Through two weeks of the NFL season, 49ers Randy Moss has five catches for 61 yards and a touchdown.
Those numbers are smaller than Moss was used to in his salad days, although they look more robust when you remember that he’s only played about 20 snaps in each of the team’s victories. Given Moss’ history, some have wondered how he might like being a spot player for San Francisco after years of being a focal point on various teams. A reporter asked Niners coach Jim Harbaugh whether Moss misses being “The Guy” and whether he’d remain happy playing his current role.
“Nobody around here ever gets caught up with ‘The Guy’ terminology,” Harbaugh said, via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s about us; it’s about the team. And Randy, there’s no evidence that he’s concerned about ‘The Guy’ tag. He knows football. He knows the team that plays best is going to win the game. He’s been about that.”
If those were Moss’ numbers while playing a snap count commensurate with the old days, you could see a potential problem brewing. With those looks coming in limited snaps, though, Moss is still a key part of the offense whenever he’s on the field. And defenses are still paying him respect, which led to a pass interference penalty on Sunday night and other opportunities for his teammates as a result. It’s not exactly the old days, but it’s pretty good for a 35-year-old who didn’t play at all last season and was told it wasn’t the old days when he first signed.
It also leaves the 49ers room to go up in the future, which is always an easier sell than cutting a guy’s playing time after the fact. With everything going well, San Francisco has no reason to make changes at this point. Having Moss in hand means there’s always a moment they could do something differently, which is a benefit for the offense and something else for the defense to worry about from week to week.
We can’t predict whether Moss will remain cool with his status or if the catering will rub him the wrong way one day, but nothing about the current situation is anything other than what Moss had to expect coming into the season. That doesn’t mean he won’t become disgruntled, but it does mean he’s got no reason for a sour mood.