Friday, April 18, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

49ers’ Crabtree caps career year with Super Bowl berth

By
From page B2 | January 31, 2013 | 1 Comment

NEW ORLEANS — Michael Crabtree refused to remove the black 49ers beanie and reveal his hair. Nope, not going to do it.

Crabtree is trying to maintain every possible element of surprise he might still have left heading into his first Super Bowl — and will certainly take any advantage he can get this week.

Not that his ‘do has much to do with it. But this is Crabtree, quirky and superstitious, a guy still trying to shed that diva label he picked up as a college star at Texas Tech. It’s something his San Francisco teammates are quick to dismiss, insisting that’s not the case.

The dynamic, play-making wide receiver will be a primary focus for the Baltimore Ravens’ secondary come Sunday at the Superdome. Crabtree is as dangerous after the catch as he is dodging defensive backs to make acrobatic catches or finding ways to keep both feet inbounds while tiptoeing the sideline.

“A lot of coaches can coach a route and how you catch the ball, but after the catch it’s really all you,” he said. “That’s what makes you special.”

No matter his catches or number of chances this weekend, Crabtree cares about only one thing: capping his career season with a championship ring. The fanfare and media frenzy, he’ll take it or leave it (his voice was hoarse Wednesday from all the talking). He is still coming to terms with being a public figure, and the constant scrutiny that goes along with it.

Just last week, Crabtree learned he wouldn’t face charges for an alleged sexual assault in a hotel after the 49ers beat Green Bay in the NFC divisional playoffs on Jan. 12. The San Francisco district attorney announced Friday there would be no charges “at this time.” The wideout was never arrested or detained, and police said he cooperated with the investigation.

“I was disappointed in the allegations,” Crabtree said Wednesday morning, before heading off to practice at Saints headquarters. “It’s over now.”

Crabtree still carries a chip on his shoulder and is out to prove he should have been drafted higher. He held out for 71 days as a rookie before signing in October 2009 and becoming a starter less than three weeks later. He wouldn’t change much about how things have gone so early in his NFL career.

After all, had he gone to the Oakland Raiders with the seventh overall pick that year — they selected Darrius Heyward-Bey instead — Crabtree would be watching after yet another losing season in the East Bay. The Niners grabbed him three spots later at No. 10.

“I watched him as a youngster, I watched him in college,” Baltimore receiver Jacoby Jones said. “When he came out and he held out, I was interested to see what he was going to do. He came in and I was like, ‘This kid can play.’ I like his game. He’s got great hands, great route runner.”

Colin Kaepernick sure thinks so. Crabtree quickly became the second-year quarterback’s top target after he took over the starting job under center midseason.

Kaepernick’s passes come so fast they require extra concentration and “you’ve just got to focus at all times on his ball.”

“He does a lot of things well and he’s a very physical receiver,” Kaepernick said. “He wants to get in the end zone every time he touches the ball. As a quarterback, that’s something you love.”

Crabtree receives guidance from a couple of other characters who have dazzled at his position — teammate Randy Moss and former 49ers star Terrell Owens. Moss tells Crabtree like it is, on the field and off, while T.O. offers advice from time to time via text messages.

They’ve got a few things in common, too.

In the season finale against Arizona on Dec. 30, Crabtree caught two touchdowns and finished with a career-high 172 yards on eight receptions. It was the best outing by a 49ers receiver since Owens’ 166-yard performance in November 2002. Crabtree, finally healthy for a full season after a series of injuries in his first three seasons, also became San Francisco’s first 1,000-yard receiver since T.O. in ’03.

If he and Kaepernick can keep their good thing going, Crabtree certainly has a chance at a championship.

“He’s a great runner and he has great ability to make people miss,” Ravens cornerback Cary Williams said. “He’s elusive. He’s a guy that can put his foot in the ground and move and get to a different direction. He’s having a great year and he’s done some great things for that team. We look forward to the challenge out there of going against him.”

Crabtree keeps defenders guessing on every down with his big-play potential all over the field.

He finished with career highs of nine touchdowns, 85 catches and 1,105 yards this season. That included five TDs and 30 catches on third-down plays — both stats among the top five in the NFL.

Teammate Frank Gore describes his recent play as the “Texas Tech Crabtree.”

Crabtree took it personally when the 49ers failed to reach last year’s Super Bowl after a 20-17 overtime loss to the eventual champion New York Giants. San Francisco’s receiving corps managed one catch for 3 yards that game. It was his reception, but hardly enough.

“I can’t really pinpoint the things that Crabtree has picked up,” Moss said. “I just told him when I first came I really wanted to work, I just wanted to be out there with him to make plays for him. Michael Crabtree hasn’t let me down, he really hasn’t. Everybody has little stumbles in the road. It’s great to see a person to overcome so many things. His whole 49ers career he’s had some stumbles and hasn’t been able to complete a whole season, but to go out there and make the plays he’s made this year, my hat’s off to him.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • fat lossFebruary 08, 2013 - 2:12 am

    of course like your web-site but you need to take a look at the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I to find it very troublesome to tell the truth nevertheless I'll surely come back again.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Man to stand trial in rural Vacaville killing

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Puppies to take part in Vallejo dog show

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Afisivalu announces run for Fairfield council

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Tonnesen seeks Fairfield City Council seat

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Family matriarch celebrates 100th birthday

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Barbecue brings big crowd, progress to Parkway Gardens

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Assist-A-Grad wraps up interviews

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Night closures possible at Merchant Street ramp

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
Napa County bridge to close for work

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

Town hall on crime set in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
Crash shuts I-80 offramp to Highway 12

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Suisun City police log: April 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: April 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Weather for April 18, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B12

.

US / World

Putin’s choice of words shed light on Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Who gained, and what, at Ukraine talks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Ukrainian unity on display with peaceful rallies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Deal reached on calming Ukraine tensions – for now

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Salmon released in California river restoration

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
1 dead, 1 injured in California boating accident

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

BART fined $210,000 for worker deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Military shell prompted evacuation of hundreds

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Astronomers spot most Earth-like planet yet

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Jury convicts husband in Iraqi woman’s death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California health care sign-ups exceed projections

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Obama: 8 million signed up for health care

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Dirty creek, old purse solve four-decade mystery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Man said to be homesick for prison gets 3 1/2 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Chelsea Clinton expecting first child this fall

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Holder: Hate crimes ‘an affront to who we are’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Spate of Mideast virus infections raises concerns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Samples collected from oil slick not from plane

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

S. Sudan: 12 die after mob attacks UN base

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Peru volcano prompts evacuation of 4,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Nigeria: Fate of 115 abducted girls unknown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Tiny power plants hold promise for nuclear energy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

Confused, chaotic scene described on sinking ferry

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
.

Opinion

Is Jeb Bush too old school for the new GOP?

By Doyle Mcmanus | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
Internationally out of touch

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

Watch out for grandson scam

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Why so much spent to find a plane?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

.

Living

Community Calendar: April 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
.

Entertainment

Review: ‘Heaven Is for Real’ heartfelt but dull

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
‘Real Housewives’ TV star faces battery charge

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Ill, hospitalized Miley Cyrus postpones more shows

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Lost radio program featuring Hank Williams found

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Sports

Badminton update: Rodriguez, Armijo head toward post season

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
MEL boys roll to easy win over SCAC

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Short-handed SCAC girls ‘gut out’ all-star win over MEL

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Sharks beat Kings 6-3 in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Dodgers get to Bumgarner early for win over Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Shumenov gets big chance in ring against ageless Hopkins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Montreal team sign Chad Johnson to 2-year contract

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Seattle 1B Choi banned 50 games for positive test

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Dodgers’ Puig focuses on baseball despite issues

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Miguel Angel Jimenez set for Champions Tour debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Sponsorship woes put Swan Racing future in doubt

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Ex-quarterback McNabb spends day in Arizona jail

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Season wrapup: Sacramento Kings’ ‘new era’ off to slow start

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Clippers-Warriors series billed as must-see TV

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Kuchar builds on Masters momentum, shares Heritage lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

War of words in Northwestern-athletes’ union fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Stanford takes lead at LPGA LOTTE tournament

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Boston Marathon makes room for more runners

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Vanden clinches at least share of SCAC boys tennis title

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B10

 
.

Business

Toyota Camry gets a top-to-bottom makeover

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1

 
Hot models at this year’s New York Auto Show

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Judge won’t order recalled GM cars to be parked

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Cyber cops: Target hackers may take years to find

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Walmart jumps into the money transfer biz, loudly

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Obituaries

Sealwyn Shirley Brucefield Shepherd Malkiewicz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics