Michael Crabtree is not your average Joe at wide receiver. He makes ridiculous catches look easy. He breaks numerous tackles after making the tough catches, too. He blocks for teammates. He competes. He really does it all.
Crabtree turned in career highs in catches (85), receiving yards (1,105) and touchdowns (9) in his fourth season with the San Francisco 49ers. He also turned in best performances in the closing stages of 2012. Crabtree finished the final eight games of the year with five, 100-yard receiving games and seven touchdowns during that stretch.
In three playoff games, Crabtree caught 20 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns.
Because of his standout season, Crabtree was included in USA Today’s “All-Joe” team for 2012, a collection of the best NFL players that haven’t been named to a Pro Bowl. Crabtree was joined by teammates Alex Smith and Anthony Davis on the team that fields a 53-man roster with representation from every team.
Nate Davis of USA Today explained that Crabtree and Davis are likely soon to earn Pro Bowl recognition based on breakout seasons in 2012.
“Crabtree also showed a lot of toughness, willingly going over the middle, as he turned potential into production,” Davis wrote.
Tags: Alex Smith, Anthony Davis, Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis
Posted in Morning Tailgate | 88 Comments »
The closing moments of Super Bowl XLVII will sit in the hearts and minds of the 49ers Faithful throughout the offseason, but it doesn’t take away from San Francisco’s remarkable season nor does it diminish the team’s comeback effort against the Baltimore Ravens.
In examining the game tape twice, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King uncovered several intriguing aspects of the 49ers offensive performance. He also spoke with offensive coordinator Greg Roman to find out his take on the final four offensive plays of the game.
“This is what I found amazing about what the tape revealed,” King wrote. “On the first 13 offensive snaps for San Francisco, Roman dialed up 13 different alignments using 12 different combinations of running backs, wide receivers and tight ends.
“In those 13 plays, Roman had four wide receivers in the game, four running backs (two running backs, two fullbacks) and four tight ends. On the fifth play of the game, a no-back look, he spread three receivers left and two to the right, with a fullback (Bruce Miller) and running back (LaMichael James) split the furthest; (Colin) Kaepernick hit (Michael) Crabtree, running from the left slot, on a 19-yard incut.
“On the very next snap, Roman dialed up something Walter Camp invented 140 years ago, the T formation. Kaepernick lined up under center, with three backs tight together behind him — Gore to the left, fullback Walter Tukuafu in the middle, and fullback Miller to the right. None went in motion. (Frank) Gore powered ahead for no gain into the teeth of the Ravens’ D. Win some, lose some.”
King noted that the 49ers had Kaepernick in the Pistol formation 51 times and under center nine plays. King counted 13 plays in the read-option scheme and 47 snaps without Kaepernick playing option football.
Roman discussed the final four plays and the disappointing result with King.
“I’ll use it as motivation going forward,” the 49ers offensive coordinator told King. “To dwell on something that’s over is so utterly pointless. Anytime you make a call and the play doesn’t work, you think of another play that might have worked. We had a valiant effort, a great comeback, and it wasn’t enough. That’s life. It’s the game we love, the highs, the lows. But it doesn’t take away from what we did this year, and how excited I’m going to be to coach these guys next year.”
Tags: Colin Kaepernick, Greg Roman, LaMichael James, Michael Crabtree
Posted in Morning Tailgate | 28 Comments »
The 49ers enjoyed the light mood of media day on Tuesday as they were peppered with football and non-football questions by thousands of credentialed media members on the turf of the Superdome. There was a super hero, free tattoo sleeves for the players, 49ers Kaepernicking and more.
Peter Schrager of FOXSports.com offered his take on the best and worst of media day for Super Bowl XLVII.
“This is the new normal at Super Bowl Media Day, an NFL cultural and journalistic melting pot that puts Miss Alabama and Brent Musberger favorite Katherine Webb, in the same room as 84-year-old Hall of Fame journalist Edwin Pope,” Schrager wrote. “It’s no longer about the players’ answers; it’s about the folks asking the players the questions.”
The 49ers would also like to announce that Vernon Davis is holding a charity raffle to win an all expense paid trip to New Orleans for the Super Bowl. The deadline for the drawing is on Thursday (tomorrow).
The rest of today’s Morning Tailgate features the top quotes and story lines from the hectic media day scene.
Tags: Ahmad Brooks, Aldon Smith, Colin Kaepernick, Jim Harbaugh, Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss
Posted in Announcements | 68 Comments »
San Francisco and Baltimore are two proud football towns with rich histories of football. 49ers fans and Ravens fans alike will descend on New Orleans in the coming days as the teams gear up for Super Bowl XLVII.
San Francisco and Baltimore also feature a tradition of football competition that dates back to the 1950s and the days of Kezar Stadium in Golden Gate Park. Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle took a historical look back at past battles between football franchises from the two cities.
“There was a time when ‘San Francisco vs. Baltimore’ meant something entirely different than the matchup we’ll get in this Super Bowl,” Jenkins wrote. “It meant antiquated, neighborhood stadiums in the middle of town. It meant some of the most riveting, free-wheeling NFL games ever played.”
Did you know Jim Harbaugh, Randy Moss and Ray Lewis also played in the same game back in 1998? Today’s Morning Tailgate features that backstory, highlights the contributions of the York family and more.
Tags: Jed York, Patrick Willis, Michael Crabtree, Ahmad Brooks, John York, Jim Harbaugh, Colin Kaepernick
Posted in Announcements | 27 Comments »
For several minutes on Sunday afternoon, it looked like the 49ers would be hosting the Seattle Seahawks for the NFC Championship game.
Following Marshawn Lynch’s 2-yard touchdown run with 31 seconds left in the Divisional Round matchup against top-seeded Atlanta, the NFC West foes looked destined for a third tilt of the season. But two quick passes from Matt Ryan and a last-second field goal by Matt Bryant gave the Falcons a 30-28 victory, meaning the 49ers will pack their bags and head to the Georgia Dome for Sunday’s NFC title game.
The 49ers fell short in last year’s NFC Championship with a 20-17 overtime loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants. After the 45-31 win over the Packers on Saturday, players spoke about overcoming last year’s mistakes and reaching Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. Peter King of Sports Illustrated took a look ahead to the NFC title game between the 49ers and Falcons and the AFC title game between the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots.
“Now the storyline the world will be bludgeoned with this week is how Atlanta will defend (Colin) Kaepernick, who appeared indefensible against Green Bay behind the best offensive line in the league,” King wrote. “At least if Kaepernick were playing at Candlestick in January, there’d be a chance he’d be slowed by a muddy field. But on the indoor FieldTurf carpet at the Georgia Dome? Look out.”
The rest of today’s Morning Tailgate looks ahead to the NFC Championship as the 49ers will try to reach their sixth Super Bowl in franchise history.
Tags: Colin Kaepernick, Jim Harbaugh, Michael Crabtree
Posted in Announcements | 45 Comments »
Have no fear 49ers Faithful, it’s almost here. Yes, playoff football is right around the corner. But before the Green Bay Packers come into town for a Saturday night Divisional Playoff clash, there’s still plenty of telling statistics to comb over prior to kick-off.
Good thing Evan Silva of Rotoworld.com uncovers those interesting details as well as anyone around. In his recent matchup column, Silva shared plenty of valuable notes on the 49ers opening playoff matchup.
Here are just a few of the many interesting items from Silva’s writeup:
-Aaron Rodgers has completed 102 of his last 149 passes (68.5 percent) for 1,310 yards (8.79 yards per attempt), with 11 touchdown passes and no interceptions.
-Rodgers hasn’t been intercepted in 177 throws.
-When the teams met in Week 1, Rodgers completed all nine of his passes targeted to Randall Cobb for 77 yards.
-Greg Jennings, not Cobb, has been Green Bay’s most productive receiver as of late. Jennings led the Packers in receptions (19), receiving yards (226), and touchdowns (3), over the past three weeks.
-Colin Kaepernick had possibly his best start in San Francisco’s Week 17 win over Arizona. Kaepernick completed a career-high 276 yards on 28 attempts against Arizona’s top-five pass defense. Kaepernick averaged 9.9 yards per attempt without a turnover.
-Most importantly of all, Silva predicted a 34-30 victory for the 49ers.
Tags: Aldon Smith, Billy Cundiff, Colin Kaepernick, Dashon Goldson, Frank Gore, Justin Smith, Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss
Posted in Morning Tailgate | 143 Comments »
The 49ers are back to the grind after a couple of extra days of rest to start the bye week. While San Francisco will be idle this weekend as it awaits to see who it will face the NFC Divisional Round, there will be a few notable young quarterbacks making their playoff debuts.
Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group noted how Colin Kaepernick and other rising stars under center like Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson will be leading their respective teams in the postseason for the first time.
“Come their Jan. 12, divisional-round opener at Candlestick Park, the 49ers will be ready to unleash Kaepernick, who’s coming off seven pressure-packed starts,” Inman wrote.
Today’s Morning Tailgate also takes a look at how the bye week will help the 49ers rest up for their potential playoff run.
Tags: Aldon Smith, Andy Lee, Colin Kaepernick, Delanie Walker, Dwight Clark, Michael Crabtree
Posted in Announcements | 8 Comments »
From all of us with the San Francisco 49ers we’d like to wish you a very safe and happy New Year. Fresh off Sunday’s 27-13 win over the Arizona Cardinals, the 49ers have clinched consecutive NFC West titles and NFC No. 2 seeds.
It was a solid team effort against the Cardinals, followed by some anxious television watching as the Minnesota Vikings narrowly defeated the Green Bay Packers to give San Francisco a first-round bye in the playoffs.
Re-live Sunday’s season finale in today’s roundup of the top 49ers headlines from the Week 17 victory.
Tags: Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore, Justin Smith, Michael Crabtree, Ricky Jean-Francois
Posted in Morning Tailgate | 50 Comments »
As the regular season winds down, the 49ers are starting to fill up 2012 award lists and the NFC Pro Bowl roster. Mike Sando of ESPN.com offered his all-NFC West team and listed 11 49ers among the best players in the division.
Among San Francisco’s players on Sando’s list included wideout Michael Crabtree, who is having a career year in his fourth NFL season. 49ers Public Relations director Bob Lange shared this cool photo spread of Crabtree explaining his ability to make sideline catches to ESPN the Magazine reporter Anna Katherine Clemons.
The rest of today’s Morning Tailgate looks at Justin Smith’s injury, Vernon Davis’ return to practice and more.
Tags: Aldon Smith, Greg Roman, Justin Smith, Mario Manningham, Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis, Vic Fangio
Posted in Announcements | 149 Comments »
Michael Crabtree is already having a career year, and he still has two games to go.
The former first-round pick has emerged as Colin Kaepernick’s go-to guy on the perimeter this season. For Kaepernick, the reason is simple.
“He’s open,” Kaepernick said.
Crabtree has been open often this season, leading to new career highs of 73 catches and seven touchdowns, while his 868 yards are just six shy of his career best set in 2011.
Tags: Colin Kaepernick, Michael Crabtree
Posted in Announcements | 12 Comments »