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49ers say Crabtree is faster than ever

Michael Crabtree AP

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.

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38 Responses to “49ers say Crabtree is faster than ever”
  1. floriosfuglykid says: Aug 16, 2012 7:20 AM

    The Niners are kind of like the Jets … all their players are wonderful.

  2. EJ says: Aug 16, 2012 7:21 AM

    It is all a ploy by the coaching staff to keep your eyes off their real prize receiver this year… Randy Moss. Crabtree will still be Crabtree, no matter how you look at it. I don’t think he will ever be as good as expected

  3. brooklynniner19 says: Aug 16, 2012 7:21 AM

    Hopefully this new “speed” he has can get him seperation. But my money is still on Moss being faster.

  4. joetoronto says: Aug 16, 2012 7:22 AM

    We keep hearing about how great this guy is, it sure would be nice if we could see it for a change.

  5. Patriot42 says: Aug 16, 2012 7:33 AM

    Maybe as fast as ever but come on not faster.

  6. ripster65 says: Aug 16, 2012 7:34 AM

    bust.

  7. patfic15 says: Aug 16, 2012 7:44 AM

    Also like the Jets, no way they repeat the success of that first year under a new HC. Save the post people. They will go 9-7.

  8. steeelfann says: Aug 16, 2012 7:46 AM

    Crabtree was drafted at which pick? Which round? Nahh, b.u.s.t.

  9. musicman495 says: Aug 16, 2012 7:48 AM

    Too bad he can’t catch.

  10. green41563 says: Aug 16, 2012 7:54 AM

    He’s certainly improving. And he’s only 24. There are rookies who are older.

    Give the guy a chance to develop.

    How many years did Tim Brown and Cris Carter underperform before they finally “got it”?

  11. canadian52niner says: Aug 16, 2012 8:05 AM

    72 catches, 874 yds, 4 Tds and wasn’t able to play the full year is pretty damn good. He started slow and ended up one of the hottest wr in the league (let’s forget new York playoff game for a second). He just has to build in that and with other weapons taking some of tr heat hr should!

    Niners Forever

  12. granadafan says: Aug 16, 2012 8:05 AM

    Hopefully he’s also grown up and started to lose the diva in him.

  13. ud1hens says: Aug 16, 2012 8:06 AM

    I wouldn’t expect anything less from a team with five #1 receivers, right Jim?

  14. tv426 says: Aug 16, 2012 8:08 AM

    Yet another example why NFL teams should never draft a WR in the 1st round – much less high in that round.
    B U S T!

  15. ty49er4life says: Aug 16, 2012 8:48 AM

    Just because he hasn’t put up a huge season YET doesn’t make him a bust I would call kijana carter rashaan salaam guys like that busts I’m sure any team would take 70 catches 900 yds and 4tds out of a receiver especially one with Alex smith throwing to him, I bet he’s got the same % of his QBS catches yds and tds as megatron had of staffords stats

  16. riverace19 says: Aug 16, 2012 9:02 AM

    Faster… To the IR.
    The Niners D is scary good, the offense immensely overrated. Look for something similar to 2011… Coming up short in the playoffs.

  17. discosucs2005 says: Aug 16, 2012 9:02 AM

    If he’s faster than ever will someone tell the makers of Madden? It really makes it difficult to play as the 49ers when Crabtree gets caught from behind after every catch.

    Btw, calling Crabtree a bust is laughable. He’s got a team friendly contract, he’s not terrible, improved stats every year and still young, and plays for a run based team who hasn’t had consistently at the QB position or in offensive scheme in general until very recently.

    I’m not saying he’ll turn out great, but let’s not call someone who has better stats than Hines Ward did in his first few seasons a “bust” just yet.

  18. surferbum01 says: Aug 16, 2012 9:12 AM

    Crabs isn’t a bust…but he’s also not a true #1 receiver. If any of you have actually watched him in person (and I have..twice) the guy can tear a ball out of the air. When he’s on…he’s on. For his sake I hope his foot (feet?) are healed and better because really this year is his make or break year.

  19. tv426 says: Aug 16, 2012 9:29 AM

    If someone drafts a WR in the 1st round they damn well better be a #1. If not then the organization is as dumb as a bag of hammers.
    So, surferbum01, either the guy is a bust (not living up to his draft status, and likely never will) or the organization is comprised of a bunch of dopes.
    Pick your poison.

  20. raiderrob21 says: Aug 16, 2012 9:42 AM

    @ green41563

    Bad comparison. Tim Brown GOT IT right away. He was returning TDs and led the NFL in kickoff return yards. Also set an NFL Rookie record for combined yards.

    RAIDER NATION!!!!

  21. steeelfann says: Aug 16, 2012 10:00 AM

    Another example of a Big 12 offensive player enjoying a college conference that has mostly very weak defenses. There is a reason Crabtree, Byrant, Colt McCoy, Gabbert, Limas Sweed, Roy Williams, on and on turn out to be weak NFL players or even outright busts.

    They feast on no-defense teams. Then they go to the NFL and uh-oh.

  22. scoob766 says: Aug 16, 2012 10:08 AM

    A lot of niners haters on PFT now and I love it. Jealousy sure has hit this website.

    The best part is Raiders fans like @raiderrob21 chiming in. Brown couldn’t carry Rice’s jock and why are you bringing your subpar team into any conversation? If Raider Nation was a country it would be Afghanistan, low education rate and high crime. Crappy team, crappy fan base, crappy city, just move to LA already.

  23. joetoronto says: Aug 16, 2012 10:11 AM

    Seriously, just putting Crabtree’s name alongside Tim Brown’s at this point is a travesty.

  24. Stiller43 says: Aug 16, 2012 10:32 AM

    Discosucs,

    You dont draft someone in the top 10 to be “not terrible” heading into their 4th season.

    And hines was a 3rd round pick…little different expectations…

  25. daknight93 says: Aug 16, 2012 10:46 AM

    It doesn’t matter how fast he is…Alex Smith to Crabtree isn’t a fantasy combo

  26. ezwriter69 says: Aug 16, 2012 10:57 AM

    Uh, RAIDER NATION, three words… Darrius Heyward-Bey… now THAT’S a WR first round bust. For y’all to open your mouths on the subject of first round WR busts is totally embarrassing for you. He was the seventh pick, for bleeps sake. And if you defend him for finally improving last year, you’re defending the possibility that Crabtree could improve too. Either way, you’ve just humiliated yourself… know when to just shut up.

  27. ezwriter69 says: Aug 16, 2012 10:59 AM

    tv426, two words for you, and your argument that no one should ever draft a WR high in the first round: Calvin Johnson.

  28. bubba9er says: Aug 16, 2012 10:59 AM

    Any additional speed would make him better. I am interested to see what happens at WR this year. The running game appears to be on track, just ask the Vikings’ D.

  29. gonickgo82 says: Aug 16, 2012 11:03 AM

    What, no mention of “five No. 1 receivers”? You guys are slipping.

  30. fourthandafoot says: Aug 16, 2012 11:18 AM

    It’s kind of easy to say your faster then ever when you’ve never posted an official 40 time.

  31. vincespowersweep says: Aug 16, 2012 11:48 AM

    Faster than ever? When was he fast to begin with?

  32. goldenperspective says: Aug 16, 2012 11:53 AM

    Jamarcus Russell is a bust. Considering the Raiders gave up their entire draft for the next 37 years to get Carson Palmer, lets just go ahead and call him a bust too. Crabtree is a beast. Crabs is one of the best receivers on his team, which happened to be the no.2 seed in the playoffs last season. Solid player on a solid team, and all of you know it, despite your attempts to rile up 9er fans.

  33. junior559 says: Aug 16, 2012 11:56 AM

    ok people crabtree is not a #1 reciever and will never be he is not consisted enough and does not have #1 speed. also as a raider fan to you hard headed 49er fans( just the dumb ones) dhb is improving but hes not a #1 either bot team picked the wrong player that year so really both kinda busts

  34. hawkfanwtf says: Aug 16, 2012 12:13 PM

    The 9′hers will regress this year, without a doubt… teams no longer will underestimate them. And they have a tougher sched. And all the game tape on their terrible QB, other teams defences will be all over him. And did Gore get younger this off season? Not to mention the joke of a coach they have… it is all about to come crumbling down!

  35. theuglitruth says: Aug 16, 2012 12:20 PM

    non-factor running routes.

  36. lionsdraftguy says: Aug 16, 2012 2:04 PM

    I wouldnt call him a bust, but like anyone on the Niners offense, hes nothin special. The only credit i give to him is he has a pathetic QB throwing to me. But if u ask their big mouth coach, he will probably tell you that Smith is a Pro Bowl QB.

    Back to mediocrity this year Niners.

  37. tv426 says: Aug 16, 2012 3:36 PM

    ezwriter69 says:
    Calvin Johnson, Jerry Rice, Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, a handful of other WRs actually lived up to their round 1 draft status. But let’s continue the game, shall we? How about these stellar 1st rounders (and I’m only going back to 2000):
    R. Jay Soward, Sylvester Morris, Travis Taylor, Peter Warrick, Freddie Mitchell, Rod Gardner, Koren Robinson, David Terrell, Ashley Lelie, Donte Stallworth, Bryant Johnson, Charles Rogers, Rashawn Woods, Michael Clayton, Reggie Williams, Roy Williams, Matt Jones, Mike Williams, Troy Williamson, Craig Davis, Ted Ginn, And Darrius Heward Bay.
    Stellar crop. Others since 2000 have been servicable but not near what one would expect from a first round. In short, it is better and safer to get a WR via free agency or later in the draft.

  38. junior559 says: Aug 16, 2012 6:59 PM

    with how crabtree is in the nfl and i didnt know when he was drafted i would say he looks like 3rd round material, moss and davis will do most of the recieving on that team this season

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