49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

September 4, 2012
Then there were two? 49ers no longer list multiple starting WRs


Michael Crabtree was asked today how he benefits from having Randy Moss on the field at the same time. "I don't really know," Crabtree said. "We haven't even played a game yet. So I'd be crazy to tell you how it's changed."

Crabtree - and everyone else - are likely to finally find out the answer to that offseason question Sunday in Green Bay. Both he and Moss are listed as the starters for that game. What's more, the "ors" have been removed from the team's depth chart. Whereas in the preseason, the depth chart listed "Ted Ginn or Mario Manningham or Randy Moss" as the starter opposite Crabtree, now it's just Moss.

Crabtree spoke about playing in a "legendary" stadium like Lambeau Field, about visiting with college quarterback Graham Harrell and about the firepower the 49ers bring to Green Bay this year. "Like I said, the sky's the limit," he said. "We've got everything we need."

Still, he noted that the 49ers' offensive philosophy hasn't changed from 2011 and that the 49ers will be playing a decidedly different game than their Packers counterparts. "I just feel like we've got our own style," Crabtree said. "Those guys have a spread offense - that's all they do is throw the ball. They've got some run game. But that's their offense. We're really not like that. It's just focusing on being us and going out there and making plays."

Crabtree also was asked what he's learned from Moss. The reporter asking the question was searching for an answer about the receiving position. Crabtree, however, took a more philosophical tack.

"Man, I learned so much from him. ... He makes me feel like I can be myself, you know what I'm saying? Seeing an old guy like that. And he's been himself for so long that you just have to accept it. I feel like that's what I'm doing - I'm just going to be myself. You can learn from a guy like that. You don't have to change for nobody. All you have to do is be yourself and play your game."

When Darius Fleming was told he'd torn his ACL in May, he figured his rookie season was over. But Fleming has made such steady progress that he's optimistic he can return this season. He's begun light jogging and is doing more movement-style exercises each week.

He's on the physically unable to perform list, which means he must sit out at least the first six weeks. But with the 49ers' sparse numbers at outside linebacker, there's a chance Fleming will be needed at the end of the season.

Et cetera - In other depth chart news, Perrish Cox is listed ahead of Tramaine Brock, who is still recovering from a broken bone in his hand. That was reflected in the order in which they played in Thursday's preseason finale.

* Demarcus Dobbs is listed as the third tight end ahead of Garrett Celek, who has changed his number - gasp! - from 48 to 81.

* New OLB Clark Haggans is wearing No. 51, which rookie Joe Holland wore in the preseason. Safety Darcel McBath, who wore Kendall Hunter's No. 32 in the preseason, has taken N. 28, which formerly belonged to Rock Cartwright.

* The 49ers took their team photo today without their head coach. Harbaugh was observed running -- literally -- out of the locker room to attend to a personal matter.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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