Moss speaks up in pursuit of elusive Super Bowl ring

January 12, 2013, 11:15 am
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Bruce Miller's family and friends had every reason to be impressed that the college defensive end was drafted as a fullback and worked his way into the 49ers' starting lineup as a rookie.

But what really got a reaction was when Miller, early in his second NFL season, posted a picture on Instagram of his flying partner on road trips.

"All my friends and family back home were like, 'What? You're sitting next to Randy Moss?'" Miller said.

When the season began, all of players were situated in the back of the team's charter for road trips. But coach Jim Harbaugh decided to move the players to the front of the plane, and the seats were assigned.

As luck would have it, the alphabetical listing placed Miller next to Moss.

"When the season started, I knew him a little bit, but not as well as I know him now," Miller said. "Most of our trips are pretty long, so we have plenty of time to talk.

"He's hilarious. He's a fun guy to next to, just to sit and talk to. I sit there and pick his brain about the game plan on the way there. On the way back, we talk about what happened in the game. He's ready to sit and talk. He's seen everything. For me to sit and talk to him is awesome for me."

Moss has not made a huge on-field contribution to the 49ers this season, as he ranked tied for fourth on the 49ers with just 28 receptions for 434 yards and three touchdowns.

Most of his contributions have taken place in the locker room, where he usually can be found in conversation with one of his younger teammates. This week, as the 49ers prepared for their NFC divisional-round game against the Green Bay Packers, Moss was seen speaking regularly with rookie running back LaMichael James at his locker.

Early in the week, Moss rose in front of the entire team during a meeting and spoke of his own playoff experience.

"He's been great. He's been here before and he's happy to be back and a chance to go for the goal, and that's a chance to win the Super Bowl," 49ers running back Frank Gore said.

"Basically, (he said) you don't get opportunities like this all the time, so let's go out and do it. There are no guarantees you're going to be in the postseason every year."

Moss, one of the most prolific wide receivers in NFL history, makes his seventh playoff appearance in 14 NFL seasons on Saturday night at Candlestick Park. He has scored 10 playoff touchdowns in 12 career postseason games.

He has played in one Super Bowl (February 2008) with the New England Patriots, but the Patriots' bid for an undefeated season was ended by the New York Giants.

Early this season, Moss was asked about how much he would value a Super Bowl ring this season with the 49ers, as his career is winding down.

"I'm not really thinking about Super Bowl, but that really is the only thing missing on my resume," Moss said.

The 49ers might look for Moss to fill a missing part of the team's offense against the Packers.

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has not found a reliable No. 2 option in the passing game behind Michael Crabtree. And with Mario Manningham out for the season with a knee injury, the door is open for the 35-year-old Moss to make a larger impact in the 49ers' offense.

Although his role has mostly been behind the scenes, coach Jim Harbaugh graded Moss this season as "A-plus."

And that's the way Miller sees it, too. Miller said his conversations with Moss are both informative and entertaining.

"He knows everything. He knows where we're supposed to go and what we're supposed to do," Miller said. "Our receivers block. I think they take a lot of pride in that, so he's definitely interested in what we're doing.

"He's out there playing receiver and he can see the whole field. He tells me what he thinks, and then he's got a story to go along with it."

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