What to do with Michael Crabtree?
The guy shows flashes of brilliance, and I would love to see what he could do with a full offseason in which he can, you know, practice football and stuff. Things like that are somewhat important, from what I can gather with my limited knowledge of everything worth practicing in life.
But seriously, I think the last two games have shown what Crabtree can do - especially this last game against the Browns. The stats are basic and good: he had his first touchdown of the season (on a beautifully designed play), caught five passes for 54 yards, with an amazing 41 yard snag.
But here is the real quicker for all the pro-Crabs people out there, Crabtree was pretty darn open quite a few times down the field. If Alex Smith decides to throw accurately, Crabtree's game looks even better. The man, whose speed many critics were questioning, was stretching the field like a politician the truth.
I know, I know, it's just one game. Obviously, he needs to be consistent. This cannot be the couple of games on which he rests his laurels. Because, quite frankly, given his first-round draft pick status and the other weapons around him on this team, he has not even earned any Laurasia which he could rest on anything.
Man, the talent is totally there though. The tools are there. I think the coaching staff is there. I just want him to be there.
I have written about Crabtree in the past and I wrote about how I find criticising him to be a guilty pleasure of mine. I wrote that in some ways, I find him to be the most annoying 49er on the team given his potential. I think all of this is true, but I think my stance may be softening a bit. Two good games in which he looks like a go-to receiver can change even the most jaded fan - and perhaps I am suffering under this delusion.
But there is a big part of me that just wants to give him credit and be patient. It's the little things that I see him do that gives me confidence. He's starting to string together a couple of good games; his routes look pretty darn good and he is creating some nice separation down the field; he is blocking like a maniac, no matter who has the ball; his hands are made of sticky glue.
I hate to saw it, because my instincts fight me at everystep, but I don't think Crabtree is that big of a diva.
He's not all up in the media's grill, and this is the kicker. But, moreover, he appears to have a great relationship with the other members of the team and with the coaching staff. I admit that this is all speculation, but sometimes one can just pick up the vibe by how players and coaches interact, and I may be getting that vibe. I may also be crazy, but that's that.
What do you guys think of Crabtree, especially in light of these last couple of games? I am really interested to hear from you all because it seems like he is the most fought about player on the team, save maybe the old Alex Smith. People seem to fall in the love 'im or hate 'im camps with not much in between. I always felt a little out of place, being an in between guy, but if there isn't snake in my boot, I think I am drifting to the love 'im.