So Mike Singletary all but confirmed to the SANTA ROSA PRESS DEMOCRAT that Michael Crabtree would start against the Texans on Sunday. This was a ludicrous notion as recently as 12 hours ago, when Crabs was still wearing the helmet seen below so that teammates could identify him.
Also potentially troubling to 49ers fans: Their team’s playbook evidently can be learned with one night of light cramming. But here’s the lost amazing part of this tale. Crabtree hung around team headquarters over the bye weekend being tutored by fellow receiver Josh Morgan. In other words, Morgan helped Crabtree take his job.
I thought I lived in a land where giant-egoed Terrell Owenses, and Braylon Edwardses roamed in great wide receiver herds, chewing up all the attention and playing time for themselves. Morgan is an entirely different animal indeed.
From the PRESS DEMOCRAT’s Matt Maiocco:
“I’m helping him learn my position and take my position,” said Morgan, who ranks second on the 49ers behind Vernon Davis in receiving. Morgan has 13 catches for 202 yards and one touchdown. “It is what it is. If he can help us win, I’m all right with that.
“They gave him my spot. So if he’s going to be in there, I might as well help him out so I can make sure he gets it right.”
What? My head is still vibrating. Singletary indicated that Crabtree and Isaac Bruce would start on Sunday, leaving Morgan as the No. 3 slot guy. The latter also be used on kick returns. But while it’s a pretty selfless gesture on Morgan’s part, one should also remember that Bruce is a couple weeks shy of his 37th birthday and in the final year of his contract. The Crabtree-Morgan combo is the team’s receiving corps of the future.
If Crabtree pans out, that is.
“To me, even though he’s come in late, he looks like he’s ready,” Singletary told the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE Monday. “Right now, we’re going to see how much he picks up. How much he plays depends on how much success he has (in the game).”
It also occurs to me that Singletary is one of the few NFL coaches who could pull this off without a team mutiny: Allowing a rookie who held out for 71 days to start after one week of full practice.