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49ers begin season with big hopes for receivers

  • San Francisco 49ers' Randy Moss before an NFL football game against the Houston Texans Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

SANTA CLARA — Randy Moss still carries himself with that same old swagger and avoids saying much about his NFL return after a year away. Mario Manningham has no qualms speaking out about how he wants to show the West Coast what he can do seven months after leading the New York Giants to a Super Bowl title.

The San Francisco 49ers are depending on this talented twosome for an upgraded receiving corps in 2012. As close as the Niners came to the Super Bowl last season, their wide receivers faltered when it mattered most.

The last time San Francisco played in late January, the wideouts managed one catch for 3 yards in a 20-17 overtime loss to Manningham and the Giants in the NFC championship.

Now, there are bigger expectations on quarterback Alex Smith to throw deep. He will get his first chance in the season opener Sunday at Green Bay.

"When you add some weapons to the mix like Manningham and Moss, you can open it up more," Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said Wednesday. "On paper they look a little better."

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