Randy Moss SF 49ersDuring Jim Harbaugh’s last press conference before getting on a plane for Atlanta, he was asked whether he wanted Randy Moss to come back next year. He said he does, and added this:

“I can, for official publication, I for one definitely want Randy to come back. Hope he feels the same way.”

The addition of Moss has been a storyline that has received much attention throughout the season, and the reviews have been very good. Moss has made plays here and there on the field and his durability has helped him move up the depth chart to become the team’s No. 2 wideout.

Moss’ physical tools, while still incredible, aren’t what they once were. But counter to the worries about Moss being a detrimental, team-weakening force, Harbaugh and his teammates have consistently praised Moss’ mind for the game and the questions he asks. But the longest-lasting effect of Moss’ tenure might come from how he has mentored Michael Crabtree, who once told me, “That’s my dude. That’s my big brother.”

After Crabtree’s first touchdown against Green Bay, NFL Films caught Moss telling him, “Way to keep your composure, cuz.” Moss. Composure. No wonder Harbaugh wants to keep him around.

While the future Hall of Famer usually gives a terse “no comment” when approached by anyone in the media, he doesn’t keep interactions with his teammates secret. And his teammates hang on every word he says. I remember Anthony Davis sitting at his locker, happily staring at an open box containing a pair of brand new Nikes, and Moss ambled over and talked for a while about all the free shoes he’s acquired over the years while Davis, Iupati and a couple other listened and laughed. I think Moss did pretty well when he had that Jordan sponsorship.

I came to the 49ers’ facility for the first time in a while today, and Moss was as loose as ever. Mischievous, even.

In the middle of an interview session with Carlos Rogers, I heard Moss’ voice behind me.

“Hey. Did y’all ask him about him going both ways this week? Tell him about that special play we got in there for you. Flea flicker.”

Rogers started laughing, and I asked the cornerback if he’d be the one throwing the ball during this “special play.”

“No. Don’t listen to this guy,” Rogers said, still laughing.

Then Matt Barrows asked if Rogers would be be interested in seeing Moss return.

“Oh yeah, he’s special. He’s fun. Class act,” Rogers said. “He’s funny. He’s a guy that we need in this locker room. You’re dealing with numbers, you’re dealing with all the other stuff, but If they could find a way to get him back, it’d be really special.”

Then I asked, “Could you see him being a coach after he plays?”

“Not at all. No coach, no NFL Network, no ESPN, none of that. He’s not going to do that.”

Eric Branch asked what he could see Moss doing after his playing career. Fishing, perhaps?

“Him? Probably something back in the country, West Virginia. Drinking moonshine, or something. No telling with him. That boy, he’s crazy.”

Yes he is. If you want to check out how the whole exchange sounded, it’s worth a listen:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Colin Kaepernick cracks a smile

Kaepernick’s press conferences are quick and to the point — everyone knows that by now. So even though I got a short answer to the question I asked, the fact that I got him to smile (laugh, even) felt like a minor victory.

In case you didn’t see the NFL Replay of the 49ers/Packers game, NFL Films also caught Kaepernick telling a teammate sitting on the bench, “I told you I could beat you in a footrace.” I thought Kaepernick was talking to A.J. Jenkins, but I figured I’d see what Kaepernick had to say. Add in that taunting penalty, and one gets the feeling that Kaepernick talks a lot more he lets on.