SANTA CLARA –Michael Crabtree finally spoke to the local press today. He sat in front of his locker and answered every question with a smile. He actually seemed nervous and shy in front of all the cameras and reporters. At one point he joked about a camera light making him sweat, but the only lights in the room were the ceiling lights.
First-interview butterflies are understandable, though. I’m sure he’ll bring his all facets of his game up to midseason form soon enough.
Here’s the whole interview. Enjoy.
Q: How are you feeling and are you limited at all?
CRABTREE: I’m excited to be out here. It’s been a long time coming, being hurt, injured, just can’t wait to get back out there. Yesterday was a very exciting day for me. I was kind of overwhelmed by everything. Wasn’t paying attention that much, I was just excited to be out there. Today should be a better.
Q: Did you take part in the full practice or were you at all limited?
CRABTREE: No, I wasn’t limited at all. I did everything everybody else did.
Q: Was it like riding a bike?
CRABTREE: No, it’s complicated to a certain extent but it’s all football.
Q: How is it complicated?
CRABTREE: Just in the huddle with your teammates. Hearing the play from Alex. Going out there, executing the play.
Q: How many of the wide receiver positions do you feel comfortable with right now?
CRABTREE: All of them. It’s wide receiver. Wide receiver consists of all three positions. I’m trying to better myself.
Q: Have you been going full speed?
CRABTREE: Full speed. I’m full speed. The doctor released me so I’m full speed right now.
Q: Do you feel like you can play Sunday without any restrictions?
CRABTREE: Of course, once you get on the field you’re on the field. No restrictions, it’s just football. It’s a go.
Q: When did you have your foot surgery?
CRABTREE: I don’t know the exact date but it was sometime in July.
Q: When did you realize there was a serious problem with your foot?
CRABTREE: Sometime in July. The doctor x-rayed me, checked it out, and it was really a serious problem so there was nothing I could do about it.
Q: But when did you start to feel that it was a serious problem?
CRABTREE: When I was in camp, the little Alex Smith camp, kind of hurt it.
Q: To be clear, was it the same injury you had your rookie year coming into the league or is it a different injury?
CRABTREE: Somewhat the same, but just a little tweak and it’s something I had to get fixed.
Q: How did they fix it?
CRABTREE: Surgery. It was a little surgery they had to do.
Q: Did they put a pin in there?
CRABTREE: No, nothing like that.
Q: What’s different about your role as a receiver in a Jim Harbaugh offense?
CRABTREE: I really don’t know because I really haven’t played a game on Sunday. But at the same time it’s pretty much football like I’ve been saying. It could be more passes, it could be more runs. You never know.
Q: What do you think of the collection of wide receivers on this team and how you fit into the mix?
CRABTREE: All our guys are doing good. Teddy – probably the best I’ve seen Teddy. Josh – very smart guy, real good. Braylon’s a good guy. Gotta wait until Sunday to see how it all plays out, but right now we’re having fun.
Q: Is there healthy competition amongst the guys?
CRABTREE: Of course, everyday there’s competition. That brings the best out of us.
Q: Do you feel like you’re game conditioned? Like you can go full speed for a full game?
CRABTREE: I’ve been here before. It’s nothing new to me. Like I said, I’ve just got to take on that challenge and got out there and do my best.
Q: The time that you missed this summer, do you feel like that’s going to hold you back?
CRABTREE: I couldn’t tell you. I don’t feel nothing. I feel like I want to play football. I really don’t think of it like that. I take one day at a time and try to get better. Yesterday I had a little slow day, first day of practice. I’m ready. Today I’m focused. It feels like a game today – I’m a little nervous, this light is really hot on me right now (laughs) but I’m all good.
Q: Do you feel good the day after your first practice?
CRABTREE: Yeah, I feel fine. Like I said, you’re going to have a couple bumps and bruises, so you’ve got to play through it. It’s part of football.
Q: Is there anything you can draw from 2009 when you missed camp you jumped in and picked up the offense?
CRABTREE: Like I said, I just think about football. I don’t think about the outcome. I just put all I have into it and just go out there and play.
Q: What kinds of things did you do for fitness when you couldn’t put much weight on your foot?
CRABTREE: Bike, treadmill, stuff like that. The elliptical.
Q: Coaches and your teammates talk about how in meeting you’re right there every step of the way. Do you really feel caught up with everything?
CRABTREE: I’m sure I have a ways to go, but as far as right now, the basic, I’ve pretty much got that down. I’m there every day taking notes. It’s pretty different when you get on the field and have to run those plays. You mess up here and there, but that’s what practice is for. So, I’m ready to go. I’m ready to go.
Q: Do you expect to start on Sunday?
CRABTREE: I’m expecting whatever Coach has got for me. Like I said, I’m going to put my all into practice, and however the outcome comes it’s whatever.
Q: Was your foot injury a freak injury or is it something you’ll have to work to prevent in the future?
CRABTREE: Freak injury. I just say it’s an injury and I’ve just got to take it head on and do my best.
Do you know exactly how it happened?
CRABTREE: San Jose turf, man. I don’t think that’s the best turf to be running routes on, but at the same time it’s football. It happens.
Q: Is there any special treatment or special shoe they’ve recommended to protect your foot?
CRABTREE: My Jordan cleats. I got them molded. My Jordan are going to be real big for me this year.
Q: They’re going to be big for you?
CRABTREE: Yeah, pretty sweet too, so be on the lookout for them.
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