The 49ers wide receiver attended the morning chalk-talk session at today’s offensive minicamp, but didn’t participate in the practice. The reason: Sore feet.
Fellow wideout Josh Morgan, who has worked out with Crabtree during the offseason, said the third-year wide receiver had aching feet after wearing new cleats during Monday’s mimicamp-opening practice on the FieldTurf at San Jose State.
Morgan said Crabtree sat out as a precaution. He wasn’t sure if Crabtree would return to practice Wednesday.
“He’s good,” Morgan said. “He doesn’t want to get hurt out there. He just wants to learn the offense. So he’s good.”
Later, Morgan was asked if Crabtree’s “feelings were hurt” – a reference, perhaps, to the negative attention Crabtree has received by not participating with his fellow wide receivers in offseason throwing sessions with quarterback Alex Smith.
“Crabtree’s all right,” Morgan said. “His feelings aren’t hurt. Nothing’s wrong with him. Just his feet were too sore to come out here. That’s all it is.”
Given Crabtree’s history, it would be easy to automatically add today’s absence to his diva files.
On the flip side, though, he did attend the classroom session and, if his feet hurt, why should he push himself during a lockout minicamp in early June?
Let the debate continue and, of course, stay tuned for tomorrow’s edition of the Curious Case of Michael Crabtree.
• During the 30 minutes of today’s practice open to the media, rookie quarterback Colin Kaepernick was mostly a spectator as Alex Smith and David Carr threw passes to the running backs, wide receivers and tight ends.
But Morgan, who has termed himself Smith’s assistant coach, said he’s keeping Kaepernick’s mind busy.
“I mess with him, making him think that I’m a little slow,” Morgan said. “I keep asking him (about) a play. He thinks I’m asking because I really don’t know, but I’m just doing it to get him used to saying it all the time …
“He’s doing it, but he’s kind of looking at me like ‘Why you keep asking me? They said you were one of the smartest ones. Why do you keep asking me for?’ So I’m going to keep asking him.”
• Tight end Delanie Walker said the first two days have primarily covered just the offensive basics. But he’s seen enough to anticipate an expanded offensive role this season.
“I don’t want to give it away, but it seems like it’s going to be a lot of two of two tight-ends sets,” Walker said. “Just by what we’re doing right now. We haven’t even opened up the playbook a lot, but it looks like it will be a lot of two tight-end sets. I’m looking forward to it.”
• During a press conference after the draft, Niners coach Jim Harbaugh raved about Ronald Johnson’s passion and desire. When asked about the rookie wide receiver from USC, Morgan also highlighted Johnson’s drive.
“Ronald just wants it so bad,” Morgan said. “That’s probably the best thing I could say about him. He’s so eager to get everything right now. When you’re that eager to learn, and that eager to get it in you so you can get out there and play, you’re always going to have some positive results.”
• Joe Staley said fellow offensive tackle Alex Boone is not attending this week’s minicamp because he’s on his honeymoon. Guard Chilo Rachal is also not in attendance due to a prior engagement he couldn’t reschedule. Rachal, who has a playbook, has spent at least part of the offseason working out a gym owned by former NFL tight end Billy Miller in Westlake Village.
• Staley and guard/center Adam Snyder are serving as coaches to a young group of linemen that includes second-year guard Mike Iupati, second-year tackle Anthony Davis and rookies Daniel Kilgore and Mike Person.
“(The rookies) seemed real receptive to Joe and I kind of telling them what was expected of them,” Snyder said. “They seemed excited about the opportunity to be here. Just having guys around like that is important. They share the same attitude we do.”
Said Person, a seventh-round pick from Montana State, “I’m just minding my own business and doing what these guys tell me to do.”
Kilgore and Mike Person are staying with Staley during this week’s minicamp, which ends Thursday. And they are apparently curious about some of San Francisco’s stars.
“They’re asking a lot of questions about Vernon Davis,” Staley said. “’What’s Vernon Davis like?’”
• If the lockout continues, Staley said he expects the 49ers to hold another minicamp around the end of June.