49ers Tarvarius Moore 'back home' at safety after rookie year at corner


49ers Tarvarius Moore 'back home' at safety after rookie year at corner

SANTA CLARA -- Daniel Bullocks was handed a new player to coach this week.

Tarvarius Moore, 22, a third-round draft pick last year from Southern Mississippi, was a safety in college. But the 49ers spent his entire rookie season attempting to convert him to cornerback, where he started the final two games.

The organization's decision to move him to safety this week clearly met the approval of Moore and his new position coach.

After Jimmie Ward sustained a fractured collarbone last Thursday in practice, the 49ers held a staff meeting. The idea had been talked about in the past, but this time it was made official. Moore would move to safety for the first time since 2017, his final year of college.

His first practice at his new/old position was Tuesday, at the opening of the second week of 49ers organized team activities.

“He’s a guy who doesn’t show his emotion as much,” Bullocks said of relaying the word to Moore of the position change. “When I told him, he just smiled. And after the first practice, I asked him, ‘How did it feel?’ He told me, ‘It’s good to be home.’ He was excited.”

Bullocks is in his third season on the 49ers’ coaching staff and his first with the team’s safeties as his sole responsibility. A 2006 second-round draft of the Detroit Lions, Bullocks’ career was cut short due to a significant knee injury. He entered the college coaching ranks before landing his first NFL job with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2016.

Although 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh stopped short of saying Moore’s move to safety was permanent, Bullocks left no doubt where he believes the young player has his best chance for success.

“His best fit I think is free safety,” Bullocks said. “We all evaluated him in college, and we liked him because he was playing free safety.

“We knew he had the measurables, the size, the length, the speed and the cover skills to go play corner, so that’s why we put him at corner his first year. But I think he’s at home now. He’s excited to play free safety. I’m excited to work with him at free safety.”

Shockingly, Moore (6-foot-2, 190 pounds) was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine. At his pro day, he ran the 40 in 4.32 seconds. His athleticism and fluid running style, along with the coverage skills he exhibited while lining up over the slot receiver, prompted the 49ers to select him with the No. 95 overall pick. The club spent a full season working to make him a cornerback.

Moore was one of the 49ers’ top special-teams players while seeing action in all 16 games as a rookie. But he did not see any action on defense until a flurry of injuries to the secondary pushed him up the depth chart and into the starting lineup for the final two games.

[RELATED: News, notes, observations from 49ers practice this week]

Now, It is easy to look back on Moore’s rookie season as a year the 49ers wasted on trying to convert a high draft pick to an unfamiliar position. Bullocks said he does not see it that way.

“He understands what the corner is doing in a particular call,” Bullocks said. “He can piece it all together. He knows what the whole back end is doing, and that allows him to play faster.

“There are going to be some hurdles for him learning free safety. You see the game differently. When you’re at corner, you see the game outside-in. When you’re playing safety, you see it in front of you. It’ll take him some time to get back in the groove because he hasn’t played the position in a year.”

Eric Reid, Torrey Smith react very differently to 49ers' $1M donation


Eric Reid, Torrey Smith react very differently to 49ers' $1M donation

With protests taking place in numerous cities nationwide, 49ers CEO Jed York announced Saturday night that the team would be making a $1 million donation to local and national organizations seeking social change.

Two former 49ers teammates had different responses to York on Twitter shortly after the announcement was made.

Wide receiver Torrey Smith, who played for the 49ers in 2015 and 2016, praised York for his commitment to fighting injustices.

York even responded to Smith.

But safety Eric Reid, who was drafted by the 49ers in 2013 and played with the team through the 2017 season, was not a fan of York's donation.

Smith and Reid were teammates on the Carolina Panthers during the 2018 season.

Reid and former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick led the charge in 2016 to take a knee during the national anthem to protest social injustices plaguing the United States.

Kaepernick opted out of his contract after being told he would be released, and the 49ers didn't re-sign Reid, who would join the Panthers early in the 2018 season.

Smith defended York's handling of Kaepernick's protest, but Reid wasn't having it.

Smith could only agree with what Reid said.

The protests across the nation are in response to recent deaths of George Floyd in Minnesota and Breonna Taylor in Louisville at the hands of police.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

49ers' Jed York donates $1M to local, national organizations for change


49ers' Jed York donates $1M to local, national organizations for change

CEO Jed York announced Saturday night the 49ers will be donating $1 million to local and national organizations committed to social change.

In September 2016, the 49ers made a $1 million donation, matching the commitment of the-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, to two Bay Area charities that address social issues in collaboration with law enforcement.

Along with the organization's latest donation, York also committed support for the Players Coalition, which was co-founded in 2017 by Anquan Boldin and Malcolm Jenkins. The coalition’s goal is to make an impact on social justice and racial equality at the federal, state and local levels through advocacy, awareness, education and allocation of resources.

York’s announcement comes as protests take place across the nation. George Floyd, 46, died after being arrested by Minneapolis police on Monday. Video later surfaced that showed an officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he told officers he was struggling to breathe.

“People throughout our country are hurting,” York wrote in a statement. “Emotions are raw, and rightfully so. Heinous acts have been committed in recent weeks. Before we are able to realize impactful change, we just first have the courage and compassion as human beings to come together and acknowledge the problem: black men, women, children and other oppressed minorities continue to be systemically discriminated against.

“The 49ers organization is committing to support the legislative priorities of the Players Coalition and to donating $1 million dollars to local and national organizations who are creating change.”

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]