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Moody Seeks Out Special Teams Role

Posted May 11, 2013

LB Nick Moody played plenty of special teams at Florida State as is excited to play for Brady Seely.

When Nick Moody was still available when the 49ers were on the clock with the 180th-overall selection in the 6th round of the NFL Draft, special teams coordinator Brad Seely's eyes must have lit up.
 
The former Florida State safety-turned-linebacker projects as a special teams ace for the 49ers because of his unique ability on kickoff coverage. Jim Harbaugh beamed when talking about Moody, telling NFL Network he can't wait to see 6-foot-1, 237-pound linebacker cover kicks.
 
"I knew special teams was going to be one of my strong suits," Moody told 49ers.com. "I was surprised (Harbaugh) actually said it like that. I didn't know he was that excited about it."
 
Special teams are nothing new for Moody as the Florida State coaching staff mandated that the starters also play special teams. Moody gave credit to his former special teams coordinator, Eddie Gran, for placing such a high value on the third phase of the game.
 
"I feel like he really helped prepare me for special teams and this level," Moody recalled. "Even when we were in practice he would say, 'You better be ready for this at the next level. If you can't play special teams, you can't play at the next level.' He always emphasized that to us."
 
Now, Moody is excited to learn from Seely, one of the NFL's most respected special teams coordinators. Moody is well aware of the intensity that the 49ers kickoff team has shown during Seely's tenure with San Francisco.
 
"We even had a picture on a packet we got that has a picture of them dancing and getting hyped for it," Moody said about his rookie minicamp materials. "That's the kind of attitude I like on kickoff."
 
Moody began his college career as a safety before making the switch to linebacker during his senior season. Now, Moody has the opportunity to learn from two Pro Bowl linebackers, Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman.
 
"I'm really looking forward to it," Moody admitted. "Even transitioning in college from safety to linebacker, I told my coach, 'If I want to be a linebacker, I want to learn from them.’ They're two of the best in the game."
 
Making the transition to linebacker was difficult for Moody, but he says that now works to his advantage because of his coverage skills.
 
"I played DB so long, I understand my DB fundamentals," Moody said. "When I got to go out there and cover in space, I just refer back to those."
 
During his senior season, Moody tallied 20 tackles and one sack in 14 games in a linebacker.
 
At the 49ers first rookie minicamp practice, Moody said he felt right at home going through drills with linebackers coach Jim Leavitt as well as racing down the field for Seely.
 
Moody likes what he's seen from the rest of the rookie class as well as they all battle to learn a new system and a new playbook during the three-day camp.
 
"It's a great group of guys and everybody's out there to work," Moody said. "Everybody's paying attention, trying to pick up everything as fast as we can and communicate. We're just trying to do everything coach wants us to do."

[PHOTOS: ROOKIE MINICAMP DAY 1]