2012 NFL Free Agents: 6 Reasons Randy Moss Will Return to Glory with 49ers

Zachary ParkerCorrespondent IIMarch 19, 2012

2012 NFL Free Agents: 6 Reasons Randy Moss Will Return to Glory with 49ers

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    The San Francisco 49ers finally added a legitimate receiver to their roster when they joined forces with Randy Moss.

    At best, Moss is the greatest deep threat in the history of the game. His freakish athleticism gives him one of the best size/speed ratios ever seen. Not to mention, he can jump over buildings and catch darts with one hand.

    At worst, Moss publicly criticizes coaches, quits on his team and moons fans (to the dismay of Joe Buck; oh, the horror!). 

    Considering that Moss was retired only months ago, it is unlikely he intends to jog through the 2012 season. His return suggests that he is 100 percent focused on accomplishing the only thing he has yet to do in his career: win a Super Bowl.

Even at 35 Years Old, Randy Moss Can Beat You Deep

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    Randy Moss made headlines after an impressive workout with the New Orleans Saints on March 6. He reportedly ran the 40-yard dash in 4.39 to 4.4 seconds—a time that rivals the fastest prospects at this year's NFL combine.

    Moss has always been known for his conditioning.

    Heath Evans (fullback turned NFL Network talking head) was Moss' teammate for two seasons with the New England Patriots. He had this to say about Moss' training habits in USA Today:

    I trained with this guy in Boca (Raton, Fla.) every offseason—he is a nightmare to work out with. Many guys came in and out of those workouts, and they never showed up again.

    The fact that Jim Harbaugh was so quick to sign Moss is an indication that he was impressed by the veteran's conditioning. 

    Assuming Moss enters the 2012 season anywhere close to top form, he has the potential to resemble the receiver who broke the rookie record for touchdowns (17) back in 1998.

    The only thing standing in his way is his attitude.

Driven to Win

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    This video shows Randy Moss' dual personalities: the guy who makes plays on the field, and the one who makes headlines off it.

    Throughout Moss' career, he has been criticized for quitting on his team when it isn't doing well.

    An example: He caught 23 touchdowns in his first year with the New England Patriots in 2007 after catching only three with the Oakland Raiders the year before.

    A lack of effort will not be a problem for Moss in San Francisco. 

    According to Heath Evans in USA Today, "This guy (Moss) is driven by guys around him that want to win...Yes, he wanted touchdowns and catches, but he ultimately wanted to win."

    Following a stomach-twisting overtime loss in the NFC Championship Game, San Francisco's locker room will be determined to seek revenge in 2012.

    With Harbaugh's "Who's got it better than us?" mantra stuck in his head, Moss will return from retirement ready to do whatever is necessary to win the Lombardi Trophy; not only for himself, but for the city and team of San Francisco. 

When Motivated, Randy Moss Is Unstoppable

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    In 2006, the New England Patriots lost to the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game. 

    The following offseason, they signed Randy Moss, who was coming off of a disappointing two-year stint with the Oakland Raiders. 

    Bill Belichick was questioned for bringing in Moss, who was considered a wash-up after hardly participating in the Raiders' offense.

    Moss proved the critics wrong in 2007 with a legendary performance. Both he and Tom Brady broke the respective records for most touchdowns in a season, and the Patriots went 16-0.

    Sure, having a future Hall of Fame quarterback will help the stats, but Moss made plays in 2007 that nobody else could replicate.

    As seen in this highlight tape, Moss cannot be covered. His speed enables him to outrun triple coverage, his leaping ability and extension allow him to win the jump balls and his concentration never wavers.

    Moss proved in 2007 that when he is properly motivated, his quarterback's arm is the only thing limiting his production.

Play Action

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    Last season, the San Francisco 49ers relied on a strong defense and relentless power run game to outlast their opponents.

    Randy Moss will have to get used to running the dummy deep route in the 49ers' offense. An uninteresting task, but one that comes with big upside.

    Moss' deep-threat ability will force secondaries to stay back, which will open up running room for Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter. 

    If San Francisco can establish a healthy per carry average, the secondary will become susceptible to the play-action pass.

    Moss cannot be overthrown. Should the safeties bite on a fake, all the quarterback has to do is heave the ball as far as possible, and it's going to be six points more likely than not. 

The 50-50 Pass

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    It is hard to believe that the San Francisco 49ers were able to go 13-3 considering their offense was successful on only 29 percent of their third-down attempts (good for second worst in the NFL).

    Every week, QB Alex Smith would be faced with long third-down tries. Defenses would routinely come with heavy blitzes on these occasions and pressure Smith before receivers could get open. The result was typically a sack or incompletion.

    Whether or not Smith returns in 2012 remains to be seen, but what is certain is that Randy Moss can be the go-to receiver the 49ers have lacked since losing Terrell Owens.

    Throughout his career, Moss has been known for raising his hand before the snap, indicating that he is facing one-on-one coverage. The result is a quick 50-50 jump ball, a situation which usually leaves corners flailing as Moss snatches the ball out of the air with ease.

    His ability to win the jump balls will bail out the offense in dire situations and give the defense extra time to rest—not to mention allow Moss the opportunity to make ESPN's Top 10 Plays of the Week. 

Bling or Bust

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    Despite playing for three different teams in 2010, Randy Moss was still able to make the improbable play look ordinary.

    After a year of retirement, Moss will return to football with the San Francisco 49ers with one thing in mind, a Super Bowl ring.

    Motivated by the bling, Moss will lay his ego aside and buy into the 49ers' team-first mentality. A scary thought for opposing defenses.

    When Moss is dedicated, he is impossible to cover. Even at 35 years old, he has the speed to burn secondaries and the athleticism to catch any pass.

    His production in 2012 will only be limited by his quarterback.

    Assuming Alex Smith regains his senses and signs with the 49ers, San Francisco's offense will be set to play championship football next season.

    Should the football gods send Peyton Manning to the Bay Area, there is no telling what records will fall.

    Regardless of who is throwing the ball, Moss will return to top form in 2012 and propel the 49ers deep into the playoffs and possibly beyond.

    This is Moss' final chance to win a Super Bowl, a factor that will inspire him to be a difference-maker in San Francisco's offense and restore his reputation as one of the best to play the game.