Skip to content

Crabtree says quarterback change divided locker room

Getty Images

When 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh decided to install Colin Kaepernick as the starting quarterback after a concussion suffered by Alex Smith (and a great Monday night performance from the 2011 second-round pick), plenty of people in the media thought he was making a mistake.

Plenty of people in the locker room apparently did, too.

Receiver Michael Crabtree explained on Rich Eisen’s podcast that the decision created a (wait for it) schism in the locker room.

I hate to talk about it.  But you have the starting quarterback, and a couple of weeks later, he’s the starting scout-team quarterback,” Crabtree said, via Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.  “And he’s taking all the snaps with the scout team.  It was kind of crazy to see. . . .

“You had guys on Alex Smith’s side, guys on Colin Kaepernick’s side,” Crabtree said. “I was on the winning side. . . .  You can’t beat the guy who was hot.  Kap was hot. As soon as he came in, even though we lost that game — I think it was a tie, that game — he came in and it just went up from there.  We were scoring that many more touchdowns.  We were just going every drive it seemed like. . . .  We had like a triple threat with Kap’s feet, the passing game and the running game.”

Crabtree explained that Kaepernick eventually “kind of won everybody over by winning.”

In the end, they came within a Kaepernick-to-Crabtree fade route of winning a Super Bowl.  And the question of whether Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith interfered with Crabtree will linger long after the question of whether Harbaugh made the right decision did.
Permalink 35 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Home, Rumor Mill, San Francisco 49ers
35 Responses to “Crabtree says quarterback change divided locker room”
  1. chawk12thman says: Mar 30, 2013 9:35 PM

    I vote that it was indeed the right decision to keep Kap as the starting QB.

  2. blacknole08 says: Mar 30, 2013 9:36 PM

    Lets be honest. The 49ers would not have made it to the SB with Smith at QB last season.

    But Smith is in KC right now. Kaep is the man in SF. And Crabtree showed he is a #1 WR. So all sides appear happy.

  3. wiggum316 says: Mar 30, 2013 9:37 PM

    Funny how all the Forty Whiners fans do is cry about the alleged hold. They never mention Akers dive, Torrey Smith being held, the late hit on Flacco out of bounds… Whiners. Call the waaaaaaaahmbulance. Ravens = champions!

  4. allidoiswin55 says: Mar 30, 2013 9:37 PM

    Anyone else notice Crab can’t keep his trap shut!! Stop with the in don’t want to start drama just before opening ur hole just to do exactly that.

    No drama, no excuses. I want both the niners AND my SEAHAWKS to duke this thing out, old school smash mouth do please STOP this before it goes any further!

  5. myosin10 says: Mar 30, 2013 9:41 PM

    It was holding but no sweat Kap went to the SB in his first 10 games! Now imagine what he is going to do in the next 10 years!!! 49er Faithful

  6. poridge1214 says: Mar 30, 2013 9:43 PM

    His 3rd interview about it this week…. But he hates to talk about it.

  7. sonoco says: Mar 30, 2013 9:44 PM

    As a 49ers fan I’m done with lingering questions. It was a weird game. Time to move on. Can’t wait for the draft.

  8. wtfchiefs says: Mar 30, 2013 9:45 PM

    I obviously know nothing that happened in that locker room, but, from my perspective it seems like both Smith and CK were likeable guys thrown into an awkward situation.

  9. iamupandown says: Mar 30, 2013 9:49 PM

    He needs to shut his mouth!!

  10. roastbeefsandwich says: Mar 30, 2013 9:51 PM

    I wonder what Kap starting did to the defense. With Alex Smith, you have slow, steady drives that let the D rest. With Kap you have a much more explosive offensive, but it isn’t on the field as long. The points allowed by the defense did go up after Kap became the starter.

  11. ravensbob says: Mar 30, 2013 9:58 PM

    Good thing Vegas had them turn out the lights or Kap would hav lost by 40 points.

  12. mullman76 says: Mar 30, 2013 9:59 PM

    There was no flag needed on the final play.

  13. tyler4richardson says: Mar 30, 2013 10:04 PM

    You got to be on the coaches side.

  14. 8man says: Mar 30, 2013 10:05 PM

    This is the problem with a media rich environment, players talk before they think, and feel obligated to do so. In fact, replace “players” with “people”.

    Electronic media provides more forums than there is actual valuable content to fill those opportunities.

  15. tigeraintdone says: Mar 30, 2013 10:11 PM

    How did’ ol Kap do at the Clink?

    Go Hawks

  16. howmanyringsyourteamgot says: Mar 30, 2013 10:19 PM

    Alex Smith and Kaepernick combined have said less to the media about the QB switch since it initially happened than Crabtree has in a week. Add to that his comments after his one catch performance in the previous NFC Championship game versus the Giants and it sounds like he wasn’t the biggest Smith supporter. Can’t wait to see his reaction when Anquan Boldin starts slicing into his numbers. If he wants a contract extension he would do good to stop blabbing about what goes on in the locker room.

  17. larryjames836 says: Mar 30, 2013 10:31 PM

    Yes Kaepernick played a game but when it comes to the Super Bowl game, a team should use they best experience quarterback for a Super Bowl game run. Alex Smith was the man for the job, he may not be as quick as Haepernick but a little smarter. Mistakes will cost you the game and that’s what happened to the 49er’s next season you will see what Kaepernick is really all about. In the NFL its all about playing smart Alex Smith should have been the starting quarterback in the Super Bowl.

  18. forty9asty says: Mar 30, 2013 10:35 PM

    wiggum316 says:
    Mar 30, 2013 9:37 PM
    Funny how all the Forty Whiners fans do is cry about the alleged hold. They never mention Akers dive, Torrey Smith being held, the late hit on Flacco out of bounds… Whiners. Call the waaaaaaaahmbulance. Ravens = champions!

    Funny how it was the writer of the article that mentioned the hold, not the 9er fans, before you posted. And while it sure as heck looked like a hold on Crabtree, all the other infractions you mentioned may have been missed as well. Can’t overlook the block in the back/hold on Miller that allowed the return TD, or the absolute mugging on the safety play that wasn’t called. Point is, it was a horrible display of officiating on both teams all throughout the biggest game of the year. Add to that there were questions about which officials were selected in the first place. But when all was said and done, yes Ravens = champions. Its old news now

  19. realfootballfan says: Mar 30, 2013 10:39 PM

    It will be interesting to see how the often over looked advantage that Jim Harbaugh took by starting Kaepernic mid-season of not allowing the league to get a book on him plays out now that he’s got the keys to the castle.

    He clearly has the ability and apparent work ethic to be great, but if 49er fans don’t expect some growing pains coming up, they’re kidding themselves.

  20. nomoreseasontix says: Mar 30, 2013 10:40 PM

    What happens in the locker room, stays in the locker room.
    Crabtree is a nitwit if he thinks its ok to babble.

  21. ravenator says: Mar 30, 2013 10:44 PM

    Reigning Super Bowl champions Ravens say what? Shut your mouth Crabtree, same goes for the whining fans.

  22. tigerphins says: Mar 30, 2013 10:46 PM

    It’s funny when people say Alex Smith couldn’t have taken San Fran to the SB when he took them to within a couple costly special teams fumbles of making the SB the year prior with team that arguably wasn’t as developed as the Kaep’s 2012 one.

  23. sbaltimore says: Mar 30, 2013 10:52 PM

    LOL. It’s not holding when it’s within the 5 yard area in which you CAN hold, and once the ball’s in the air, which the tape shows clearly, it’s either PI, or not PI. (But of course Florio loves to fan the flames. So what else is new?)

    And when you look at the tape, it was the perfect no call. First of all, the ball wasn’t catch-able, so that takes away defensive PI. Second, Crabtree clearly pushes Smith’s helmet away, bringing up the possibility of offensive PI. So the best call was the no call that was made. But hey…you wanna keep bringing it up? Be my guest. I could not care less. The bottom line is that the Ravens won. Period. End of story. Come back next year and prove you deserve to be world champs. Otherwise…shut up.

  24. kgb108 says: Mar 30, 2013 11:19 PM

    Crabtree explained that Kaepernick eventually “kind of won everybody over by winning.”
    That may be all that needs to be said. What happens to his leadership once they hit a skid? Time will tell

  25. sixjak says: Mar 30, 2013 11:53 PM

    And with Alex you also had a lot of 3 and out drives or a 1st down or 2 and then punt or a missed field goal.

  26. yousuxxors says: Mar 31, 2013 12:22 AM

    can’t wait till the gimmick offense is shut down and niners wish they had smith.

  27. raiddawgz says: Mar 31, 2013 12:47 AM

    What happens when Kap’s feet get him hurt and out. I hope they have a plan B for when this happens.

  28. tigershark49 says: Mar 31, 2013 1:37 AM

    The offense is more explosive with Kaep. Adding Boldin will help. The line looks solid as do the backs. Need to fill holes on D, however. Go 49ers!!!

  29. msclemons67 says: Mar 31, 2013 2:38 AM

    Outside of Tebow I’ve never seen so much blind love for a mediocre QB as Alex Smith receives.

    I really don’t get it. Does the entire state of Utah wait to pounce on any mention of Alex?

  30. vaphinfan says: Mar 31, 2013 8:10 AM

    Dont let this guy fool you. Just because he talks about a divided locker room dont think hes a team guy. If Kap wasnt throwing him the ball he would be complaining about Kap.

  31. FinFan68 says: Mar 31, 2013 8:24 AM

    How funny would it be for Smith to lead KC to a championship this year?

  32. bigj7769 says: Mar 31, 2013 8:41 AM

    It wasn’t even a risky choice. Kap is just more mobile and can toss the deep ball, Smith has a game manager that didn’t turn it over. Balanced each other out. They almost went to the SB last year. It was just unfair that harbaugh was all “Alex is my man, well until now”.

  33. ravenmomma says: Mar 31, 2013 9:29 AM

    The Ravens won the SB fair and square, get over it.

  34. niners856 says: Mar 31, 2013 9:52 AM

    Alex smith was nothing more than a solid qb. Kaepernick gives us a whole other dimension….i wish people would get over it. Harbaugh knows what he’s doing

  35. nathanbetz91 says: Mar 31, 2013 3:56 PM

    i remember earlier this year during the 49ers and chiefs exhibition game when kaepernick had like a 50 yard scramble for a td at that point i knew this guy was gonna be someone fun to watch

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!