San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree spoke with the media on Friday, and he had some interesting comments about his return from Achilles surgery last year, and what it means for this year. Cam Inman has a transcript, and Bay Area Sports Guy also has some good thoughts on it.
Crabtree returned quickly from his Achilles tear, getting back into game action in just over six months. The quick return was big for the 49ers passing game, but it was clear he was not 100 percent. He improved as the final two months of the season moved along, but as he discussed on Friday, he was not quite where he wanted to be.
He told the media he was at around 228 or 230 pounds when he came back for the Rams game, but that he is now down to 210 or 215. Given the quick turnaround from the surgery, this is not surprising. The early part of the recovery process provided little room for conditioning work due to the need to keep his leg immobilized. He obviously could do conditioning work once the cast was off, but even then, he was somewhat limited on lower body work. It's just a fact of recovering from an Achilles tear.
Here's a little of what he had to say about the weight and his performance:
How do you feel you were last year coming off that injury?
"I was like 230 pounds, 228 pounds, six months I just come off the Achilles and jumped in the game. That was just for my team, whatever coach needed from me. They said guys were struggling so whatever I can bring to the table. Last year I wasn't 100 percent, you know what I'm saying? A lot of guys forget about that. You go out there, you're playing and a they forget about your percent. I wasn't 100 percent last year. This year it's a different story. If I'm at 100 percent, you're going to get my all."
Did you feel slow last year?
"Naw, it's all football. I was fast enough to be on the field. But I wasn't me. You guys have been here long enough. This is going on my sixth year. You know when I'm at my best, you know when I ain't looking right."
He spent all offseason working with 49ers strength coach Mark Uyeyama in the Bay Area, and his old Texas Tech trainer Bennie Wylie, back home. Now he is back at his proverbial fighting weight, which bodes well for the passing game this fall.
You could also say it shows just how impressive a receiver he is. He put up 102 yards against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 16, and then put up 125 yards against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC wild card round. He was not 100 percent, and yet he could still do some serious damage. And now that he would seem to be back or near to 100 percent following the hamstring injury, it is easy to get excited about what to expect next month and beyond.