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The curious case of Marlon Moore

Shouldn’t we all be a little perplexed by the Marlon Moore situation?

When the 49ers signed the former Miami Dolphin to a one-year deal in March, it was almost an afterthought. In three seasons with the Dolphins, Moore had appeared in 29 games but only had two starts at wide receiver. The signing seemed to have everything to do with special teams and there was very little chance Moore would make a dent in the depth chart. Granted, this was before Michael Crabtree was injured, but even so, Moore did not seem to be a likely candidate to replace him.

So why is Marlon Moore of all people lining up with the 49ers first team offense? It’s obvious he’s showed enough at practice to warrant his spot but there hasn’t been much fanfare or explanation as to exactly what he’s done that has been so impressive. Even more curious is the fact that the 49ers haven’t felt the need to get an extended look at him in game action. Moore has only played 12 snaps in the first two preseason games and caught one pass for 12 yards. That would be a little more understandable if he had a proven track record like, say, Austin Collie. But Moore come to the 49ers with only 12 career receptions.

So let’s look deeper. Moore seemingly did a lot with those 12 receptions. He gained 244 yards on those catches and scored two touchdowns. That means he is averaging 20.3 yards per catch for his career. The 49ers have an excellent underneath threat in Anquan Boldin but need someone on the other side who can take the top off of the defense. Moore, who ran a 4.49 40 yard dash before the 2010 draft, could prove himself to be valuable in that department.

Another scenario is the 49ers could be biding their time. Kyle Williams and rookie Quinton Patton are just getting back into the swing of things as they recover from injuries. Collie, while far from a lock to make the team, is still learning the offense. New comer Jonathan Baldwin will also have to learn the ropes as he was just acquired from the Chiefs. It’s possible Moore is just holding the spot until one of those other players are ready.

Regardless of the reasoning, the Moore situation is a curious one. It will be interesting to see how he does as the starters get an extended look in the third preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings. Who knows, maybe all of these questions are for nothing and the 49ers have found a diamond in the rough.

Photo Credit: Kelley Cox/USA Today





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