49ers

Moss set to make return to Minnesota

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Moss set to make return to Minnesota

SANTA CLARA -- Wide receiver Randy Moss will make his first appearance at the Metrodome on Sunday as a member of the visiting team when the 49ers face the Minnesota Vikings.

Moss spent his first seven NFL seasons with the Vikings after being chosen No. 21 overall in the 1998 draft. He returned briefly in 2010, catching 13 passes in four games before getting released.

On Wednesday, he spoke to reporters for about seven minutes. Here's what he had to say:

On his return to Minnesota:
"I'm just very fortunate to go back to where it all started. We had some great times in Minnesota, so I look forward to hearing the Metrodome rock. Now I'm with the away team, and I look forward to a good game."

Does it make a difference to you what kind of reaction you get from the fans there?
"Nah, not really. I'm a 49er. I think my Minnesota Viking days are over. So just going in as a 49er, like I said have some success and have a good game. That's what I plan to do."

There's been a lot of talk about how much playing time you're getting. Where do you stand on that? Are you concerned?
"No, I'm not. Next question."

During your introduction in the Lions game you said you were from Rand University? Is that a shout-out to your hometown?
"That's my whole community, man. I think in order to get to know me, you got to come back to my hometown, where I'm from to really understand what drives and pushes me to be able to be the best. There were some hard times coming out of Rand, West Virginia. Just showing my people love. Showing the kids love that no matter what I've accomplished in life, I still got love for my hometown."

Do you allow yourself to reflect on your days with the Vikings this week?
"(Laughs) I got my teammates in here messing with me . . . But, I just think my focus now is playing for the 49ers and being the best 49er I can be. I was drafted by coach Dennis Green, and I'm still appreciative to this day that he gave me an opportunity with all the nonsense and B.S. that was said during the draft. He gave me a chance. I'm still thankful for Dennis Green for giving me a chance to showcase my talent. As far as the past, it's the past. I look forward, and not backward."

What's the biggest thing that sticks with you during your time with the Vikings?
"I just think being able to be around guys who had a name. To see Randall McDaniel and John Randle go to the Hall of Fame. I played with those guys. I've been in the locker room, I've won with those guys, I've lost with those guys. To be able to practice with them day-in and day-out, and for them to receive a prestigious honor as making it to the Hall of Fame, man, it just felt good because I know those guys, not really personally but kind of personally, as teammates. I think that's the biggest thing that stands out to me. Now, the guys making to the Hall of Fame, I've either played with them or played against them. It's just something big to see John Randle and Randall McDaniel make it to the Hall of Fame."

Do you appreciate the passion of those fans, whether they boo you or cheer you or some of both on Sunday?
"One thing about praises and boos, obviously, you're doing something right. I think I can hang my hat on that. You hear the applause, of course you do. You hear the boos, but I think the boos, being negative, put more pressure on you to go out and hush that noise up. I look forward to hearing both. Like I said, I'm a 49er now, and hopefully we can go into the Metrodome and come out of there 3-0."

Do you keep track of how Percy Harvin is coming along and your influence on him?
"No, not at all. Percy is a heck of a receiver, a heck of a football player. He's real hard-nosed and he's very tough. That's one thing I really noticed about him when I was up there, how he goes about his business. He blocks. He runs after the catch very hard. You can't really tell if he's a receiver or a running back when he touches the ball. So I'm a big fan of Percy's. I was a big fan of his when he was at the University of Florida, and it's not going to stop now. Like I said, there are still a couple guys over there . . . I played with Adrian Peterson in my second stint in Minnesota. Like I said, history is history and the past is the past and I'm a 49er now. I just look for what I can do for this team."

After going through offseason program and training camp, to see yourself and your teammates put together two complete performances, any surprise the 49ers looked so sharp in the first two weeks?
"My motto has always been, if you put the hard work in, the hard work does pay off. They work the hell out of us here. I didn't really have a day off in training camp. I didn't really have a day off in teaching school or minicamp. So my focus was to come in and work, work, work, work and keep working. And like I said, hard work pays off. And being 2-0, just shows you how hard we worked because we played two good teams. We played the Green Bay Packers. They're a good team, playoff team. We played the Detroit Lions, playoff team. So our first three games, luckily happen to be the NFC North, so like I said, we're going to go to the Metrodome and see how the chips fall."

Do you feel like the Super Bowl is the one thing missing on your resume?
"Well, I'm not really thinking about Super Bowl, but that really is the only thing missing on my resume. You got to take it one game at a time, one day at a time, one practice at a time. We put the work in. It's too early to say, third week, where we're going or where we're headed. The only thing we can do is to come out here and get better each day and hopefully we keep going up."

What did Michael Crabtree show you last Friday when he brought the team together and said this offense needs to match this defense, and then he went out and made some key catches?
"Well, Crabtree's been through a lot in his career. I've always said I love sports, I'm a sports fan. I do pay attention. I don't really read the stuff you all write, but I do have ears and I do have eyes. But Crabtree has been through a lot. For him to be able to come out and -- I know it's early in the season -- but he's having a pretty good season so far. For him to stand up and bring us together and said, like you said, the offense has to match the defense . . . and then to come out here and make plays, that's something you can really hang your hat on and follow a guy like this."

You obviously didn't seem interested in talking about your number of snaps. Why is that?
"Because it's really not up to me. Like I said, I come out here and practice every day and when called upon, I just go out there and try to make a play. It's not up to me.

"Thank you."

49ers receive early vindication on selection of Reuben Foster

49ers receive early vindication on selection of Reuben Foster

SANTA CLARA – General manager John Lynch received the text message Wednesday from Dr. Tim McAdams that might have come as a surprise to many of the teams that passed on linebacker Reuben Foster during the draft.

The 49ers’ team physician declared Foster’s surgically repaired right shoulder is ready to play football. The 49ers are scheduled for their first practice of training camp on Friday, and Foster will be a full participant.

“We feel great about our doctors, our medical program here,” Lynch said on Thursday, as the 49ers reported to training camp. “Our trainer, Jeff Ferguson, is as good as there is in the league. Dr. McAdams, world-renowned. He has the Stanford name behind him.

“We challenged him numerous times. From his observation, the shoulder was good.”

Foster’s tumble to the back end of the first round was widely blamed on his shoulder condition. The 49ers traded with the Seattle Seahawks to select Foster with the No. 31 overall pick. Almost immediately, the 49ers were scrutinized for making the selection.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported some teams did not even consider drafting Foster. One “well-placed source with knowledge of the injury” told Schefter that Foster’s surgery “didn’t take.”

The 49ers’ willingness to clear Foster for the first day of camp is a reality that appears to be in stark contrast to the opinions around the league that Foster’s shoulder would require additional surgery. The 49ers expect Foster to be ready Sunday for the first padded, contact practice of training camp.

“We pride ourselves in doing all of our due diligence, not afterward, but before we make the decisions,” Lynch said. “We’d done exhaustive research on Reuben Foster in a lot of different areas. Medically was one area.”

Coach Kyle Shanahan said he the nature of Foster’s injury convinced him that even the worst-case scenario, in the big picture, was not so bad. Foster sustained a torn rotator cuff in Alabama’s national semifinal game against Washington and played the championship game against Clemson with the injury.

“I was proud of our doctors for putting themselves out there and giving their honest opinion about what they felt,” Shanahan said. “They feel it is healed, and it’s going to be good. I respect them for doing that. They went against the norm on that, and that isn’t always easy.

“(I’m) pretty confident when it is a shoulder injury, if it doesn’t heal the right way or it’s done wrong, you have to re-do a surgery, yes, it’s time, but it’s not going to affect the guy we saw on tape.”

John Lynch concerned about 49ers' top pick Thomas

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AP

John Lynch concerned about 49ers' top pick Thomas

On April 27, the 49ers selected Solomon Thomas with the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL Draft.

As of Thursday afternoon, he remains unsigned.

49ers general manager John Lynch addressed the media on Thursday and was asked about the defensive lineman's status.

Thomas missed most of the 49ers' offseason program because NFL rules stipulate that rookies who have not completed their undergraduate degrees are ineligible to join on a full-time basis until after their schools' final classes of the spring semester.

Stanford's late schedule put Thomas a little behind schedule.

“We have our iPads, so I’ll be able to watch film from that,” Thomas said in mid-May. “I talk to Josh (Garnett) quite a bit, and he’ll give me advice on how to go through this process – how to stay in touch, just keep learning along the way and keep progressing along the way.”