Randy Moss was more important than any of us thought. Ok maybe a few realized it, but I didn't last year. We don't have anyone on offense that calls for double teams besides Vernon Davis. When Crabtree comes back, Gore will still face 8 and 9 man fronts because Crabtree doesn't get double teams. Crabtree is a very good receiver. He's a great route runner, can get separation on low-to-mid level routes, and can beat people one on one. But, he's not Andre Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald, two people who will absolutely devour cornerbacks one on one.
Moss was important because defensive coordinators respected him and feared him. Whenever they showed a replay of Randy Moss at the line of scrimmage, the cornerback was almost always 7-10 yards off the line of scrimmage. Why? Because Moss was fast as hell and could still get deep. Also, the safety on that side of the field was surely going to cheat to which ever side Moss was on just incase. Moss opened up our offense like no one else could. Someone was always over the top of Moss just incase.
This means that Moss required two people covering him, Davis required two people covering him, and Crabtree could manhandle which ever single coverage he faced. Since we don't have Moss, teams will be able to put a safety over the top of Crabtree when he comes back and make him less effective than last year. It's easier to double Davis because he is so close to the line. The safety doesn't have to line up any differently. A linebacker and safety can both be within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage and effectively stop the run and double Davis.
Crabtree is a great receiver, and I believe he will still be one after he comes back, but, don't be surprised if he's not as effective because he's facing stiffer coverage.
But, I'm not saying our passing game will stay the same once Crabtree returns. My point is that Moss helped this offense out tremendously more than I realized. Without Moss and even Delanie Walker (4.4 speed), defenses only have to worry about one speed guy on our team, Davis.
Our passing game will get better. Crabtree has proven he can get open on any cornerback, even Richard Sherman. I mean, he makes Patrick Peterson look ridiculous every time we play the Cardinals. And Boldin has shown that he can bully most cornerbacks and excel when Kaepernick is throwing good balls.
Crabtree will open our passing game up more, no doubt. But if we really want Kaepernick to succeed, we need to bring back Moss. LOL I know that won't happen but it would be cool.