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Sports

January 30, 2013

49ers' Moss says he's best receiver ever

(Continued)

Moss acknowledged his “down year,” and admitted he was frustrated at being a decoy, which is his role the majority of times he steps onto the field.

“I don’t really like that, but it’s something that I’m used to,” he said. “I have to grow to understand and grow to like it. I’ve always been a team player. I’ve never been about self. Anything that is going to push our team to victory and hopefully win a Super Bowl, I’m willing to do.”

Moss may not be the best ever, but his teammates — especially the youngest ones — revere him like no one else on the team.

Michael Crabtree even noted that Moss’ surname has been turned into a verb among NFL players.

“It’s funny when you’re at practice and you catch a ball over somebody and they say, ‘You got Moss’d,’” Crabtree said. “You talk to the (defensive back) and you say, ‘You got Moss’d,’ and Moss is sitting right there next to you.”

Kaepernick, meanwhile, remembered the spring encounter with Moss.

“Basically he told me, ‘Just take a deep breath and play like yourself,’” Kaepernick said. “Coming from someone who’s been in the league and is a future hall of famer, you’ve got to take his advice to heart and since then I’ve felt I’ve done that.”

Kaepernick also recalled another instance in which the veteran receiver helped him out of a funk. The 49ers had just fallen 42-13 to the Seahawks, their most lopsided loss of the Jim Harbaugh era, and Moss found Kaepernick in the shower with his forehead pressed against the shower wall.

“I said, ‘Man, get your head up. That was a team loss,’” Moss said. “He really beat himself up. I could see it on his face that he was really down that we didn’t win the game. I think he probably put it on his shoulders.”

But that’s also one of the reasons why Moss called Kaepernick “the next-generation quarterback we’re all looking for.”

He can run, throw, has a powerful arm, is precise and intelligent and has a burning desire to win, Moss said. In fact, there’s only one thing he wishes were different with Kaepernick.

“I wish he would take some of the heat of those balls sometimes,” he said with a smile.

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