It’s the end of May, the draft has come and gone and OTAs are just starting to pick up. Naturally, the legion of NFL writers get bored. It appears the topic du jour today is the enigma that is Randy Moss. To anyone following the 49ers offseason with zero prior knowledge of Moss (no one), it would appear that he was the model veteran. The quiet leader donning the mantle of on-field coach. On the flipside, anyone looking in with preconceptions about Moss (everyone), the reaction is either cautious optimism, or hopeless pessimism waiting for the other shoe to drop.
However, if history repeats itself (and it often does) the Randy Moss we are seeing in May will likely be the Randy Moss we see all season. Since entering the league in 1998, he was the prototype for the modern day wide receiver. A giant in the redzone and a gazelle in the open field, virtually undefendable. He had the gift of making it look effortless, which ironically became the source of blemish on an otherwise Hall of Fame career. Never had anyone doubted his talent, only his effort. Following a very forgettable stint with the Oakland Raiders, Moss set out to silence his critics, worked quietly and tirelessly, and came one miracle play away from winning a Super Bowl. Fast forward to 2010 and 2011, one disastrous season and another unemployed season later, Moss is facing those critics again. Those that now doubt his talent at the age of 35 in addition to those who have always doubted his effort and character. Playing on a non-guaranteed one year contract with a Super Bowl ring within grasp, Moss is back in redemption mode much like he was in 2007, where he totaled 16 games for 1,493 yards and a whopping 23 touchdowns. No one is saying he’ll reach those marks again, but even being able to obtain half those marks while remaining competitive will be enough to make the run at the Super Bowl a reality. Harbaugh may really be smitten, or perhaps it’s a calculated move to get the media discussing Randy Moss again, providing motivation. With nothing to lose and a legacy to gain, motivation is certainly not in short supply for Randy Moss.