49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree is coming off the healthiest offseason of his four-year career. Plagued by recurring foot problems his first three seasons, Crabtree is catching the eye of coaches and teammates in training camp practices with allegedly improved speed.
“He was playing last year on a bad wheel and battled his way through it,” offensive coordinator Greg Roman explained to CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco. “I think he’s a lot healthier this year, and he certainly appears to be much quicker and faster.”
49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers also observed that Crabtree’s “foot speed” is improved.
Crabtree has not shown the ability to consistently run by coverage so far in his career. He’s been primarily a possession receiver whose best route is the slant. Crabtree is averaging under 13 yards per reception through three seasons, looking much more like a No. 2-caliber NFL wideout than the No. 1 he was drafted to be.
If Crabtree’s speed has truly improved, perhaps he’ll start living up to that top-ten draft status.