Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
First-year 49er Marlon Moore directs traffic against the Broncos.
A rather staggering amount of journalistic words have been devoted to covering the 49ers’ tenuous situation at wide receiver.
How will the 49ers replace Michael Crabtree? Who will serve as the No. 2 behind Anquan Boldin? Is there enough depth at the position? Will a relative no-name step up?
All of these questions are completely legitimate. But for our purposes, we’ll focus on answering the last one.
Marlon Moore earns the aforementioned moniker of “no-name.”
Moore signed a one-year contract with San Francisco in May, and he has impressed the coaching staff ever since.
The former Miami Dolphin started across Boldin in the 49ers’ first preseason game. While only recording one catch—it was a beautiful diving varietal to be sure—the fact that he started with the first team revealed his elevated standing.
The 49ers love his durability, toughness in catching passes over the middle and speed to take the top off defenses. Insider Matt Barrows reports that Moore, along with Chad Hall, has proven the most consistent wideout during the offseason.
Said rookie safety Eric Reid of Moore, per Barrows: "Speed guy. He is a deep threat for this team. Yesterday he caught a nice ball (45-yard catch) on the sideline. He’s reliable. We can send him down the field and throw him the ball."
Moore’s consistent production as a special teams gunner will likely solidify his roster spot in 2013. His gritty, no-nonsense attitude simply meshes with the Jim Harbaugh-led 49ers. Starting consecutive preseason games lends credence to that assertion.
But let’s end with a detailed account of Moore’s noteworthy 12-yard catch against the Broncos by Eric Branch of SFGate.com:
Facing press coverage from Champ Bailey, Moore had to adjust his route and settled into an opening in the secondary when Kaepernick was forced to flee the pocket. Moore shook free from Bailey and made the catch in front of safety Duke Ihenacho…[He] flash[ed] strong hands as he snagged the fastball when it was a few inches off the ground.
It was even more impressive when viewed live—especially considering his mere total of 12 career receptions.