Sep 9, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The 49ers defeated the Packers 30-22. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE
The 49ers remodeled their offensive unit in order to see more production in 2012 -- largely because it was crucial for them to make a deep postseason push. San Francisco added a number of weapons this past offseason, but it's been the returning players that have truly shined thus far.
While the new additions have seen limited to no action for the most part, it's been players like Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree that have developed within this passing offense. And while Davis has been a consistent player in this league, the Niners needed to see growth from their wide receivers.
One player in particular that seems to have benefited from a full offseason in this offensive system and the new weapons is Michael Crabtree. He's had a strong beginning for the 49ers, currently leading the team in receptions and yards. For more on Crabtree's fast start to the 2012 season, continue after the jump.
In two games this season, Crabtree has accumulated 13 catches for 143 yards. Statistically, Crabtree is having a better season than players like Brandon Marshall, Andre Johnson, Brandon Lloyd, Marques Colston, Dez Bryant, Torrey Smith and Wes Welker.
After crunching the numbers, the 49ers wide receiver is on pace for 104 catches for 1,144 yards.
It would be a big deal for a San Francisco 49ers pass-catcher to eclipse the thousand-yard mark, considering it hasn't been done for a decade. The last player to do so was Terrell Owens in 2003 (1,102). Crabtree is currently on track to surpass those numbers.
Entering his fourth year, Crabtree is the optimum position to succeed. He is surrounded by a wonderfully built team that presents threats all over the field. In the beginning of his career, Crabtree was a top pick expected to turn the offense around by himself - that didn't happen.
Crabtree is a great possession receiver with spectacular yards after the catch ability. He is not a 6'5" speedster, deep threat that's going to take the top off the defense. Now that he is finally being used properly, he can utilize his skill set to not only bulk up his stats, but also help this team win games.