Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area recently reported that 49ers Michael Crabtree and Randy Moss are leading the receivers, citing them as "atop the depth chart." While we were fairly certain that Crabtree would retain one of the starting receiver spots, Moss has emerged as a nice surprise.
Since his arrival with the team, Moss has deflected all the media attention, letting his teammates and coaches do the talking for him. He's been focused and one of the bright spots on the 49ers new-look offense. 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman was one of the latest to speak about Moss' progression.
Roman when asked about Randy Moss:
Just how committed and down to earth of a football player he is. It's really been as good as you can possibly ask for in terms of being totally engrossed in football - I mean, he's a throwback. You know he's got his family and football and his faith, and that's what he's all about. And he's about football, he knows the game and it's been great watching the players interact, the quarterbacks interact, the receivers interact with him, and we're all going to be better because of it. And just truly impressed with everything Randy Moss represents.
This just adds to the catalog of glowing remarks Moss has received from players and staff. It's looking more and more every day that Moss will be a starter in Week 1, and deservedly so. This is also great because when analyzing the tandem of Moss and Crabtree, the complementary balance is ideal. Crabtree is a chain moving possession receiver by nature and Moss is a game-breaking deep threat -- together they can do it all and really challenge defenses by being multi-dimensional.
In 2011, Crabtree led the 49ers last year with 72 receptions for 874 yards, a solid year that he's looking to improve on. With Moss' presence, the total added weaponry on offense and his first full offseason, Crabtree could be set to produce his first 1,000-plus yard campaign -- breaking a decade-long drought for a receiver in San Francisco.
And not to mention, in between this dynamic new tandem is an elite tight end in Vernon Davis, so as a trio they will be quite formidable. When plotting against the 49ers passing offense, teams have always been able to hone in on Davis with double coverage and safety help. If teams continue on with this strategy, either Moss or Crabtree will make them pay big-time.
While there is the concern that the 49ers will be tempted to take more risks with their new weapons, San Francisco should remain one of the better teams at protecting the football. Through the game's duration, Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman will take calculated risks that they've laid up for themselves with how they've called the game until that point. With this versatile, fierce and awfully deep backfield, the 49ers offense should be able to control games better.
When they can run the ball like San Francisco plans to, Alex Smith will be able to dictate coverage with play-action and find a wide open Randy Moss 20-yards away from anything resembling coverage. There are just a hundred and one ways for San Francisco to attack defenses with their revamped offense. It will certainly be nice to have a starting wide receiver tandem that teams actually have to spend time to game plan against.
The 49ers will be able to do a lot of things they weren't capable of in 2011.
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