coaching], 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.”
* Moss also acknowledged the influence of one of his former teammates and good friends, Kevin Faulk.
“My responsibility (to younger players) 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 what I thought I knew — how to work.
“But then I went up to New England and ran into Kevin Faulk. Me and Kevin 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?’
“I thought I knew how to work. I was working out in the mornings doing this and that. [Faulk] 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.”