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Moss keeping 49ers' camp light

The SportsXchange

The 49ers held their first practice of training camp Friday, and the new additions to the passing game were on display for the first time since the offseason program wrapped up last month.

Wide receiver Randy Moss continued to receive high praise from the coaching staff and teammates for his work ethic, leadership and the excellent shape he arrived in.

"He's doing an outstanding job. And he's been exceeding expectations, doing a great job," coach John Harbaugh said. "Randy's been outstanding, and all of our guys have been. It's a very focused group and we've talked about that quite a bit in the offseason. He's been great and has picked up the system easily, and he's doing a great job."

The 49ers signed Moss and added wide receiver Mario Manningham and running back Brandon Jacobs from the Super Bowl champion Giants in an effort to improve the offense. Moss said he doesn't feel 35 years old, but also declined to predict if a year away from the game will prove to be a positive or negative.

"I'll let you judge that, but for right now I'm just going to come out here and just try to get better day to day," Moss said. "You're asking me is my level of play going to be up or down, I don't really know. I look forward to seeing what's going to happen though."

The word being tossed around frequently is "fun." Moss said it was fun that Harbaugh was the one throwing passes when he worked out for the team before signing, and the coach said he is having fun watching Moss play football again.

"The most interesting thing to me is, and the most fun part, is out on the practice field. I get some joy being around Randy Moss out there," Harbaugh said. "He's got a knack for saying the right thing at the right time, the right joke at the right time."

Still, there is a lot of work to be done after bouncing between three teams in 2010, sitting out last season and now having to learn a new playbook. Moss and quarterback Alex Smith worked intensely over the offseason program to get in sync, a process that will continue throughout training camp.

"The great thing about being around Randy is he makes keeps it light. He makes it fun to play out there," said Smith. "He's a great communicator out there. A guy that played that much, he sees things really well, communicates really well. So, it's really been great working with him. Honestly I've learned a lot."

Smith is also getting to know Manningham and first-round pick A.J. Jenkins to go along with returnees including Michael Crabtree, Ted Ginn and Kyle Williams.

"I really step into the huddle and no matter who's in there I feel confident that those guys are going to know what they're going to do, they're going to win," said Smith. "I think that's the great thing about having this problem is that's what the season's going to be like."

The 49ers enter training camp with high expectations after reaching the NFC Championship Game in Harbaugh's first season and then aggressively addressing the offense through free agency and the draft.

For Harbaugh, he's simply excited to be back around his team and back to work.

"You sense so many emotions the first day. ... And they're off-the-charts kind of emotions - extreme excitement, there's nervousness, there's anticipation, there's angst," Harbaugh said. "And how do I know that they have those emotions? Because I've got them, too. So, there are a lot of those emotions going on."

--Harbaugh said newly-signed Leonard Davis will compete for a backup spot at both guard positions. Alex Boone is the new projected starter at right guard, although Davis does have more experience on the left side. "When asked about competing, he said he wouldn't be here if he wasn't here to compete, so I thought that was spot on and take a man at his word," said Harbaugh. "I'm excited to watch that unfold."
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