Wide receiver is a position where the 49ers needed an upgrade, as evidenced by the addition of veterans Randy Moss and Mario Manningham and rookie A.J. Jenkins, who was the team’s first-round draft choice.
The 49ers are hoping quarterback Alex Smith can develop a chemistry with several of those receivers, and he seemed to be throwing quite a bit to Moss in Wednesday’s organized team activity session. Coach Jim Harbaugh refused to acknowledge that Smith has been targeting Moss more, though.
“Alex has really been, in the two days out here, has been spreading the ball very well,” Harbaugh said. “He’s got a lot of options. That’s been evident, too, for two days. Randy’s a great target. He’s not a B.S.er. He’s rock solid. We just couldn’t be happier with him. Couldn’t be any more happy with him. Another guy that’s really standing out is Mario Manningham. His first two days of OTAs, played extremely well. Michael [Crabtree], Kyle [Williams], I’m probably leaving somebody out right there. Oh, A.J. Jenkins is doing a phenomenal job.”
Harbaugh agreed that Moss seems to be as fast as ever, despite being 35 years old and sitting out the 2011 season.
“Well, I think [his speed] is really good,” Harbaugh said. “He’s one of the fastest guys on our team when you put the watch on certain drills, so that’s all I have to go off of.”
If Moss provides the speed, then Crabtree provides the hands in Harbaugh’s mind. Harbaugh said on a radio program recently that Crabtree has the best hands he’s ever seen. He reiterated that on Wednesday.
“Yes, yes. He’s got tremendous hands,” Harbaugh said. “Well, the comment stands on its own merit. I know you guys [in the media] have dissected it about every which way it can be dissected. But, it is literal. It is literal fact, what I believe as I see it and believe it to be.”
Backup QB battle: Colin Kaepernick has been running the No. 2 offense at OTAs, and Harbaugh acknowledged he is the backup quarterback at this point, ahead of Josh Johnson and Scott Tolzien.
“Yes, Colin’s the backup quarterback as it’s slotted right now. And, how close? We’ll see,” Harbaugh said.
Lee inks extension: 49ers punter Andy Lee signed a six-year extension that will take him through the 2018 season. Financial terms were not immediately known, though the are expected to be in the $4 million per season range. A three-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All-Pro, Lee has been one of the league’s most productive punters. In 2011, he set the NFL single-season record in net punting average, at 44 yards.