49ers Blog and Q&A

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

December 26, 2013
Cardinals don't think nemesis, Michael Crabtree, is quite himself

crabpeterson.jpg

Michael Crabtree helped spark the 49ers' second-half surge on Monday, and he finished with 102 receiving yards, his first 100-yard outing of the season. But the man who will be covering him in Sunday's finale doesn't think the 49ers' wideout has fully returned from his torn Achilles' tendon.

"He's slowly getting back into the groove, like he's trying to get back in game shape, get back moving the way he used to," Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson said Thursday. "You can tell he doesn't look as comfortable as he did when he was healthy. That's going to come with time."

Arizona head coach Bruce Arians agreed. "I do not see the same guy," he said of Crabtree. "But he's getting really close."

The Cardinals - and Peterson in particular - know exactly what a fully healthy Crabtree looks like and is capable of. He missed the first meeting between the teams on Oct. 13. Last year, however, he had two of his best games against Peterson and Arizona. In the first meeting, he had five catches for 72 yards and two touchdowns. In the finale, he had the best game of his career - eight catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns.

Offensive coordinator Greg Roman noted that it's only natural that Crabtree isn't yet at his 2012 form. "How many games has he played? Four?" Roman said today. "That's like the preseason for most people - with no training camp."

Still, Crabtree's impact is undeniable. He's been on hand for all but one game of the 49ers' five-game winning streak. And Colin Kaepernick's quarterback rating - 89.9 on the season - has been 98.3 in the four games in which Crabtree has been among his targets. He has more receiving yards -- 255 -- in four games than every 49ers wide receiver aside from Anquan Boldin had combined (243) in the 11 games before his return.

Peterson certainly wasn't trying to diss his opponent. On the contrary, he said the speed at which Crabtree has returned from his injury is impressive.

"He still can get away from defensive backs," Peterson said. "He still has the ability to take the top off the defenses and things like that. He does a great job of gaining yards after the catch. He reminds me of a Dez Bryant, a guy that is tough to tackle once he gets a ball in his hands."

Added Peterson with a chuckle: "He looked really, really good Monday. Hopefully he doesn't look good Sunday."

- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW 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.

FOLLOW US | Get more from sacbee.com | Follow us on Twitter | Become a fan on Facebook | Get news in your inbox | View our mobile versions | e-edition: Print edition online | What our bloggers are saying

Categories


December 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        

Monthly Archives


Ask a question

Please use the form below to submit your question. Because there is a 100-word limit for questions, a word counter is located directly beneath the box where you enter the your question.

Name:
City:
 State:
E-mail:

49ers Question:

Your letter contains of 100 words allowed.  Count words


Your IP Address has been recorded as 152.52.255.247 and will be included with this submission.