Crabtree does an excellent job of catching high passes, handy in the Red Zone if they would use him. VD has done well in the Red Zone in the past. Our current Red Zone problem is that we tend to run when inside the five rather than taking a shot. I believe it is intentional to build the line and give them a chance to become more dominant in an area where it might be important during the playoffs.
Smith throws very few interceptions so I doubt Harbaugh is "protecting" against his QB making a mistake in the Red Zone.
As far as the size of the receiver is concerned it would be nice to have a Grondkowski but the rest of the NE receivers are not as big as the 9ers. Their starting three wide receivers are 5'9", 5'9" and 6'1". The 9ers are currently 6'1", 5'10" and 5'11". Morgan is 6'1" and Edwards 6'3". That is plenty of size at the WR spot. The key is getting them to jell with Smith as the Red Zone requires more precision than a more open field. The QB needs to hit a tight spot accurately and know that the WR will be there.
One interesting factoid that has not been mentioned enough is the need to keep Smith healthy. Yes, the team could score more TDs in the Red Zone if they turn Smith loose but at what cost? If Smith goes down the season is over. Harbaugh knows that and tends to run in the Red Zone minimizing potential disaster. The injury to Morgan is an example of what can happen when you run plays you do not need to win the game. When the playoffs come I would expect to see Smith turned loose in the Red Zone and being a demon for the D to stop. He is a much better runner than many people think and has been deadly in the RZ over the years.
[ Edited by dtg_9er on Dec 7, 2011 at 7:11 AM ]