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Frank Gore Vouches for Moss’ Impact

Posted Jan 9, 2013

San Francisco’s all-time leader in carries, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns can’t help but soak up the atmosphere this week at 49ers headquarters.

With Frank Gore and the rest of the 49ers in full swing of their NFC Divisional Playoff preparations for the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco’s Pro Bowl running back truly appreciates the opportunity at hand this Saturday night.

The rarity of the situation was further addressed this week when 14-year veteran Randy Moss spoke to the team about the challenge of maximizing postseason appearances.

“Guys, first and second-year players who might not have been in the playoffs, they wonder what it’s like,” Jim Harbaugh shared. “They hear a lot of people say what it’s like. But, to actually talk to guys that have been there and played in those battles, it’s good to hear from them.”

Other veterans like Vernon Davis and Joe Staley have spoken to the team, according to the 49ers coach.

Gore appreciated the shared wisdom, especially the words from Moss.

“You really don’t get too many opportunities like this, ‘Let’s try to go out and do it,’” said Gore, recalling the theme of Moss’ talk.

The future Hall of Fame wide receiver has played in a Super Bowl, but has never won it. Knowing that, Gore wants to do what he can to win a World Championship for himself and the other veterans in the locker room, Moss included.

It makes it easier when you know the pass-catching wideout is doing everything in his power to create running lanes for Gore, the first player in 49ers history to record six, 1,000-yard seasons.

“Randy’s been great,” said Gore, who rushed for 1,214 yards to go along with 8 rushing touchdowns. “He’s been here before and he’s happy to be back to have a chance to go for the goal and that’s trying to get to the Super Bowl.”

So happy, Moss has willingly stuck his nose into opposing defender’s downfield. While Moss totaled 28 receptions for 434 receiving yards and three touchdowns in his first season with the 49ers, the long-armed wideout proved to be a willing blocker.

“I was really surprised,” Gore said of his wide receiver’s downfield blocks. “Randy’s tried his best to do everything – catching and blocking and he’s been doing a great job.”

Moss has been mentoring 49ers wideouts throughout the season. It was evident again at San Francisco’s Wednesday workout. Before the two-hour session began, Moss was in the ear of the team’s young wide receivers giving them detailed footwork instructions to finish off a certain route, Michael Crabtree included.

“Randy talks to us all the time,” Crabtree said of the 49ers other starting wideout. “I’m in the room with Randy all day, every day. There’s a lot of things we’re talking about.”

Such mentorship and steady play-making has impressed Harbaugh the most.

Asked how Moss has been on and off the field with the 49ers, the 49ers coach replied, “I think it’s been A-plus.”

Leadership from the team’s most well-known players isn’t the only reason for the 49ers enter Saturday’s matchup with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.

A week of rest certainly helped.

Perhaps starting right guard Alex Boone said it best, the entire team benefitted from the week off, but maybe Gore more than anybody.

“I bet it was huge,” Boone said, before taking a long pause. “He wasn’t getting tackled by me and you had guys laying off him, so I think it was a big deal for him. Anytime you can get a bye week for anybody, to get re-focused mentally and physically rested, it’s always a big deal.”

Boone expects to continue where he left off in the regular season.

“What makes him so dynamic is the fact that he loves going inside and making guys miss,” explained Boone, a first-year starter.

Gore took advantage of the extra time off and has felt fresh all week leading up to the Green Bay rematch. The franchise's top runner picked up 112 yards in the 49ers season-opening road win over the Packers. San Francisco’s star back, however, sees an improved defense visiting Candlestick Park.

Green Bay held Adrian Peterson in check for most of last week’s Wild Card home victory.

“In the playoff game you could tell they really clamped down on the outside plays and kept him in the box,” Gore detailed.

“They didn’t let him get to the edges like the past games he did. They got the win, that’s all it’s about.”

Now that Gore faces his second foray into the postseason, the experience of last year’s NFC title game loss, combined with his excitement over this year’s team, only fuels his hunger to face the Packers.

“We know we should be here,” Gore said. “Now, we want the big thing and that’s going to the Super Bowl.”

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