Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/22/12

By Len Pasquarelli

The Sports Xchange

Some might call Michael Crabtree's performance in three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers a disappointment since being the 10th overall player chosen in the 2009 draft.

But his supporters on the coaching staff have pointed out that Crabtree hasn't yet played with a complementary wide receiver who had more than 52 catches in a season. And, in 2011, the second leading San Francisco wideout had just 20 grabs. The additions of free agents Mario Manningham and Randy Moss, and the choice of A,J. Jenkins in the first round, should render moot, the 49ers contend, all of the excuses about Crabtree's lack of big plays.

"They'll all make each other better," said offensive coordinator Greg Roman. "They can feed off each other." So far in the offseason, Crabtree appears to be the hungry man in the receiver corps. A pair of San Francisco coaches told The Sports Xchange that Crabtree -- who signed late as a rookie and has undergone foot surgeries in successive years -- appears poised for a breakout season. Of course, for Crabtree, who had career bests in receptions (72) and yards (874), the term "breakout" might be relative.

With Frank Gore around, San Francisco isn't likely to have a receiver with 85-90 catches, but the 49ers do feel that Crabtree can be more explosive and improve on his career-low 12.1-yard average of a year ago. The 49ers concede the former Texas Tech star is more quick than fast, but still has explosiveness, and can run away from people. "This could be a big year for him," said former offensive assistant Bobby Engram, the onetime NFL wide receiver who is now the wide receivers coach at Pitt.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Manfred blames MLBPA for no significant rule changes in 2017

Report: Zach Britton has potential oblique injury

The Rock returns to WWE, leaves CM Punk a voicemail after 'Raw'

After outfield collision, Ichiro pranks teammate and claims he’s been cut

Simeon Rice gets vulgar with radio host over HOF debate

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ronda Rousey to be guest star on NBC’s ‘Blindspot’

Lakers replace Jim Buss with Magic Johnson, fire Kupchak

Report: James Harrison, Steelers share mutual interest in 2017 return

Jimmy Garoppolo’s mom keeping him up to speed on his trade rumors

Report: Clippers intent on keeping both Blake Griffin, Chris Paul

Slam dunks and startups: How all-star technology took over the NBA in The Big Easy

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 100 games with two different teams

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker