Randy Moss: 'I'm having a great time'


Randy Moss: 'I'm having a great time'

SANTA CLARA -- Veteran wide receiver Randy Moss, who accumulated Hall-of-Fame credentials in his first 13 NFL seasons, has been a role player through five games with the 49ers.Moss ranks fourth on the team with nine catches for 99 yards and one touchdown while playing approximately one-third of the team's offensive snaps as the 49ers enter Sunday's game against the New York Giants.Is Moss disgruntled?Quite the contrary, he told CSNBayArea.com on Thursday.
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The 49ers have an offensive approach -- a balance of run and pass -- unlike anything Moss has experienced in his career. And that's the reason he said he is thoroughly enjoying the experience of playing for coach Jim Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Greg Roman."Coach G-Ro, Greg Roman, and his staff have shown me a different side to an offense," Moss said. "And that's the thing about being a student of the game. You think you know so much but each level or each year that you grow, you're still learning. I think if I stop learning, then I'll stop having the love and the passion to go out and play the game. So, right now, I'm having a great time."Moss participated in a 20-minute interview Thursday with CSNBayArea.com for an upcoming story about his hometown of Rand, W.V. Moss sat down for the interview wearing a West Virginia State Police hat. The state of West Virginia was jolted six weeks ago by the shooting deaths of two state troopers during a routine traffic stop.Moss remains active in his home community and home state. In the summer of 2011, during his year away from the NFL, Moss coached a middle school football team. He approached the task with such diligence that his friend, Donnie "Blue" Jones, began referring to Moss as "Black Belichick."Moss played three full seasons for the New England Patriots' Bill Belichick, including a record-setting 2007 season when he caught 23 touchdown passes."One thing I still hold to my heart before I even went to New England, I thought I knew a lot about football," Moss said. "Coach Belichick taught me a lot about football. And then when I came here to the 49ers, I'm still learning. And that's a good thing."Moss' career began with seven seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. His first four seasons were in coach Dennis Green's West Coast Offense."I learned a certain way in Minnesota," Moss said. "Then, I went to New England, and learned a different way there. And then coming here, it was just like re-energizing my thought process of how I thought that it was."I learned from coach Dennis Green and his staff. Then going to New England, and learning from Coach Belichick and his staff. Now, I'm here learning from coach (Jim) Harbaugh and his staff. It's like the three different levels I've been on. I'm still learning and still having fun."Moss explained how his understanding of the sport has grown with every good experience he has encountered during his career."For us to be able to come out and put a running package in and then throw the ball," he said. "And New England was for you to put a run package in and then spread it out. And coach Dennis Green was basically the West Coast Offense simplified for them to put whatever out there and run whatever the play's called."On Monday, Harbaugh raved about Moss' contributions on and off the field. Harbaugh said Moss regularly communicates his insights with the coaching staff."If not daily, it's weekly, most days," Harbaugh said. "Randy's got an enthusiastic suggestion for what we can do or try. The neat thing about it is, it's never a self-centered thing. It's never how to get him more balls. It's how it would help the team or help the group or the unit."Said Moss, "There are a lot of things I've learned on the field throughout my 14 years in this league. Like I said, I'm having a great time. I really am."

Inactives: 49ers LB Lynch to miss fifth straight game

Inactives: 49ers LB Lynch to miss fifth straight game

CHICAGO – Outside linebacker Aaron Lynch will miss his fifth consecutive game with a high-ankle sprain when the 49ers face the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Soldier Field.

Lynch has appeared in just three games this season. He served a four-game suspension to begin the season for violating the NFL’s policy on substances of abuse. He was injured late in the 49ers’ Oct. 23 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The next week was the 49ers’ bye week.

Eli Harold will start in place of Lynch for the ninth time this season.

Wide receiver Quinton Patton was cleared to return to action after sustaining a concussion last week. The 49ers will have six wide receivers active for the game: Patton, Torrey Smith, Jeremy Kerley, Rod Streater, Aaron Burbridge, and Chris Harper.

The 49ers and Chicago Bears announced their inactive players for Sunday’s game:

QB Christian Ponder
RB Mike Davis
CB Marcus Cromartie
LB Aaron Lynch
T John Theus
TE Je’Ron Hamm
DL Tony Jerod-Eddie

QB Jay Cutler
WR Eddie Royal
DB Adrian Amos
DB De'Vante Bausby
DL Jonathan Bullard
OL Cornelius Edison
DB Delondre Hall

Key factors that will determine where Kaepernick plays in 2017

Key factors that will determine where Kaepernick plays in 2017

CHICAGO – Quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers got what they wanted from a restructured contract the sides negotiated in October.

Kaepernick is allowed to opt out of his contract after this season. And the 49ers are not financially obligated to pay his 2017 salary if he sustains an injury that lingers past April 1.

Kaepernick, who requested permission to seek a trade, was always expected to opt out and become an unrestricted free agent after the season. Even if he did not opt out, the 49ers would be expected to release him, anyway.

“Organizations at the end of the season go through and evaluate personnel and opportunities,” Kaepernick explained in June why he asked for permission to seek a trade. “That was something, I sat down with my team and did the same thing. That’s how we handled the business.”

The NFL Network on Sunday reported what had been known all along: Kaepernick plans to opt out the contract at the end of the season.

But this move – or if the 49ers release Kaepernick – does not rule out his return to the 49ers in 2017.

There are several unknown factors that will determine where Kaepernick plays next season:

--What will the market be for Kaepernick?

The 49ers and Denver Broncos had a deal worked out for Kaepernick last offseason. But the Broncos would only follow-through if Kaepernick agreed to take his guaranteed salary of $11.9 million down to $7 million annually over the next two years.

It’s likely the Broncos will no longer be interested. If they go after a veteran quarterback, Tony Romo would be expected to top the list. There are teams that likely will need a quarterback, such as Cleveland, Chicago and the New York Jets.

But it’s not known if ownership in those cities will step in over concerns about upsetting the team’s fan base with the acquisition of Kaepernick, who has been the NFL's most-polarizing figure this season due to his decision to protest racial inequality by kneeling during the national anthem.

--Over the past four games, Kaepernick is playing at a level that would suggests he should be a starter in the NFL next season. If it’s just a football decision, he would either be competing for a starting job or – at the very least – be a top backup.

There is a lot of instability with the 49ers. If general manager Trent Baalke is back with the 49ers, it seems unlikely Kaepernick would want to come back.

Kaepernick's dissatisfaction with the 49ers last year led to him seeking a way out. He thought his team-friendly contract, which was low on guaranteed money, would allow the 49ers to keep the nucleus on their roster intact. Instead, the roster was overhauled.

Also, there were reports last year, which Kaepernick’s camp believe the 49ers leaked, that he wore his headphones around the team facility and closed himself off to teammates and did not spend as much time watching film as Blaine Gabbert.

--But if Baalke is fired at the end of the season and coach Chip Kelly is retained, it very well could be that the best place for Kaepernick will be back with the 49ers to establish some continuity.

Kelly said this week that he has not gotten involved in any of the contract discussions with Kaepernick, who recently placed his San Jose house on the market.

“I don’t deal with contracts,” Kelly said. “So, that wasn’t an issue. As I’ve said with everything, even the stuff when we first got there is when he’s with us it’s all football. If there’s a business thing. That’s between him and his agent and the front office. But that’s not something that we’ve ever had a discussion about.”

It appears Kelly and Kaepernick have a solid relationship. Kaepernick appears more comfortable running a system that accentuates his skillset.

“The relationship we have is great,” Kelly said. “We talk football and I really enjoy coaching him. He works extremely hard. He really wants to be great and works at it from that standpoint. So all that other stuff, I think he does a really good job of leaving that outside the door and we never really discuss it because that’s really not what our relationship is about.”