Why there is hope for Michael Crabtree

Remember two seasons ago when a talented 49er was criticized for being inconsistent and not a team player? Remember how we all moaned that Vernon Davis had such untapped talent that if applied properly, he would become an All-Pro?

Last year Davis had the highest average-per-catch of any tight end in the NFL, 16.3 yards. He was the first tight end in 49er history to lead the team  in catches, receiving yards and touchdowns. Yes, Mike Singletary had something to with whipping Davis into shape; it may have been Singletary’s only major and lasting contribution to the 49ers.

Fact is, Davis took his game out of the dumper and is now a team leader.

Crabtree, of course, is inconsistent, me-first, who disappears in games. He needs to mature just as Davis did.

Even though Crabtree has frustrated Niner fans, ponder this: Crabtree’s numbers through the first 27 games of his NFL career are better than Terrell Owens and J.J. Stokes. OK, OK, Stokes was a bust of huge proporitions.

Still Crabtree has 103 receptions, T.O. 84 through their first 27 games. Crabtree has 1,366 receiving yards, Owens 1,306. Owens has more Tds, 11-8.

Stokes numbers BTW: 103 receptions, 1,330 yards, eight touchdowns.

So while Crabtree has been a frustrating disapppointment thus far, he has shown talent. He hasn’t completely disappeared. And, if he could have just a good sit-down with Davis, he might learn something, something that would give the 49er offense a strong boost toward respectability.

It would be a surprise, given his past, but surprises do happen. Look at Vernon Davis.

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