You’ll likely see much more about him in the coming days, in many outlets, because he was so open and forthcoming and illuminating about many topics during his appearance at Media Day.
When Moss is on, he’s extremely interesting, he just chooses not to be on often.
But among the gems today was a candid admission that he didn’t particularly care for the way the 49ers used him this year.
In the past, it could have been a Keyshawn-level “Just Give Me the Damn Ball” routine, but Moss said it so matter-of-factly it was easy to miss.
“I don’t like my role; I don’t,” he said. “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.”
No, that was Moss, who hasn’t always been accused to giving freely of himself for the greater good.
But 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Moss had been nothing but professional.
“He’s been great,” Roman said. “I think he’s a great team player, and a mentor for all the guys, really.”
His love of competition has never been in doubt. Moss joked about past arguments, even fights, he’s had with coaches and players. But his role with the 49ers, as much as he might not like it, remains a valuable one, as Roman insisted Moss could still “get behind a defense in a hurry.”
“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,” Moss said. “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.”
Maybe so, but he hasn’t been quite the way he was Tuesday too often, or the perception of his career would likely be very different.