Rookie receiver Michael Crabtree will make his NFL debut on Oct. 25 against the Texans, 49ers coach Mike Singletary said today.
Crabtree will spend Thursday, Friday and Saturday working with coordinator Jimmy Raye, receivers coach Jerry Sullivan, as well as Wendell Davis, a former teammate of Singletary with the Bears whom the 49ers had as a training camp intern coach.
Also, Alex Smith will be the only 49ers quarterback to remain in town, and he’ll throw some passes to Crabtree. Running back Frank Gore, who will get treatment on his ankle, will also be around to lend assistance.
“Every day he gets out here and every rep that he takes, makes him just that much better,” Singletary said. “He’s been studying his tail off, and it shows out here. He doesn’t have a whole lot of questions on the field. He’s running the right routes and doing the right things. It’s just a matter of taking every step with every second, every minute, to get him up to speed.”
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Crabtree answered some questions at his locker today for the first time since his press conference last week to announce his signing:
What do you hope to accomplish while you stay around here this weekend?
Crabtree: “I’ll be working and trying to get better every day.”
What will it mean for you to play at
Crabtree: “(It’s my) first game at home, so I’m very excited about the opportunity to play at home.”
Will you have a lot of family and friends there?
Crabtree: “I don’t know, probably just my mom and my dad — not too many.”
Do you feel like learning the offense is coming along pretty quickly?
Crabtree: “It’s a process and I feel like I got good teammates helping me do what I need to do to get my job done.”
Is it nice to have guys like Frank and Alex sticking around to help you over the weekend?
Crabtree: “Oh, yeah. They have the same goals I have, to just get better any chance I get.”
Watching Sunday’s game from the sideline, did it give you any feel for what’s in store?
Crabtree: “Oh, yeah, I wanted to be out there. It’s hard to watch a game from the sideline when you’re part of an organization. I was happy to be there and see how things go before I got on the field.”
Did it give you any sense for the speed of the game?
Crabtree: “Oh, yeah, a little bit. Really, just speed of the game is hard for somebody who doesn’t know what they’re doing. Like I said, coaches are doing a good job of catching me up on the speed of the game, and knowing what plays I need to know, and I feel like everything is going good.”
What were you and offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye going over at the end of practice?
Crabtree: “He was just talking to me about football, different plays and different routes – just trying to keep it in my head.”
How’s the learning process going and are you confident you can execute whatever you’re called upon to do?
Crabtree: “Oh, yeah. I just need to come in day by day and learn play by play. If I have any questions, my teammates will let me know. Everything’s going good.”
Can you describe your training regimen in August and September?
Crabtree: “Oh, man, I had two-a-days for a month straight in the Tampa heat, just going straight ahead trying to accomplish what my goals were to get better, get faster, get stronger. And everything’s worked out.”
Is there any adjustment period, as far as creating a rapport with Shaun Hill, as far learning about your quarterback?
Crabtree: “Oh, yes, I think that will come in time. My job is to run my routes and his job is to throw the ball. If we both do our jobs, we can execute these plays.”
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