We did what we had to do during the offseason. The San Francisco 49ers loaded up at their skill positions during free agency and through the draft. The Niners acquired wide receivers Randy Moss and Mario Manningham; they also drafted wide receiver A.J. Jenkins in the first round and running back LaMichael James in the second round. All four players should boost an offense that struggled at times to stay on the field and were horrible in the red zone. With all the new faces in the offense, it makes me wonder which Niner veteran will have to step it up on offense. The simple and obvious answer is wide receiver Michael Crabtree. Crabtree as many fans know is a former first round pick, but has not lived up to it. So the question becomes; will Crabtree finally have a breakout year or will he continue his mediocre play and eventually be permanently replaced?
It’s a tough question. The relationship between Crabtree and the Niners did not start well because as a rookie Crabtree held out for a better contract. He would end up missing all of training camp, the whole preseason, and missed the first five games of the regular season. Not a great way to start your NFL career. Still Niners fans were eager to have a playmaker on the team and were hoping Crabtree would fit the role.
Crabtree has played three seasons with the Niners and is yet to have a breakout year. He tends to show glimpses of potential, but has not been consistent. Some put the blame on QB Alex Smith, but from what I notice TE Vernon Davis puts up good numbers with Alex as his quarterback. The problem I noticed is Crabtree struggles with bump and run coverage’s. In the NFC Championship game versus the New York Giants; Crabtree could not get open and was held to one catch.
With the new acquisitions, Crabtree has no choice but to have a career year. Report suggest rookie A.J. Jenkins will be insurance for Randy Moss incase he does not work out, but the same can be said about Crabtree. Moss is going to be a hit or miss and might be the last time we see him on a NFL team, Crabtree on the other hand does not want to lose his starting role if he plans to ever get another big contract in his career.
I want Crabtree to have a big year in order to put the Niners over the top. If his motivation is money then let it be, as long as he his producing and helping the team win. I expect Crabtree to have his best season as a pro, but nothing extraordinary. There are just too many weapons in the offense now and I see head coach Jim Harbaugh utilizing each and every one of them. GO NINERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Niner fans let me know what you think. Will Crabtree finally have a big year? Leave comments.