Michael Crabtree’s Impact on the San Francisco 49ers Offense
In 2008 the San Francisco 49ers had hopes that they would finally turn the corner on the offensive side of the ball with new coordinator Mike Martz. With a no name quarterback named JT O’Sullivan the 49ers came out of the gates gunning passing the ball up and down the field. But with a 3 and 5 record to start the season smooth talking Mike Nolan finally got the boot. In came a new head coach in Mike Singletary. Singletary unlike Nolan has had much proven success in the NFL before taking his job. True the success came as a Hall of Fame player and not as a coach. In Mike’s first game as head coach the 49ers got blasted losing 34 to 13 at home against the Seahawks. Although this was a blow out it would prove to be a game no 49er fan or anyone in the country would forget. Not because of the score but Sigletary’s decision making. First he pulled JT O’Sullivan for too many turn over’s. Then sent Vernon Davis to the showers after whining on the sidelines. Finally for his amazing presconfrence, “can’t do it” speech after the game.
After that riveting speech the 49ers would go on to finish the season 5-3 with new quarterback Shaun Hill under center. Not to also point out a much quieter less cocky Vernon Davis. With this turn around Mike Singletary was given a new contract. Upon receiving his new deal Singletary then released offensive coordinator Mike Martz. I found this to be very unfortunate from not just a fantasy football perspective but a real football one as well. Especially after they signed Jets running back coach Jimmy Raye as their new offensive coordinator. Raye in 12 years has never been a part of a top 5 offense in any year. But he has coached on good offenses like the Chiefs in the early 2000’s and the Jets last year.
49ers Draft Wide Receiver Michael Crabtree
In the draft this off-season I felt the 49ers really needed a pass rusher on defense or a big offensive lineman. This was with the idea in mind that the 49ers would never have an opportunity to get Michael Crabtree. And I would have been correct in that thinking until the Raiders did the unthinkable yet thinkable for the Raiders. They went with all speed no skill in Darrius Hayward-Bey at the #7 pick over all. Passing on the 2 time Fred Biletnikoff award winner. Especially considering Al Davis’s love for Raider glory, you would think he would like the only 2 time Biletnikoff winner. Seeing that Fred played his entire hall of fame career with the Raiders. Go figure. After that crazy move the 49ers then drafted Crabtree at #10 in what Singletary would later go on record as saying was a “no brainer pick.”
To say Michael Crabtree was a major move for the 49ers is a major understatement. This is a team that has been in real need of a big play making wide receiver ever since old lets go TO left the building for Philly. Having a player like Crabtree on the outside sets the table for the rest of the offense. Especially Frank Gore and the running game. Now defenses can’t load 8 or 9 in the box so easy. This move will also help Vernon Davis and Isaac Bruce as well. Point is Crabtree is more than just the numbers he puts up for his team but how he changes the game for everyone around him as well. Like a great hitter in the middle of the order in baseball he make others around him have an easier chance for success.
From a fantasy football perspective
This year look for Frank Gore and kicker Joe Nedney to benefit the most from this draft pick. Gore is now a clear top 5 pick in fantasy this season. Joe should have a nice reliable season at kicker all year. Even Vernon Davis can be a serviceable late round tight end for your team. Crabtree’s value is a bit of a question mark this season. I say he would probably fit best in your draft plans as your #1 back up wide receiver this year. It’s very hard for rookies to be consistent. Again a guy like Crabtree helps everyone around him and I do believe for a season or two it will be those around him that flash their skills first. But soon you will see the Crab man making plays like he did in college at a stadium near you.
Written By: Sean Douglas- fantasy-info.com
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