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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

49ers Training Camp: Robert Saleh explains why Tarvarius Moore got first-team reps at free safety

Jul 30, 2019 at 12:59 PM

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Tarvarius Moore worked at free safety with the San Francisco 49ers' first-team defense during team drills on Tuesday. Adrian Colbert had been receiving those snaps but had to share them during the session. It was a switch that had the media in attendance taking notice. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, however, warns that you shouldn't read too much into anything this early in training camp.

"Just want a little bit more, not versatility, but making sure guys are getting the looks they need," Saleh said after practice while explaining the decision, "getting the work that they need to be able to get better. As training camp gets going, we need to figure out who's going to make this 53-man roster, and giving guys different looks to see if they're able to do it is very important."

The 49ers made Moore a third-round selection out of Southern Miss last year. He started the final two games in 2018 at cornerback after a knee injury landed Ahkello Witherspoon on injured reserve. San Francisco is transitioning Moore back to safety, his natural position in college. It's where he flourished with the Golden Eagles.

The competition could increase as training camp continues. The 49ers activated defensive back Jimmie Ward from the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list on Tuesday. Saleh stated that Moore would remain working at free safety even after Ward gets back on the practice field.

"[Moore] is staying at free (safety)," Saleh added. "He's been progressively getting better. He's by no means even close to being an NFL-ready safety by Week 1, but he is getting progressively better. But he's got a lot of things to clean up with regards to lack of hesitation. He's hesitating, which is expected. He's still new at the position.

"He's got to get to the point where he's not really thinking about his job anymore, where he can react and trigger, which is so important for our safety to be able to do."

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