Here we are, in the thick of 49ers training camp. The Red & Gold are working out the kinks and getting prepped for the season against a backdrop of construction workers and eager members of the media.
And, of course, the battle for those starting wide receiver jobs continue.
Veteran Randy Moss has impressed the coaches since the Niners picked him up in March. News outlets present at training camp have marked Moss as having “plays of the day” as the team starts working out in pads.
The Sac Bee reports Moss has largely had the upper hand against veteran Tarrell Brown in practice, showing he’s still got flashes of power and craftiness.
While his comments to the media earlier this week raised the eyebrows of those who half-expect Moss to lose his love of football again, he has — so far — proven to be working hard for his roster spot.
Moss is also rumored to be serving as something of a mentor for another wideout: Michael Crabtree. The Niners 2009 first-round draft pick has been absent from four practices now with a calf injury. The hopes are that he’s healthy and practiced-up by SF’s opening exhibition game August 10.
And there’s Kyle Williams, who is trying his darnedest to get passed the infamy of the Twitter hate mail he received after his performance in the NFC Championship game last January.
In an InsideBayArea piece centered on Williams, the 24-year-old said that his “work-my-tail-off” ethic was behind his push for a roster spot. It’s appearing to pay off, too, as the Mercury News reports that Williams looked dominant in Wednesday’s practice while the team worked on third-down conversions.
Rounding out the “Brady Bunch” of receivers are former New York Giant Mario Manningham, Ted Ginn Jr. and this year’s first-round overall pick A.J. Jenkins.
Jenkins was reported as making “a couple nice catches” in a practice last week; a breath of fresh air considering he was reported to have not looked sharp in the off-season. (A claim that head coach Jim Harbaugh denies and blames on the media.)
And what does our favorite windbreaker-wearing coach have to say about his gaggle of wideouts? Harbaugh kept the media guessing — as usual — at a press conference to open training camp:
“We’ve got five guys who are No.1 receivers as we go into camp. … It will still play out what the roles are, who the starters are, who the backups, the contributors. We’ve got five guys tied for first.”
Well thank you, Señor Harbaugh, for keeping the blanket of mystery over this competition for a spot on the first string roster. And so the battle of the WRs carries on.