The San Francisco 49ers re-signed fullback Moran Norris to a three-year contract Monday, welcoming back the burly run-blocker after releasing him last summer.
Norris, an eight-year NFL veteran, played for the 49ers from
2006-07. He was the lead blocker for Frank Gore when the running
back led the NFC in rushing with 1,695 yards in 2006, earning a
trip to the Pro Bowl.
San Francisco dropped Norris after training camp last season
because former offensive coordinator Mike Martz's offense didn't
make much use of a fullback. Norris signed with the Detroit Lions,
starting eight games in their 0-16 season.
"I thought (returning to San Francisco) would be a good
possibility, but I just didn't know what route they were going to
go," Norris said Monday after signing the deal at the 49ers'
When Jimmy Raye was hired to replace Martz in late January,
coach Mike Singletary confirmed the 49ers' intention to implement a
run-based offense. San Francisco quickly moved to re-sign Norris,
who was eager to reteam with Gore.
"He knows how I block, and I know how he runs," Norris said.
"We're friends on and off the field. ... I knew they were looking
for a fullback that was going to stick their nose in. I'm just glad
to be back with Frank Gore."
Norris also played for New Orleans and Houston earlier in his
career. He has carried the ball just 11 times in his career, but
has caught 27 passes for 147 yards and three touchdowns.
While Norris finished his contract at the 49ers' complex Monday,
he didn't run into Kurt Warner. The free agent quarterback was in
town for a physical exam and a meeting with the top brass of the
49ers, who hope to entice him away from the Arizona Cardinals.
"That would be exciting," Norris said. "He's a winner."