Alex's best throws with the best touch are to Vernon. He's dropped in some amazing balls in double and triple coverage to VD.But, when it comes to Crab, the balls are too high or too overthrown. Could it be Crabtree's speed deceiving Alex? MC seems to have nice acceleration but lacks consistent and breakaway speed. But that's not the main issue...
Crabtree misses A LOT of practice time with "injuries". How many training camps has he been to again? How many days of Camp Alex did he participate in?
It's no wonder they can't get on the same page.
Remember how good Alex and Battle were at being on the same page? Arnaz and Smith spent a lot of time together on the practice field...and it's the same situation with Vernon.
Hopefully this supposedly "team first" version of Crabtree starts putting in more work off the field. Alex to Crab has the potential to be potent if they can get on the same page Alex and Vernon are on.
[ Edited by Canadian49er on Nov 3, 2011 at 5:40 AM ]
You can blame a player for injuries if he does not stay in shape or risks his health jumping out of airplanes or riding motorcycles, but this not the case here.
Injuries have hampered Crabtree's career so far and chronic foot injuries are not something to take lightly. It is unfortunate in that timing is so important at his position. If he were a pass rusher he could just come in like Haley or Dean and do his thing, but he is not.
We all hope the surgery works and Crabtree recovers fully but that seems terribly unlikely knowing the history of foot problems. My greatest regret as a basketball fan is Bill Walton's shortened career due to foot injuries. He might have proven to be the greatest all-around center in history if he had not had chronic problems, starting in Portland in his early career.
Injuries happen. For Crabtree though, it's unfortunate, because he already missed half of his rookie season due to an ill-advised holdout, and his image to 49ers fans took a huge hit. Any thing that happens, whether it's his fault or not, now becomes ammunition for fans to hate on him.
But to be honest... I get the FEELING that Crabtree doesn't make the effort to put in work with Alex Smith. Alex Smith was glowing about how hard of a worker Braylon Edwards is and how they always stay after for practice to work together... I don't recall Alex having that same relationship with Crabtree.
Again, on the flip side... if Crabs and Alex can't get their chemistry down... it's not only Crabs' fault, but Alex's as well. It takes TWO to have a QB/WR relationship.
It will come. Vernon is also much bigger than crabs so harder to overthrow. He also runs more verticle routes so that also makes it tougher. Also last week on the overthrow I think smith was a bit rattled from the big hit he took the play before.
Crabtree runs time consuming routes by adding too much dancing and head fakes. This messes up the timing and causes him to be steps late or short on his depth in his position on the field. That's why we see the high throws from Alex. I compare it to a hb that likes to dance in the backfield instead of just hitting the hole. I've played with guys that did this type of erratic route running and it's hard for them to break the habit. Hopefully Harbaugh and his staff figure something out.
Not gonna blame one or the other excessively. I think some passes could be more accurate. I think that if Crabtree and Smith had more time to practice together, things would be better. I think that Crabtree is not terribly fluid in his running... especially the deeper down field he gets.
Ultimately, I think these issues will get better over time... but Crabtree missing so much practice time makes the improvement process slower than we hope for.
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