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Michael Crabtree says Colin Kaepernick “trusted him more”


Wide receiver Michael Crabtree finally experienced the breakout season last year the San Francisco 49ers had been waiting for after taking him in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft.

Crabtree posted his first 1,000 yard season catching 85 passes for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns for the 49ers. However, it was the second half of the year, with Colin Kaepernick serving as the quarterback, when Crabtree became a consistent threat for the 49ers. In 10 starts including the postseason with Kaepernick under center, Crabtree caught 61 passes for 880 yards and eight touchdowns.

Crabtree said Tuesday on the NFL Network he felt a better connection with Kaepernick than former 49ers starter Alex Smith.

I think he trusted me more. Playing wide receiver, you need a quarterback who trusts you. I feel like he trusted me,” Crabtree said, via Matt Maiocco of

Crabtree didn’t want to throw Smith under the bus as he avoided saying he didn’t have the same trust factor with him as he does with Kaepernick.

“I don’t want a controversy,” Crabtree said.

But the message was pretty clear anyway. With Smith now in Kansas City, Crabtree will have a full offseason to continue to develop that trust factor with Kaepernick as the 49ers try to defend their NFC Championship crown next season.

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45 Responses to “Michael Crabtree says Colin Kaepernick “trusted him more””
  1. goldenperspective says: Mar 27, 2013 12:43 AM

    You da man Crabs! You too Alex! You too Kap! Man, these last few years have been incredible! Here’s to continued success!

  2. matthewcarlson1 says: Mar 27, 2013 12:47 AM

    Can’t really blame Kaepernick on that one… he’s young, he didn’t know any better than to trust you.

  3. fdugrad says: Mar 27, 2013 12:58 AM

    During the time Smith was qb, Crabtree’s head was so far up his “tunnel,” so to speak, that Smith simply COULDN’T trust him. That is on the wr during THAT period of time, NOT the qb.

  4. myosin10 says: Mar 27, 2013 1:02 AM

    Kap is the type of QB that can make WRs superstars! A new dynasty has begun! Hate on haters

  5. themackstrong says: Mar 27, 2013 1:16 AM

    Kaepernick sure didn’t trust Vernon Davis, if he did he left him for dead versus Kam Chancellor. Didn’t Crabtree get arrested for sexual assault? There are two guys like that on their roster now right? Sad state of affairs…Such a shame

  6. mrplow3 says: Mar 27, 2013 1:45 AM

    Not to knock Crabtree because he had a good season, but in Alex Smith’s defense I don’t blame him for not trusting Crabtree. He dropped ALOT of balls on Smith. Like, alot alot.

    Kapernick is good for the Niner’s but Smith’s story is better. Nothing like a good comeback story. I think Andy Reid the QB guru will take Smith to an even higher level.

    Alex is tailor made for the west coast offense.

  7. eventhorizon04 says: Mar 27, 2013 1:58 AM

    Indeed – it’s not complicated.

    Alex Smith improved as a QB under Harbaugh, but it was obvious to everyone (including opposing defensive coordinators) that Smith was the anti-Joe Flacco when it came to deep passes.

    Flacco is a guy more than happy to chuck the ball into traffic and trust his WRs to make a play.
    Smith is a guy only willing to take shots downfield if his WR is *wide open.* That’s why his QB rating last year was so at the top of the NFL – he didn’t throw INTs, and mainly attempted safe throws that kept his completion percentage high.

    By contrast, Kaepernick isn’t afraid to take shots downfield, and along with his scrambling ability, the switch to Kaepernick gave Crabtree more time to get open deep and more pass targets when he goes deep.

  8. 49ers6rings says: Mar 27, 2013 2:00 AM

    This guy will be one of the best when it’s all said and done. Nobody throws the ball like he does. I don’t want to toot my own horn but….


  9. vcstriker16 says: Mar 27, 2013 2:05 AM

    I’d actually argue Colin trusted himself more than Alex trusted himself.

    Part of Alex’s efficiency (and game manager label) lies in his desire to not take many chances. Kaepernick appears to have no qualms trying to make a big play.

  10. allidoiswin55 says: Mar 27, 2013 2:10 AM

    By ” trust ” you mean stare down and force feed him the ball instead of reading coverages and going through progressions.

    Glad they got Boldin maybe now Kaep can learn to rely on his cerebral skills not just his arm strength and speed. He could be an all pro or totally bust if he doesn’t develop this offseason.

    I want him at his best to help continue the rivalry in the NFCW with my Hawks, both teams should be great, Kaep will either take them over the top or hold them back, at this point I don’t see him taking them over the top unless he learns to not rely on his physical attributes alone, seeing how that plays directly into the hands of the Hawks.

  11. texasbuc30 says: Mar 27, 2013 2:10 AM

    Crabtree just needed a quarterback that wasn’t a “game manager” and he can be the beast he was drafted to be. Wreck’em Texas Tech!

  12. badintent says: Mar 27, 2013 2:17 AM

    So what does that say about Moss not getting more touches ?A certain HOFer is not trusted by Colin for Crabtree ? Sounds like Mike has Brandon “fastass car” disease.

  13. redwoodking says: Mar 27, 2013 2:47 AM

    It’s gonna be fun to see this offense in action after a full off season together. The players like Boldin and Jenkins can gel with Kap and the offensive minds can fully develop a gameplan to utilize Kaps full strengths. Not to mention Gore, lamichael and Kendall in the backfield.

    I think this season the offense will have to carry the team as the defense regresses just a tad.

    Red and Gold all day!

  14. gerard33 says: Mar 27, 2013 3:05 AM

    perhaps alex didn’t trust himself

  15. therealraider says: Mar 27, 2013 3:27 AM

    Michael Crabtree’s personality reminds me of a young Marcus Allen.. too bad he’s not as talented.

  16. sourdoughsam says: Mar 27, 2013 3:59 AM

    Kaepernick trusted him a little too much when he went to him 3 straight times at the goal line at the end of the Super Bowl. The difference between Kaepernick and Smith is that Kaep will take chances his athleticism allows him to take and Smith does exactly as he’s coached. Both are good QB’s and obviously Kaep has rare abilities, but the offense also stalled with him every once in a while because he wants to hit a home run every time. If he learns when it’s okay to settle for 4 yards and when to roll the dice, he’ll become an even better QB.

  17. billmead1976 says: Mar 27, 2013 4:24 AM

    think al davis made the right draft pick that year? darius who?

  18. 49er33 says: Mar 27, 2013 5:11 AM

    Crabtree was the one not producing this whole time, check all the targets he had from Smith both last and this year. He turned the corner this season, the high point being the Arizona game prior to Smith’s concussion.

  19. theceo49 says: Mar 27, 2013 5:12 AM

    I’m definitely looking forward to a big year from Crabtree next year!

  20. raqaiw says: Mar 27, 2013 5:37 AM

    Kap trusted him a bit too much on those last 3 downs. That’s why they’re 5-1 in the SB. Run the ball Harbaugh!

  21. tjjohnson98 says: Mar 27, 2013 5:41 AM

    Maybe Smith thought he’d fumble on the goal line…

  22. joetoronto says: Mar 27, 2013 6:13 AM

    “I don’t want a controversy, I just want lots of attention, like a true diva.” Crabtree said.

  23. tim2200 says: Mar 27, 2013 6:17 AM

    That “trust” cost the 49’ers a Super Bowl championship.

  24. tubaplayingprof says: Mar 27, 2013 6:41 AM

    what is it about the WR position that seems to have all the drama kings? This? from a NFC Champion team?

  25. hatasgonnahate says: Mar 27, 2013 6:55 AM

    He got traded already, there is no more “controversy” to create crabs.

  26. csilojohnson says: Mar 27, 2013 7:09 AM

    Why would’ve Smith trusted you? All you do is drop passes

  27. gbpicksix says: Mar 27, 2013 7:16 AM

    If he can keep himself out of trouble and steer clear of that diva attitude he had straight out of college, this kid is going to be something special. He has excellent hands.

  28. dutchhmaster says: Mar 27, 2013 7:21 AM

    It isn’t throwing Alex Smith under the bus. It’s true. Smith went to Vernon Davis more and Crabtree less. With CK it was the opposite.

  29. goninjagoninjagogo says: Mar 27, 2013 7:53 AM

    With the coaching changes, injuries, lockout, etc. I can see what he means in terms of chemistry. Most qbs have a favorite or trusted guy. Alex Smith had Vernon because of the time they had spent before Crabtree got there. Alex would have been more “trusting” as the year progressed had he not been benched since this is the healthiest he has been.

  30. metalhead65 says: Mar 27, 2013 7:53 AM

    maybe if he had been healthy and caught the passes thrown to him Smith may have trusted him. will be a fun season next year when Smith is not there to blame all their problems on when they do not win as expected. no wait they will have the he is still young excuse for their qb even though everyone anointed him the second coming of Joe Montana after last year.

  31. 49ersandshivabowl says: Mar 27, 2013 7:58 AM

    Crabs is the real deal and his production and performance when CK7 took over was quite noticeable. It wasn’t by chance that Crab’s became a very relevant #1 receiver from the very moment CK7 took the reigns. Smithsonians will balk something other than that but it shows how much chemistry PLUS talent have to do with reciprocated success.

  32. 16to87 says: Mar 27, 2013 8:16 AM

    In Kap we trust!

  33. tim2200 says: Mar 27, 2013 8:25 AM

    That “trust” cost the 49′ers a Super Bowl championship.

  34. joey49er says: Mar 27, 2013 8:55 AM

    Crabtree is the best. Glad to see Alice gone niners will win division again. Seahawks what have u won. I f not for the fail Mary u would of not made it to the playoffs. And by the way Kapp made it to the Super Bowl. And he does not call the plays. Lol. Niners win the division again NFC west champs. Hey carol u did call a time out lol

  35. ripster65 says: Mar 27, 2013 8:56 AM

    Nice improvement but it seemed like V. Davis’ #’s dropped substantially as well.

  36. bearsoxass says: Mar 27, 2013 9:17 AM

    Kapernick is on a hype, this year’s gonna be though for him. Every body knows is move now. They better sign a veteran QB.

  37. psilenttype says: Mar 27, 2013 9:18 AM

    49ers will be lethal on offense next season, Kaepernick had the best passing efficiency from a QB in his first 10 starts in a very long long time….

    Add that with offseason workouts with Boldin, Jenkins, Crabtree, and Davis (Maybe Manningham when he is healthy)


  38. ss376 says: Mar 27, 2013 10:35 AM

    Speaking as a Giants fan, everytime I watched Smith, he wasn’t willing to make the tough throw. I thought he had turned a corner after the Niners won that playoff shootout with the Saints in the playoffs but he went right back to game manager and not game changer the next season.

    If it was a choice between the very safe 5 yard pass and the 25 yard bomb that required a bit of touch, Smith would’ve chosen the 5 yard pass and Kap would’ve gone for the 25 yard bomb. Being a Pro Bowl QB is something in between always making the safe throw and being a wild gunslinger. Smith was too much of the former but Kap seems to be the right mix of both.

  39. mjkelly77 says: Mar 27, 2013 10:41 AM

    Didn’t Crabtree get arrested for sexual assault? There are two guys like that on their roster now right? Sad state of affairs…Such a shame

  40. dariusmyles says: Mar 27, 2013 10:47 AM

    He trusted him too much. Super Bowl on the line and three times he ignored moss and Vernon Davis in single coverage in the end zone and threw to Crabtree?! That’s why they lost.

  41. jprcox says: Mar 27, 2013 12:01 PM

    The only issue that I think defenders will focus next year on is that Kapernick “wind-up” throwing motion. He is a great passer, but he doesn’t throw with his “arm”, more like is shoulder. DB’s are taught to watch the shoulder position of the QB (if they can), but in the NFL that normally isn’t a big factor as the QB’s lean to quick release-snap to a point DBs no longer rely on that defensive strategy.

    If I was a DB coach, I would re-instill that technique against Kapernick, since his throwing motion is what most high-school players use – but Kap has learned to perfect it better than anyone I have seen. By the time QBs come to the NFL it has been “corrected”. Maybe his muscles play a part in this??Anyway my 2 cents.

  42. redandgoldhitman52 says: Mar 27, 2013 12:06 PM

    kaep and crabtree will be an explosive duo for years to come. alex never threw to his wr’s. to afraid of tight windows. im glad hes gone. my old account was ”Cut Alex fire Nolan”. its been a long time coming. finally we have a great qb with a ton of confidence.

  43. painsyndicate says: Mar 27, 2013 1:31 PM

    Crabtree said Tuesday on the NFL Network he felt a better connection with Kaepernick than former 49ers starter Alex Smith.
    Translation: Kaepernick is black so we cool, homie.

  44. 49ersandshivabowl says: Mar 27, 2013 3:21 PM

    metalhead65 says:
    Mar 27, 2013 7:53 AM
    maybe if he had been healthy and caught the passes thrown to him Smith may have trusted him. will be a fun season next year when Smith is not there to blame all their problems on when they do not win as expected. no wait they will have the he is still young excuse for their qb even though everyone anointed him the second coming of Joe Montana after last year.

    Come back when you can post something that has a semblance of coherence and continuity to it instead of sounding like you woke out of bear coma.

  45. niners856 says: Mar 27, 2013 4:40 PM

    All the haters were calling Crab overrated, selfish, not hungry, etc. I kept saying all along that soon as he gets a qb that can actually get him the freakin ball, he would be a BEAST!! Where u at now haters???

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