Randy Moss was expected to shape up when the 49ers took a flyer on him for this season — but no one quite expected him to completely turn into the calm, quiet leader who does the dirty work without receiving any attention.
But that appears to be exactly what Moss has become in the Bay Area.
The 49ers have been singing the praises of the wily wide receiver, and his recognition has only grown as the season has gone on (not quite the norm for Moss, who often behaves for a while and then starts causing problems).
“Starting in the Houston game, in the preseason, Randy was wearing people out, blocking,” 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman said, according to Comcast SportsNet. “And I can’t stress enough how professional, how team-oriented Randy Moss is. All I can tell you — as a 49er, he’s busting tail on everything.”
Moss came into the 49ers gig with the understanding that he would need to be good in what is most likely his final shot in the NFL. After burning his way out of Minnesota and Oakland early in his career, he found glory again with the Patriots — only to be traded when he became disgruntled. He then quickly washed out of the Vikings and Titans organizations before the 49ers brought him in this year.
In San Francisco, he appears to have learned his lesson and found a way to be the biggest asset he can to the team without a whiff of the liability he’s been over his 13-year NFL career. Roman said Moss always asks the right questions in practice and meetings, and his blocking has especially been key in springing other receivers and running backs free. One particularly great block last Sunday against the Cardinals had the whole team juiced up.
“I’ve never seen [Moss] do that before,” running back Anthony Dixon said. “You saw what it did to our sideline. It inspired everybody to see him do that.”
Moss has always had it all as a receiver, but in San Francisco, he appears to be adding the final tool that may finally make him the complete player.