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Randy Moss makes little impact on San Francisco 49ers

Randy Moss inspired a lot of excitement from San Francisco 49ers fans and beat writers this offseason. There were accounts that he looked like the best receiver on the team.

We were skeptical Moss would make such a big impact. He was dumped by three teams in 2010 for a reason, and he didn't play in the NFL last year. At best, we figured he could be a useful role player. He has been a role player.

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By pure snaps, Moss is San Francisco's No. 4 receiver. Michael Crabtree leads the way with 179 offensive snaps. Mario Manningham is a distant second with 129 snaps. Then comes Kyle Williams with 84 snaps, and Moss with 80.

Think about that for a minute: Kyle Williams has played more on offense -- not special teams -- than Randy Moss. (Neither player has been productive: Moss has 88 yards, Williams 16.) When you add tight end Vernon Davis to the mix, Moss really is the fourth or fifth receiving option on the 49ers, not counting their running backs.

Coach Jim Harbaugh said he's not resting Moss to keep his legs fresh.

"We have a lot of combinations," Harbaugh said, via Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. "We have a lot of things we can use right."

The team prefers to use Williams in three receiver sets because of his short area quickness in the slot, according to Matt Maiocco. Moss usually is on the bench then. Moss likely would start if Crabtree or Manningham got hurt.

At 20 snaps per game, Moss essentially is a well-known insurance policy. A role player. Harbaugh said the 49ers had five No. 1 receivers going into training camp, but it's clear Moss is further down the list now.

(For more from 49ers RB LaMichael James like in the video above, check out our Everything to Prove series.)

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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