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Randy Moss, 49ers Ready for Week 1

Posted Sep 5, 2012

The San Francisco 49ers added a member to the family on Tuesday, Sept. 4. And if Jim Harbaugh is correct, the newest addition could play a big role in the team’s Week 1 matchup against the Green Bay Packers.

“Jack Jr. reported for duty yesterday at 1:27 p.m,” the 49ers head coach said on Wednesday, in reference to his newborn son named after his father Jack Harbaugh. “He was 8 pounds, 8 ounces. Came 10 days early, which is to be expected. The good ones like to come in early.

“And also I think it bodes well for the 49ers. I think it’s a sign of good luck to come, perhaps. Jack Jr. being born on the fourth day of the ninth month of this year.”

Talk about perspective.

With Jack Jr. resting comfortably at home, the 49ers will embark on the team’s first regular season road trip of 2012 this week. San Francisco will face Green Bay in one of the league’s most anticipated matchups of the NFL’s opening weekend.

“We face, first, a daunting challenge,” Harbaugh said. “This is a great Green Bay Packer team. And it’s going to take, first and foremost, a phenomenal week of preparation by all of us, coaches, players. Understand this team the best that we can. Mentally prepare, physically prepare ourselves. And then get ready and be motivated to play in this game.”

Preparation is Harbaugh’s biggest emphasis heading into Week 1 and the detail-work extends to the team’s oldest perimeter weapon, Randy Moss, a well-documented addition to the team who was signed one day before the start of the NFL’s free agency period.

Moss, the 14-year veteran, returns to Lambeau Field this week to face a Packers team that he’s caught 15 touchdowns against all-time, the most of any individual opponent in Green Bay history.

“I think it’s a good thing that my comeback or whatever you want to consider it – Lambeau’s a nice place to start it,” said Moss, who caught three passes for 24 yards this preseason.

Moss sat out of football in 2011, but has been rejuvenated ever since he’s been around the 49ers.

“I’ve said time and time again I love being around this group,” said Moss, a six-time Pro Bowl wideout. “These guys are so young and so energetic. They love to have fun. When you boil it all down, we’re nothing but big kids. We have fun in the locker room. We’re serious on the field, but we like to have fun also. It just feels good.”

Moss has enjoyed his entire experience with his new team, especially Harbaugh’s emphasis on improving every single day.

And although it’s been some time since Moss officially prepared for a regular season game, the 6-foot-4, 210-pound wideout feels like preparation is the biggest key for his return to NFL football.

“You’ve got to prepare yourself, because if you’re not prepared, how are you going to have success?” Moss said to a group of reporters following Wednesday’s practice. “I prepare myself every day, from minicamp, training camp to now. Today is the first day of Week 1. I feel pretty good and I’m excited. It feels good to be back in the league. It feels good I made the team. I’m very excited. I look forward to a good game Sunday.”

Likewise, the 49ers are eager to see a good game from the new wideout on Sunday. But they’re not exactly over-hyping the talents of the future Hall of Fame wideout, who has caught 10-or more touchdowns in nine NFL seasons and also set the league’s single-season touchdown reception record with 23 touchdown catches in 2007.

“For me, I think expectations of everybody on offense and this whole team is get ready to go, be prepared for whatever happens out there,” Alex Smith said. “No idea what’s going to happen on Sunday, can’t predict anything. But we all have to be ready for it and when your number gets called, that you step up and be accountable and that’s all of us, me included. Don’t know what’s going to happen numbers wise, catches, things like that. We’ll see.”

Moss said he’s continuing to build chemistry with Smith, but pointed out that no receiver is where they want to be at Week 1 of the season.

“The only thing that I can really hang my hat on is, we’ve put enough work in to go into Week 1,” Moss said. “That’s all I can really say. I look forward to going out here on Sunday in a historical field such as Lambeau and all the history they have. Like I said, I’m ready for the challenge.”

Moss is listed as a starting wide receiver opposite of Michael Crabtree, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll see the bulk of action on the outside. The 49ers also signed Mario Manningham this offseason, who’s done a nice job of integrating himself into a new offense.

“The depth chart significance, especially on today, what we’re going to do, what we will do, could be something that can’t be foreseen and predicted today,” Harbaugh said. “Generally, I like to stay away from those kind of questions.”

While Harbaugh kept his cards close to the vest, Moss aims to pick up on his impressive NFL track record.

“As far as the knowledge I have for the game, it hasn’t really changed,” Moss said. “Now that I’m back in the game, it makes me a little bit more eager to get in there and study and really know what I see. I’ve been in the league long enough to know what type of coverages I see and what type of coverages are going to be thrown my way. I just try to study hard and make sure I’m on top of my game when called.”

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