Michael Crabtree became the second San Francisco 49ers’ wide receiver to catch a touchdown pass this season, last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The other is Anquan Boldin – this of course not including tight end Vernon Davis.
The 49ers’ 2012 leading wide receiver is making his way back from a torn Achilles he suffered this past spring and has played in just three games. During last Sunday’s game we saw Crabtree display some fiery emotion when he hurled back an overthrown Colin Kaepernick pass towards the line of scrimmage and inadvertently hit a ‘Bucs player, drawing a 15-yard penalty.
Crabtree explained his mindset after the game, via CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco.
“I just want to play. I feel like I got to catch up. Everybody keeps trying to slow me down, and telling me to chill. I don’t feel like chillin’, I feel like playing. I feel like catching touchdowns, catching balls, and making plays,” Crabtree said.
Rather than take Crabtree’s frustration as a sign of disrespect, Kaepernick is encouraged by what he sees, according to Maiocco on Wednesday.
“To me, I don’t see it necessarily as a bad thing,” Kaepernick said on Wednesday. “Obviously you don’t want the flag; that was something that didn’t benefit us. But having a receiver that constantly wants the ball is something I like.
“I’ll manage the situation of him, ‘Hey, give me the ball. I want the ball. I’m trying to make a play. You could have hit me on this.’ I’ll manage that. I feel it’s tougher when you have a receiver that’s, ‘Um, if you throw it my way, I guess I’ll try to make a play.’ That’s a worse situation. The fact he wants the ball and constantly is asking for it, that’s a good thing for me.”
San Francisco (10-4) can clinch a playoff spot this week with a win over the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football at Candlestick Park. They hold a better record than the Arizona Cardinals — and already beat them this season — against the NFC West and are one game ahead with two to play. A loss by the ‘Cards will also secure a playoff spot for San Francisco.
It’s a good sign for the 49ers that Crabtree is getting comfortable, and that him and his quarterback are in tune heading forward.