- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
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We left off June 15 with 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio saluting Moss for the receiver's commitment, for being "down to earth" in his approach and for being a "throwback" in terms of his love for the game.
The veteran wide receiver's news conference Friday, available for viewing here, provided supporting evidence for the overwhelmingly positive reviews this offseason from Fangio and others in the organization.
Moss came off as a player humbled by the opportunity to join a playoff-caliber team. He never once sounded defensive or annoyed by the line of questioning. Moss even channeled JFK when saying he was more concerned with what he could do for the game than for what the game could do for him. A sampling of what he said:
"Well, when I first came into this league, it was more of I didn't really understand really everything that goes on with the NFL. And now that I'm matured physically and mentally, my philosophy is, I do not like what the NFL does for me, I want to know what I can do to make the NFL better. And if that's coming out here teaching the young guys and showing my professionalism and being a leader on and off the field, that's what I want to do because I think that if we get that type of mind-set it'll make it a better league.
"The league has blessed me and my family and I'm very fortunate to be in a position that I'm in, but like I said, I like what I can do for the league, not what the league can do for me. Money comes and goes, but as far as trying to make this a better league, we're having young players come in, just being able to teach the game and understand how to take care of your body, how to approach the game day to day, week to week."
There's still a chance Moss' tenure with the 49ers will end the way his previous tenures with Minnesota, Oakland and New England ended -- prematurely and with questions about Moss' willingness to put the team first amid difficult circumstances. A blowup with an assistant coach precipitated his departure from New England.
The first day of training camp isn't the time to pass final judgment. But in listening carefully for signs of insincerity in Moss' comments Friday, there were no red flags to see. It's as though Moss is embracing one final chance to recast his Hall of Fame legacy. Moss has impressed wherever he's gone. So far, so good in San Francisco.