Behold! An older, kinder, gentler Randy Moss for the 49ers …

Look at Randy Moss, repping his home state. That’s a West Virginia hat (Associated Press)

Hellooooo from San Francisco. Or, actually, Santa Clara, Calif. Hey, only a 45-minute drive. Anyway, the San Francisco 49ers are about to practice, and Randy Moss will be on the field when they do.

The 35-year-old formerly retired receiver spoke to the media today for about 10 minutes, and he was as colorful as always. That accent never gets old, and neither does what he says. But this time, to me, it felt different.

He’s older and wiser, but maybe kinder and gentler? He was soulful, almost. He was asked about his milestones and said he didn’t care. Not really, anyway.

I just love to play football,” Moss said. “All that other stuff I’ll leave up to y’all. I’ve been playing football since I was six years old. The love I have for the game of football will always be in me. I just want to play football. Being here, and coach Harbaugh accepting me and bringing me here, hopefully I can give something back in return with my play and my presence on and off the field.”

He has some records out there to be broken, but he didn’t sound concerned. He described himself as a teammate first and foremost, and coach Jim Harbaugh said that was his favorite thing about Moss — how he worked with the younger guys. Even in failed stints with the Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans, it was the same there.

I just love the game of football. I love being in the locker room,” Moss said. “I  love being around the guys. These guys are young and very enthusiastic. I don’t really feel my age being around these guys. They love to have fun. Coach Harbaugh is a player’s coach. I watched coach Harbaugh growing up. He came in fired up from Day One, yesterday. We like to have fun around here. I don’t feel my age. I love to have fun and I feel good.”

What about the expectations of this team? He’s been on some good teams, a near-perfect team, actually. How does this compare?

I see the expecations we have for one another, and as a whole unit, we set the bar high,” Moss said. “The good thing is we come to work. Everybody is attentive, taking notes, asking questions. Everybody is a professional athlete. The sky is the limit. I don’t know how it’s going to happen. With our preparation and working every day in classroom and work room and putting results on the field. I don’t really know. We have our own expectations here. As far as a team, we don’t want to let each other down and that really shows. … Hopefully the results you see on the field will be good results, and we’ll go from there.”

In the end, I was struck by this: “I thank the 49ers organization for bringing me here. Hopefully, I’ll give them something back in return.

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