SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Randy Moss shed the dreads and looked every bit a team player as he demonstrated a cut and quick feet for his fellow wide receivers, who listened intently and observed while the veteran impressed in his first formal practice with the San Francisco 49ers.
Clean cut with a short hairdo and sporting a red No. 84 jersey while running routes under clear skies, Moss is one of the signature faces for the new-look Niners. After a comeback season in 2011, they're determined to make another Super Bowl push.
The 35-year-old Moss even dazzled with a 55-yard touchdown catch from Alex Smith - no matter that there were no defenders in his way, the play drew cheers from right tackle Anthony Davis, who threw his arms into the air in celebration.
After catching a 30-yard pass — one of perhaps 20 such routes today — Moss waited for Crabtree to do the same and they seemed to discuss the route they just ran. That's a positive development on a couple fronts: 1.) Crabtree is healthy enough to participate in offseason drills; 2.) Crabtree is receptive to learning from Moss, a 13-year veteran.
Update: Moss declined interview requests, but did tell the Associated Press' Janie McCauley as he got in his SUV to leave the 49ers' facility: "Work is over, baby, we're outta here."
These are voluntary workouts, and no offense-vs.-defense actions is permitted. But everyone seemed in full-speed mode, hustling between drills and attentively listening to coaches. That included Moss receiving tips from position coach John Morton.
Kaepernick added of Moss: "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."
Whitner said, "A lot of times we're running with chains on our backs, we're running 60-yard sprints. So you can see that he can really run. A lot of times he's leading in the sprints. So if I had to say anything, I don't think he lost a step at all."
[ Edited by Howlett49 on May 10, 2012 at 8:56 PM ]