Santa Clara, CA
Though he has not played since splitting the 2010 season between three different teams, Randy Moss impressed and showed no rust as he worked out with his new 49ers teammates for the first time.
The veteran receiver, who inked a one-year contract with San Francisco in March, was the featured attraction as the 49ers opened their hour-long voluntary workout session to the media.
In this phase of the NFL offseason program, where teams are prohibited from practicing offense versus defense, Moss, sporting a clean, short haircut, ran routes in shorts and a jersey during his first formal practice.
The 35-year-old Moss dazzled as he showed his knowledge of the game, and when he's running routes, as the 49ers ran plays uncovered.
The seven-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro pick, listed at 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, ran smooth patterns with ease as he pursued a series of deep balls with his familiar loping stride.
Moss's arrival is expected to have huge impact on former No. 10 overall pick Michael Crabtree. Moss and Crabtree are said to have forged a bond, with the two often pairing up for drills, engaging in friendly competition and in good-natured trash-talking.
Apart from Crabtree, Moss is seen to be making a positive influence to his other 49ers compatriots. Moss has been working out with Crabtree, safety Donte Whitner and running back Frank Gore in the mornings.
He also went fishing this week with 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis.
Moss, owner of the NFL single season TD reception record (23), set in 2007, and the NFL single-season TD reception mark for a rookie (17), in 1998, caught a combined 28 passes for 393 yards and five TDs in 2010 while playing 16 games for New England, Minnesota and Tennessee.
He spent last year in retirement.
Despite the forgettable 28-catch season in 2010, the 49ers are hoping Moss can regain his former dynamic self and potent form.
Whitner can attest from personal experience of what Moss is capable of doing and how dominant he was especially in his prime.
Whitner, a first-round draft pick by the Bills in 2006, first made acquaintance in 2007 with Moss, who was then with the Patriots. In two blowout wins by New England over the Bills, Moss posted 15 catches for 243 yards and six TDs.
In six encounters, Moss compiled 35 catches for 509 yards and nine TDs.
His 2007 campaign is considered the best season for Moss, who apart from setting the league's single-season mark for touchdowns, caught 98 passes for 1,493 yards. He also helped New England finish an impeccable 16-0 regular-season record that year.
In his 13-year career, Moss has registered 954 catches for 14,858 yards and 153 TDs.
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