NEW ORLEANS -- Colin Kaepernick may be a recent phenomenon for the national media, but Randy Moss said the young quarterback caught his eye as far back as May.
Moss on Tuesday said he watched Kaepernick work out one day in the spring and decided he was someone worth taking under his wing.
I saw something in him, Moss said. I pulled him to the side and shared a few words with him. I'm not going to share what we were talking about. I had just seen something in him.
Eight months later, it's Kaepernick -- not Tom Brady or Randall Cunningham or any of the famous quarterbacks Moss has played alongside - who is in position to give the receiver something he has yet to achieve in 14 seasons: a Super Bowl ring.
Moss, who had formally addressed the media only six times before Tuesday, spoke for more than 60 minutes on Media Day, covering topics from Kaepernick to his year away from football to his desire to play another season to whether he's ever had an imaginary, online girlfriend. (Answer: no).
He made the biggest wave when he said -- more than once -- that he considered himself the greatest receiver of all time.
I don't really live on numbers, Moss said. I live on impact and what you're able to do out on that field. So I really believe that I'm the greatest receiver to ever play this game.
Jerry Rice, of course, hasn't even begun to relax his vise-grip on that best-ever title both in impact and in statistics.
In his 14th season, Rice caught 82 passes for 1,157 yards and nine touchdowns for San Francisco, and he played another six seasons and caught another 33 touchdowns after that. Moss' regular-season tally for 2012: 28 catches, 434 yards and three touchdowns.
Moss acknowledged his down year, and admitted he was frustrated at being a decoy, which is his role the majority of times he steps onto the field.
Moss may not be the best ever, but his teammates - especially the youngest ones - revere him like no one else on the team.
Michael Crabtree even noted that Moss' surname has been turned into a verb among NFL players.
It's funny when you're at practice and you catch a ball over somebody and they say, 'You got Moss'd,' Crabtree said. You talk to the (defensive back) and you say, 'You got Moss'd,' and Moss is sitting right there next to you.
Kaepernick, meanwhile, remembered the spring encounter with Moss.
Basically he told me, 'Just take a deep breath and play like yourself,' Kaepernick said. Coming from someone who's been in the league and is a future hall of famer, you've got to take his advice to heart and since then I've felt I've done that.