Just a few months ago, San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh worked out with wide receiver Randy Moss. Less than a year into his retirement following a failed stint with the Tennessee Titans, the 35-year-old was signed by the 49ers in hopes once again becoming an explosive playmaker, giving the team a receiver option quarterback Alex Smith simply did not have last season.
Now just a couple of months away from the start of the 2012-13 season, Harbaugh sees Moss as more than just another wide receiver on the team. According to Rich Gannon of SiriusXM NFL Radio, Harbaugh told him that Moss is "our best receiver right now."
Harbaugh is no stranger to making lofty claims. Back in May, he was on KNBR-680 and proclaimed that wideout Michael Crabtree has "the best hands I've ever seen on a wide receiver." Considering that he's played with or coached the likes of Marvin Harrison, Tim Brown, and Jerry Rice, this statement was quite the ear-opener.
While he's only been a member of the team for a couple of months, it makes sense to be a little weary of Harbaugh's proclamation and high expectations for Moss. But according to Gannon, a quarterback coached by Harbaugh in his 2002 AP NFL MVP award-winning year, Moss has been more than just looking good during the offseason. From adopting a team-first attitude to setting a good example for younger wide receivers, Moss is following the coach's requests and is trying to set a good example as a leader.
If Harbaugh's words are truly what they mean, there's no guessing how good Moss could be next season. While the team will have Crabtree, the team's best wide receiver last season, recently-acquired receiver Mario Manningham from the New York Giants, and rookie A.J. Jenkins via the NFL Draft, the team's oldest receiver could also be the team's biggest weapon downfield if Moss is able to display the speed and vertical passing game skills that made him an All-Pro years ago.
While he's yet to prove it during games, a comeback by one of the most dominant wide receivers in the history of the game could propel the 49ers and their offense to new heights this season.
Gannon: Harbaugh touts Moss as 49ers' top receiver, 49ers Hot Read, Bay Area News Group
Harbaugh: Crabtree has 'best hands I've ever seen', CSN Bay Area
Gannong: Harbaugh says Randy Moss 'our best receiver', CSN Bay Area
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