SANTA CLARA -- Randy Moss' spectacular career with the Minnesota Vikings could be measured in terms of yardage, catches and touchdowns.
When he returns to the Metrodome on Sunday, his impact will be measured in decibels.
"I'm just looking forward to hearing the Metrodome rock," Moss said.
The 49ers' trip this week will mark the six-time Pro Bowler's first regular-season appearance in Minnesota as an opponent. The occasion proved special enough for Moss to speak with reporters after practice Wednesday, something he hadn't done for weeks.
While he stressed repeatedly that his focus is on the 49ers' present, Moss also seemed to enjoy reflecting on his Vikings past.
"I'm just very fortunate to go back where it all started," Moss said. "We had some great times in Minnesota."
Moss, 35, burst to stardom as a Vikings rookie in 1998 and still owns the team record for most 100-yard receiving games (41). He is second only to Cris Carter in most of Minnesota's major career receiving categories.
Moss is unsure how he'll be received by the crowd Sunday but doesn't much care -- so long as what he hears is loud. "I think the boos, being negative, put more pressure on you to go out and hush that noise up," Moss said. "But I look forward to hearing both (boos and cheers)."
Moss played with the Vikings through 2004 and returned for a four-game cameo in 2010. His only appearance in Minnesota as an opposing player came in the
Moss on Wednesday said he remains forever grateful to former Vikings coach Dennis Green for taking him 21st overall in 1998 while other teams passed on him because of character concerns.
"He gave me an opportunity with all the nonsense and B.S. that was said during the draft," he said. "I'm still thankful to Denny Green for giving me a chance to showcase my talent."
Moss' current teammates are aware of the homecoming storyline, but there will be no nostalgia built into the game plan. Quarterback Alex Smith, for example, said he's not going to take a deep shot to Moss just for old time's sake.
"I'm not thinking about it," Smith said. "I'm going to go back and go through the reads and if the shot is there, it's there. ... Randy, every week, is going to play a big part for us. And you never really know until game day sometimes what that is going to turn out to be."
Moss had only one catch against the Detroit Lions last Sunday and was on the field for only 16 snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. He has five catches for 61 yards and a touchdown over his first two games.
Moss was expansive on all topics except his playing time. When asked about whether he was concerned about his lack of snaps, he said: "No I'm not. Next question."
When pressed again later about why he's not concerned, he said: "Because it's really not up to me. I just come out here and practice every day. When called upon I just go out there and make plays."
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said Moss has flashed just enough big-play potential during the first two games to get the defense's attention. Moss averaged 12.2 yards on his five catches.
"They still take some shots with him down the field," Frazier told reporters in Minnesota. "There are times they are trying to get behind the secondary with him. He still shows that if you blink, he can run by you. He has got that ability.
"He really seems to be rejuvenated in their offense."
It's already been a turn-back-the-clock week for Moss. In the taped introductions that NBC aired early in the 49ers-Lions game, Moss introduced himself as a product of "Rand University."
That confused viewers who know him as a former college star at Marshall. So many people thought he was referring to himself that "Randy University" became a trending topic on Twitter.
But as Moss said, he was referring to his hometown of Rand, W.Va.
"That's my whole community, man," he said. "I think that in order to get to know me I guess you've got to come back to my hometown to where I'm from to really understand what really drives and pushes me to be able to be the best.
"I spent some hard times coming out of Rand, West Virginia, so just showing my people love, showing the kids love that no matter what I've accomplished in life I've still got love for my hometown."