Michael Crabtree has four touchdown catches in five career games on “Monday Night Football.”
The fourth-year 49ers wideout has four touchdowns on the year this season (including three in his past two games), yet Crabtree isn’t putting a greater emphasis on this week’s game against the Chicago Bears. He’s treating it with great attention, just like he does every week.
San Francisco’s leading wideout focuses on every game the same and elaborated on his process in the latest Niner Talk podcast. The basketball fanatic also discussed a number of topics, including his favorite players and teams in the NBA, plus his playoff predictions. But that’s not all Crabtree had to say.
The wide receiver also shed light on his relationships with his fellow wide receivers and the challenge of facing a talented Chicago secondary. Crabtree also explained how he’s raining money for charity through his partnership with a hip hop video game.
For the Chicago Bears perspective, we welcomed Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times to hear his thoughts on the Monday night matchup, one that’ll feature Jason Campbell as the Bears starting quarterback. Jensen explained that Campbell will have Brandon Marshall at his side to make the transition easier. The respected writer also touched on the special teams matchup, which includes former 49ers linebacker Blake Costanzo starring for Chicago’s special teams units. Lastly, Jensen pointed that Aldon Smith’s matchup against the Bears offensive line is also another big aspect of the game to track.
Click here to listen to the Niner Talk podcast, which is also available on our 49ers Gameday live App.
Here are some of the highlights from both interviews.
[3:50–Crabtree’s thoughts on facing a talented Bears defense on Monday night.]
“You know me, I take every game the same way. I can’t wait to play. I can’t wait to go out there and showcase my skills. I can’t wait to go out there and really show these guys what we’ve been working on at practice. I can’t wait to get in the end zone – can’t wait to catch a pass from the quarterback – can’t wait to block somebody. You just can’t wait to play football, you know? I’m looking forward to going out there on Monday night.”
[4:40 – Crabtree’s thoughts on protecting the ball against Chicago’s defense.]
“I feel like I’m a pro just like those guys are. We’re going out here playing football. I feel like you take it back to the little league days when you’re talking about the YAC (yards after catch). The fumbles – you’re never worried about that. You never worry about catching the ball and falling. You caught the ball to make a play after the catch and you’re never worried about the ball because it’s in your hands. You try to make those guys worry about tackling you, you know? We’re just going to go out here and play good old fashioned football.”
[8:00 – Jensen’s thoughts on the impact of Brandon Marshall to Chicago’s offense.]
“If Jason Campbell’s smart, which it sure seems like he is, he’ll lean on Brandon Marshall on Monday night because Marshall is a legitimate No. 1 receiver. I don’t think there’s any question about that based on his production this season, but also season’s past. Marshall’s made his share of his plays with multiple defenders on him and I think that’s something that’s been missing in this Bears offense. You look at the fact that Jay Cutler’s backups over the past two seasons have been 2-5 when he’s not been able to play, I think a lot of that is because they haven’t had enough playmakers on offense. You have to like Campbell’s chances for success on Monday better because he’s a more proven quarterback than any of the backups the Bears have had. But also, he’s got a weapon like Brandon Marshall to throw, too.”
[9:30 – Jensen’s thoughts on the Bears defense matching up against Frank Gore and the 49ers offense.]
“They definitely want to stop Frank Gore. There’s a lot of respect for him as a running back and also as a receiver out of the backfield. But I think it’s important to note the Bears defense has kind of been sketchy the last couple of weeks. They’ve given up an average in the last four games of 125.5 yards a game. That doesn’t bode well heading into a key game against the league’s No. 1 run offense. That’s something they’ve got to get shored up. The Texans also came into last week’s game (against the Bears) with very few turnovers, but the Bears were still able to get two out of them. I think the Bears are going to get some kind of ball, it’s just a matter of how many and what they’re going to with it.”
Tags: Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree
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