A few teams were interested in acquiring wide receiver Marlon Moore when the Miami Dolphins made him available this offseason. It took the 49ers phoning Moore's agent for the speedster to get excited.
"I jumped on it like a fish biting on bait," Moore said of the opportunity.
In addition to his desire to be close to home and to win – Moore was born in Sacramento and played for losing teams in college (Fresno State) and the NFL (the Dolphins) – he said he was motivated to come west, in part, to catch passes from Colin Kaepernick.
"Me and 'Kap,' we've been cool since college," the fourth-year pro said.
In the players' final matchup as amateurs, in 2009, Moore's Bulldogs lost to Kaepernick's Nevada Wolfpack, 52-14. Moore led his team in receiving with 103 yards, while Kaepernick rushed for 95 yards and two touchdowns.
"He was a good incentive (to sign with San Francisco), but I wouldn't say he was one of the main (factors)," Moore said. "It's definitely fun playing with 'Kap,' the athleticism that he has, the knowledge of the game and even his powerful arm because he can get the ball to anywhere on the field.
"I always tell him, 'If you throw it up, I'm going to do my best to make a play for you.' It's coming to me or no one is going to get it. That's the mindset that we have."
Moore, who hauled in a 40-yard, sideline-stepping reception from Kaepernick during Monday afternoon's practice, said he also appreciates the signal-caller's easy-going personality around the team.
"I noticed that about him back in college, too," Moore said.
If Moore earns a 53-man roster spot – ostensibly, he's battling A.J. Jenkins, Ricardo Lockette, Quinton Patton and Kassim Osgood among others for three or four spots behind Anquan Boldin and Kyle Williams – he would see a lot more of Kaepernick this fall and winter.
The wideout could also eclipse his career output on the field; he caught 12 balls in 31 games spanning three seasons in Miami before his departure. He was an ace on the Dolphins' special teams units.
Ironically, Moore's status as starter in last Thursday's preseason opener against the Denver Broncos removed him from participating on San Francisco's special teams units. In training camp, he has bounced around on the kickoff team and has seen time at the gunner position on the punt unit as well.
"I was the feeling the repercussions of not playing (special teams)," Moore said. "Not being able to be in and contribute during that period of the game kind of hurt me, but maybe they're recognizing something about me (at receiver)."
Jim Harbaugh said Moore starting last week was based on the receiver's production in practice. Moore, who caught a 12-yard pass on the 49ers opening drive, may or may not start Friday against the hosting Kansas City Chiefs.
Asked Sunday, offensive coordinator Greg Roman downplayed the significance of who starts at the position week to week.
"We look at starters as really, the offensive line and the quarterback are going to start every play. But whoever plays the first play of the game, he's in on the first play. We're a multiple personnel group team," Roman said. "If you're on the active roster you will have a role."