In case you missed it earlier this week, 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree made an appearance on Rich Eisen's podcast. Crabtree was down in Southern California and has made the NFL Network rounds, including an appearance on NFL Total Access. He capped things off with a 20 minute chat on Eisen's podcast. You can check out the podcast over at Rich Eisen's page on NFL.com. Crabtree's appearance is from approximately 8:35 to 26:55.
Matt Maiocco put together a rundown of several pertinent quotations from the podcast, but I would still recommend listening to it if you get a few minutes. Crabtree discussed a wide range of topics about the 49ers and the 2012 season.
Two topics have gotten a decent amount of play since the podcast first aired. The first was that he lost his vision briefly during the final drive of the Super Bowl. Crabtree took a hit from Jimmy Smith and briefly lost vision. He was quick to say it's the kind of thing that happens all the time, and clarified it was separate from a concussion. I'm surprised we haven't heard a bit more about that. Even if it's not a concussion, losing vision after a hit, even briefly, is no small thing. There is a lot of talk about the culture of football, and I do wonder if that comment is a sign of the tough-guy culture in the NFL. Players are quick to say something is no big deal, but it's certainly not a small deal.
The other topic is his comments about the initial locker room divide when Jim Harbaugh made the switch from Alex Smith to Colin Kaepernick. There were rumblings about locker room issues, but as Crabtree says in the podcast, winning can cure that very quickly. There were players who were fiercely loyal to Alex Smith, but once they saw that Kap was for real and the team could continue forward, those players could live with the decision.
Given what some of the guys have been through in recent years leading up to the NFC title game last year, it's not surprising there would be an initial divide. Thankfully everybody got on board and acted as professionals. That may be one of the most important characteristics of this 49ers team: They play with passion but they play with a professionalism that allows them to move past challenges that might sink another team.
If you've got time, I recommend giving the podcast a listen.