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As 49ers open camp, famed wide receiver says he has "pep in his step"

  • San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith (11) walks off the field with head coach Jim Harbaugh, left, after training camp at 49ers NFL football headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif., Friday, July 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

SANTA CLARA — Wide receiver Randy Moss claimed Friday to have a "little pep in my step," repeatedly crediting that to his young, fun-loving 49ers teammates.

"By me signing here, being around a great group of guys who are young and enthusiastic, makes me feel young, too," Moss, 35, said in his first interview since his March 12 signing.

A year ago, Moss had no team to report to for training camp and missed his first season after 13 years as a prolific and mercurial receiver.

The reason for that absence: Apparently not from a lack of suitors but rather a personal issue, which he says he'll ultimately reveal in his autobiography, due out in "10 to 15 years," Moss said with a smile.

Moss often referred to his love of football and how he wants to repay the game, such as helping those younger teammates, most of whom played on last season's NFC runner-up squad.

"I'm really not an individual. I've never really been an individual," Moss said. "Through the course of my career, I guess there's a few records I've broken. I'm not about breaking records. They come and go."

Among the milestones he is approaching: One more touchdown catch for 154 total to break a tie with Terrell Owens for second-most behind Jerry Rice; 46 receptions to reach 1,000 in his career; and, 142 receiving yards to hit 15,000 all-time.

"I just love the game of football," Moss continued.

"I love being in the locker room. I love being around the guys. These guys are young and very enthusiastic. I don't really feel my age being around these guys."

Coach Jim Harbaugh, to Moss' surprise, was the one who threw him passes during that March 12 audition which led to his signing of a one-year, $1.75 million contract.

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