In the 49ers’ first voluntary workout open to the media on Thursday, newly signed wide receiver Randy Moss made an impression on his teammates. Moss ran routes without pads or defenders, and was only in a jersey and shorts, but he made it look easy running down throws from Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick. At one point, Moss caught a 55-yard throw from Smith that drew cheers from offensive tackle Anthony Davis.
Early this week I wrote about A.J. Jenkins being an insurance policy on Moss and Michael Crabtree. In the post I said Moss will need to have a really great training camp in order to make the final roster with so many receivers fighting for a limited number of spots. It seems Moss is off to a good start. Here were some quotes from fellow teammates:
He never, ever since he’s been playing football has looked like he’s been running fast. But he’s a long strider, and when you actually run against him, he’s really running really fast. He’s running the same as he’s always run. His body looks like a younger Randy Moss, so I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do on the football field.
It’s tough to tell that he missed a year of football. I certainly don’t see any rust. He’s running well, catching well. No surprise, he’s a pro and already has a good understanding of the playbook.
When you see him out there, running around catching balls, you can tell the talent he has and what he’s going to bring to the team.
I want Randy Moss to teach me everything, from the playbook to how to get ready.
Moss has developed a friendship with Crabtree. The two, along with Whitner and Frank Gore have been meeting for morning workouts on their own. Moss and Crabtree’s friendship is natural given the two play at the same position. They run drills together and engage in fun trash talk. This could be a good or a bad thing because Moss and Crabtree have shown to be your prototypical diva wide receivers. With the difference being the former has actual accomplishments to back up his swagger, while the latter disappears when needed most.
The pair establishing a bond could turn out to be a good thing if both feel they have a lot to prove this season. Moss did not play in the NFL last season and in 2010 he only caught 28 passes with the Patriots, Vikings and Titans. Most Niner fans thought Crabtree would have his breakout season in 2011. Even though he had career highs in receptions (72) and receiving yards (874), his numbers in the two playoffs games erased all memories of those accomplishments.
Still, this could turn out to be a bad thing but that all depends on how the two see themselves portrayed to the outside world. They need to have a chip-on-their-shoulder mentality, not a world is against me/us attitude heading into training camp. If Moss and Crabtree have a something to prove mindset, the two could create a dynamic duo as they push each other to be better receivers.