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Raheem Mostert: Go big or go home

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Mostert makes a strong case for making the 53 man roster in his stand out performance in Minneapolis

San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert has been flying under the radar. After two preseason games, he had not been mentioned much, playing most of his snaps on special teams. Such is not the case after a huge performance in game three of the preseason vs. the Vikings. Mostert ended the night with two receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown as well as four carries for 26 yards and a rushing touchdown.

After such monster performance you’d think Mostert would be content but apparently the running back who is playing for his 7th NFL is always looking for more.

I’m never satisfied. It’s a great opportunity that I have but I just want to better myself and better the team as well. Nothing is guaranteed, I just have to go out there and work.

Mostert knows that lack of guarantee well. He has been on seven rosters including the 49ers. His time in the NFL includes stints with the Eagles, Dolphins, Ravens, Browns, Jets, and Bears before landing with the 49ers in 2016. Maybe this is why he’s not nervous about the cut to 53, at least not yet.

I’ve been through this before and the nerves haven’t quite hit me yet. I am just going to go out and perform whether I play not, whether I get an opportunity or not. I am going to go out and do what I do, that’s the only thing I can control. You have to be confident and have a little swagger, I have to rely on myself and I know what I can do. I have to play my role. If it is not on this team it will be another one. I’ve been on this road before.

Another thing Mostert has going for him is his special teams play. Head coach Kyle Shanahan has repeatedly mentioned that contributions on kickoff and punt returns are vital if you’re not a hands down starter. Mostert is versatile, able to return, block and make tackles. This could give Mostert the edge over a player who doesn’t participate on special teams. He did, however have little scare in U.S. Bank Stadium when he was hit by the friendly fire of long snapper Kyle Nelson. Mostert was almost to the returner when Nelson flew out of nowhere hitting the running back. Mostert returned to the game not too long after but not before giving his teammate a hard time about the hit.

Mostert said he didn’t know what his work load was going to be in the game before kickoff but he is always ready to make the most of it when his number is called. Turning a dump off pass into a 87 yard touchdown was just part of what running backs coach Bobby Turner has preached to the group: “First down, then touchdown.” His last touchdown was a similar distance when he was a running back at Purdue: a 100 yard return vs. Penn State. Clearly Mostert goes big because he doesn’t want to go home.