San Francisco's Randy Moss calls himself 'the greatest receiver to ever play this game'
Randy Moss of the San Francisco 49ers spent part of Super Bowl media day describing himself as the greatest receiver of all time.
NEW ORLEANS — Colin Kaepernick might be a recent phenomenon for the national media, but Randy Moss said the young San Francisco 49ers quarterback caught his eye as far back as May.
Moss on Tuesday said he watched Kaepernick work out one day in the spring and decided he was someone worth taking under his wing.
"I saw something in him," Moss said. "I pulled him to the side and shared a few words with him. I'm not going to share what we were talking about. I had just seen something in him."
Eight months later, it is Kaepernick — not Tom Brady or Randall Cunningham or any of the famous quarterbacks Moss has played alongside — who is in position to give the receiver something he has yet to achieve in 14 seasons: a Super Bowl ring.
Moss, who had formally addressed the media only six times this season before Tuesday, spoke for more than 60 minutes on Super Bowl media day. The 35-year-old made the biggest wave when he said — more than once — he considered himself the greatest receiver of all time.
"I don't really live on numbers," Moss said. "I live on impact and what you're able to do out on that field. So I really believe that I'm the greatest receiver to ever play this game."
Moss' regular-season statistics for 2012 weren't great: 28 catches, 434 yards and three touchdowns.
Moss acknowledged his "down year," and admitted he was frustrated at being a decoy, 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."
Kaepernick 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 has 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 recalled an instance when Moss helped him out of a funk. The 49ers had lost 42-13 to the Seahawks on Dec. 23, and Moss spotted Kaepernick in the shower with his forehead pressed against the 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."
for choice of words
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco apologized for his word selection in criticizing the league's decision to hold next year's Super Bowl at an outdoor stadium at a cold-weather site.
On Monday, Flacco was asked about the game being played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
"I think it's retarded. I probably shouldn't say that. I think it's stupid," he said.
On Tuesday, Flacco said, "Obviously, it was a poor choice of words. At home, I have a close relationship with Special Olympics. I didn't mean to offend anyone."
Harbaugh is asked
San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh was asked about the "necklace" he wears on the sideline during games that includes a Sharpie. He seemed taken aback.
"Well, I take great offense that you call it a necklace. It's a whistle," he said with a smile, drawing laughs from the media. "It's a coaches' whistle that coaches have long worn around their neck. I believe every coach should have a whistle. It's hard to imagine going out to practice without a whistle.
"Then I just put a pen onto the whistle string. It's not complicated at all. If I need a pen, it's just right there."
Former NFL quarterback Harbaugh, 49, was asked about his earliest memories of wanting to be a coach.
"I wanted to be a player, and play for as long as I could, and then coach and then die," Harbaugh said.
• NFL officials said 5,205 media members have been credentialed for the Super Bowl, and more than 2,000 showed up for media-day interview sessions. Those sessions were also open to fans for $25, and paid attendance was 5,479 at the Superdome.