SANTA CLARA — This is the transcript of Michael Crabtree’s Thursday press conference courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
What was your reaction in March when you found out that Anquan Boldin was traded to the 49ers?
“I got some help. You know, a lot of guys left. I am pretty much the only receiver that is back from last year. So that was a plus for us.”
Can you talk about your journey coming back from the injury and what it has been like for you?
“It has been a work in progress. The process has been long. I had to go hard every day. It was just long, you know, over there with Uye (head strength and condition coach Mark Uyeyama) watching the guys practice every day. Playing was on my mind. All I wanted to do was get back on the field. I did what is takes to get back on the field. I am just blessed to be back.”
Your offensive coordinator just told us that there were times when he doubted whether you would make it back this season. Did you ever feel that way?
“Not at all. Not at all. As soon as I got hurt I asked the doctor how long it was going to take. He told me about five months. I didn’t want to tell anybody the dates. I just kept working hard, day by day and we are here now.”
That high ball last week in the second quarter, was that a sign that you are feeling all the way back?
“I am feeling good. Whatever it takes. Wherever the ball is at on the field, I am just trying to make the catch, make the plays. I am feeling good.”
Did you ever wonder whether you would still have the exact same level of play that you had previously?
“You never think about it. You just strive to be back on the field. I feel like my instincts never leave. 40 years old and you are still going to have those instincts. But being back on that field just feels good.”
They are predicting good weather for Seattle this weekend. As a receiver, do kind of like getting defensive backs in a wet situation or would you prefer it like today?
“It doesn’t matter, it’s football. When you are young you play in all types of weather. It is pretty much the same thing now. We’ve been in the coldest of the coldest games. Carolina was cool. I am looking forward to something different. It doesn’t matter to me.”
When a defensive back is talking throughout a game does that motivate you more? Does that affect you? What is the impact of a guy that chirps in your ear the whole game?
“It is competition. If you are playing to that level, and you are talking to the level you are playing, then it is cool. But if you are just out there talking, and you are not really doing (anything) on the field, then that is when you get irritated. The guy is just chirping and he is not really doing (anything). At the end of the day it is football. Guys talk. You’re gonna do your job and he better do his job.”
Is Richard Sherman the best cornerback in the league?
“I don’t know (anything) about the best cornerbacks in the league. I just know teams, you know. We are playing the Seattle Seahawks and hopefully we come out with a win. We are going hard.”
When you line up against a guy, you obviously study them and you know their game. What do you have to do against him and the kind of physical play he brings to the table?
“Well you study him and you study the defense, the overall defense. A lot of guys play coverages, it isn’t just man-to-man the whole game. So you have to study the whole defense, it is not just one guy. It is the entire defense.”
So how does the entire defense rank, in terms of their secondary?
“They move around, they are pretty good, pretty good. They are a good football team. We got some good guys too. So it is going to be a good game.”
What is the most important thing you have learned from Anquan Boldin?
“Patience. You watch him, a lot of those old guys, Randy Moss, Hines Ward, the game has slowed down to them. You look at that and you can learn something from that.”
Anquan talked yesterday about how he enjoys the physical play as a wide receiver and that matchup against a very physical Seattle defense. What about you? What do you enjoy? How do you enjoy playing and where do you stand against this Seattle defense?
“It doesn’t matter to me. I’m one of those types of guys. If you want to play physical, play physical. If you want to play ball, we’ll play ball. If you want some routes I’ll give you some routes. I’m trying to have it all. I’m working every day to reach that point.”
What do you like about how emotional Anquan gets out there?
“It’s funny. It gives us a lot of energy, gives guys a lot of energy on the field. A lot of guys have energy too, but Anquan pretty much has the most energy on the team.”
What’d you learn from Randy Moss last year?
“Same thing. This is probably like the fifth time you guys have asked me about Randy Moss, but it’s cool, that’s my dude. But, we’ve got Anquan Boldin here and we’re going to learn from him right now and we’re going to keep going.”