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49ers' Mario Manningham has Alex Smith's confidence

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith talked Wednesday about the versatility of receiver Mario Manningham's game.

Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Quarterback Alex Smith has growing confidence in San Francisco 49ers receiver Mario Manningham, and during Wednesday's press conference he said that the work in progress on the offensive side of the ball is coming together. Manningham, in his first year with the 49ers, is one example of that.

"Mario was an awesome player when he came here and I think it's not so much the development, just all of us kind of molding and shaping this thing together," Smith said during the press conference. "It's going to change as we go on. To have the offseason together, then training camp was great. Mario's a special guy, got a special set of tools, especially the passing game, just mold it and make it what it is."

The wide receiver in his fifth NFL season has caught at least three passes in each of San Francisco's first three games. On Sunday, he had five catches for 56 yards in the 24-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. He has 113 receiving yards on 12 catches this season.

Smith said Manningham's strengths lie in his ability to win jump ball situations. But he's also a tidy and quick route-runner able to separate from defenders.