Moss: 'I'm ready to bring the fans out of their seats'


Moss: 'I'm ready to bring the fans out of their seats'

The 49ers signed veteran wide receiver Randy Moss to a one-year contract on Monday night. Terms of the deal were not immediately known."We are pleased to add a player with Randy's wealth of experience to our receiving corps," 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said. "Randy's productivity over the course of his career speaks for itself. We look forward to integrating him into our system."Moss took part in a conference call with reporters after the deal was signed. Here's some of what he had to say:Why the decision to sign with the 49ers so shortly after working out for the 49ers?
Moss: "I think that their upside was something I studied and I looked at and evaluated. Coach (Jim) Harbaugh is really a young and enthusiastic coach and I love enthusiasm. So I think when they picked me up from the airport last night and everything we talked about, and coming in and taking my physical and working out, a lot of things stood out to me. And it was really a no-brainer for me to come in and play for the 49ers. So I look forward to the challenge of going out and making things happen."What changed about your desire to get back into the game?
Moss: "I had personal reasons outside of football to step away from the game. I think it was a family decision to get back in the game because I still love the game and still think I can play at a high level and I'm passionate about the game of football. So for me to be able to get back into training . . . . I really didn't know who was going to try me out, who was going to hook me up. So I had a tryout with the Saints and came here to San Francisco a week later. Basically, the organization, Coach Harbaugh and the general manager and the owner pulled the trigger. So, like I said, I look forward to coming out here to the Bay Area and giving the 49ers fans, organization, something to rave about this season. I look forward to playing."In 2010, it was different than the rest of your career, production-wise. What was behind the drop in production?
Moss: "Well, I don't really want to get into that because you all would not understand if I tell you anyway. So I'm not going to talk about that."Was there any thought to coming back late last season? Did the 49ers talk to you about the playoffs when they had so many injuries at wide receiver?
Moss: "At the beginning of last season I was ready to still play and I was waiting on that call. But at the same time, I didn't really know how things were going to go. So when it got late in the season, I just decided to go ahead and give my body a little more rest. And once the season ended, I decided to come on back. Like I said, I'm very passionate about what I do. And definitely football is something I love to do. So for me to come back to the game of football . . . I'm ready to go. I think you can hear from my last workout with the Saints and here today with the 49ers, I'm ready to get back into the game of football. I think I can still play at a high level. So I look forward to learning the offense and getting with the group of guys in the locker room and learning what my role is going to be on this team. Like I said, I accept the challenge, and I'm ready to bring the fans out of their seats."Do you know Alex Smith at all, and have you spoken to him throughout this process?
Moss: "I don't really know Alex Smith. But I look forward to working with all the guys on the team."Has your role been defined in your talks with the team?
Moss: "No, we really haven't discussed it yet. But once get to camp and OTAs and minicamps and things like that, I think, like I said, I accept the challenge to get back into this league and play at a high level. So, like I said, whatever my role is going to be, I just want to get out there and be productive.Was it appealing to sign with the 49ers because they made it to the NFC championship game?
Moss: "It was very intriguing for me to reach out to the 49ers and come give them everything that I had today. It's obvious they liked what they saw. And, like I said, I don't want to let them down. I want to come and get back to what I do, which is getting out there and playing football and stretching the field. So, like I said, I look forward to working with the team. I look forward to working with the coaches and getting out here and learning my role. And whatever it may be, I'll try to be the best I can be."Can Jim Harbaugh still "bring it"?
Moss: "That's funny you ask that. Yes, he can still bring it at his old age. I don't know, he's probably sitting there with an ice pack or something on his shoulder right now, but, yeah, he can still wing it."Is there anything you do as a veteran to help out Michael Crabtree and the younger players?
Moss: "I think, not just Crabtree, but it's a young group of guys. And there's a saying I have: 'I like what I can do for the NFL. I don't like what the NFL can do for me.' I've loved the game of football. For me to be able to start at a young age and play Pop Warner football and have my dreams come true to become a professional football player. I like what I'm able to give back to football and the NFL. If those guys are willing to accept me as a teammate, come here and make this thing happen, then I'm ready to give back anything I have: my knowledge, my work ethic and all of the above. I look forward to going out and working with these young guys, and coaches included."You signed a one-year contract, so are you looking at this as a one-year thing or beyond?
Moss: "Man, I just want to play football. Once the season starts and once it ends, we'll decide where things are going to go after that. So I'll just take it one game, and one day at a time and we'll see what happens at the end of the run."Harbaugh has made so much about the team concept and blue-collar mentality with the 49ers. How much did he talk to you about coming into the locker room and fit in and be another one of the guys?
Moss: "Well, the thing about me being here is they've done their research on me. And I think when it comes to the world-wide sports media, I've gotten a bad rap. They've done their homework on me or they wouldn't have brought me in here."Why do you say you've gotten a bad rap?
Moss: "I'm just saying, more of not being a team player and things like that. I really don't want to get into that because that's not what I'm here for. I think that one thing I'd like the sports world to understand is the love and the passion I have for the game of football. I think every player wants to win and every organization wants to win."

49ers building defensive identity: 'We can help ourselves a lot by...'


49ers building defensive identity: 'We can help ourselves a lot by...'

SANTA CLARA – After spending the past three seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, inside linebacker Brock Coyle knows how it is supposed to look.

And he believes the 49ers have gotten off to a good start under the direction of first-year defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, who has installed a scheme based on the Seahawks’ blueprint.

“What’s really cool about this defense is if you look at Seattle, Jacksonville and Atlanta, they all have their different traits, their different personalties and their characteristics,” Coyle said. “And we’re building our own identity on defense.

“You see guys flying around and growing. And this was just our second regular-season game together in this defense.”

Saleh uses such terms as “all gas no brakes” and “extreme violence” to describe the kind of style he wants to see from his defense. In the 49ers’ 12-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, the 49ers seemed to compete physically with the Seahawks for the first time in a long time.

On the first possession of the game, 49ers safety Jaquiski Tartt set the tone when he separated Seattle tight end Jimmy Graham from the ball with a big hit. Graham was never a factor in the game, catching just one pass for 1 yard.

“If you’re looking from a progress standpoint, I don’t look at so much production as much as what it looks like on tape and the violence, the speed, attacking the ball, that’s what I’m excited about,” Saleh said.

The 49ers will have another chance on a quick turnaround to establish that identity on Thursday night against the Los Angeles Rams at Levi’s Stadium.

Rookie linebacker Reuben Foster will miss his second game in a row with a high-ankle sprain. Ray-Ray Armstrong started against Seattle, alongside NaVorro Bowman, but Saleh said Coyle also fits into his plan.

Coyle entered the game at Seattle in the first half in place of Armstrong, and Saleh hinted he could use both players more interchangeably until Foster returns.

“He deserves it,” Saleh said of Coyle. “He works his tail off and he works hard and we wanted to make sure that we got him some more reps. And to be honest with you, I feel he should probably get a little bit more.

“He’s a great communicator and knows everybody’s job on the football field. He’s very, very strong at the point of attack and he is pretty athletic and fast.”

The 49ers' physicality is showing up on the early downs, as the defense leads the league in allowing just 2.7 yards per play on first downs. But the 49ers have to get a lot better on the down that matters most. The 49ers rank 23rd on third downs, allowing the opposition through two games to convert 46.9 percent of their opportunities.

“Third down is a major emphasis -- every week it is," Saleh said. "We faced 12 more plays than we needed to that first drive just because a lack of execution on that first third-down and 9. We were in great position to get off the field.

"We’ve got to tackle and that takes all 11 running to the ball because a lot of times that first guy does miss, but we can help ourselves a lot by being better on third down for sure.”

Former 49ers receiver-turned actor, artist dies


Former 49ers receiver-turned actor, artist dies

Before he was an actor, a poet and a painter, Bernie Casey was a professional football player.

Casey died Wednesday in Los Angeles. He was 78.

The 49ers selected Casey in the first round of the 1961 NFL draft with the No. 9 overall selection out of Bowling Green. He was a college teammate of Jack Harbaugh, father of Jim and John Harbaugh.

Casey led the 49ers in receiving in 1962, ’63 and ’64. He appeared in 79 games in six seasons with the 49ers before a trade sent him to the Los Angeles Rams, where he finished his career. In his eight-year NFL career, Casey caught 359 passes for 5,444 yards and 40 touchdowns.

But Casey had other interests outside of football. He was the subject of a 1999 NFL Films profile, telling Steve Sabol he never loved football.

“You don’t have to love it, just be proficient at it,” Casey said. “People do things all the time that they don’t love, and they’re good at it. It’s a steppingstone to get from one place to another. It allows you to facility to pursue much bigger, more important visions.”

Casey left his career as an athlete – he also finished sixth in the 110-meter hurdles at the 1960 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials – to establish careers in the arts.

He made his acting debut in 1969 in Guns of the Magnificent Seven. He returned to football but only for a role in the TV movie Brian’s Song. He has 78 acting roles to his credit, including Revenge of the Nerds, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and the TV mini-series Roots: The Next Generation.

Casey spent more than 20 years as chair of the board of trustees at the prestigious Savannah College of Art and Design. Casey was also a prominent artist. During 2003 exhibit of Casey’s work at the Thelma Harris Art Gallery in Oakland, Dr. Maya Angelou described what she liked about Casey’s work.

“I cannot see what Bernie Casey sees,” Angelou said. “Casey has the heart and the art to put his insight on canvas, and I am heartened by his action. For then I can comprehend his vision and even some of my own. His art makes my road less rock and my path less crooked.”