Wednesday, May 22, 2013

San Francisco 49ers Lose Michael Crabtree But Remain the Team to Beat in the NFC

When you lose your No. 1 wide receiver for at least the next six months it is not a good thing. San Francisco will be forced to do that since Michael Crabtree tore his Achilles tendon during OTA's on Tuesday. Even though that leaves them real think at wide receiver the 49ers offense will likely not miss a beat.

Yo Rich! Tell me how that grass taste!
The knock on the 49ers in recent years has been that their wide receiver corps has been razor thin. That could be because the team rarely used them so they didn't bother to build that unit up. The offense had been going through the tight end and running backs primarily with few passes even going out to the wide outs.

That was under Alex Smith. Since Colin Kaepernick took over behind center the wide receivers--especially Crabtree--began to see a lot of action.

So with such an important cog in the 49ers offensive maching missing how will San Francisco recover?

Signing Anquan Boldin in the off-season will help a lot. Boldin has been one of the best in the game and will give Kaepernick a great target. Mario Manigham will probably get called on some more, and if his past is any indication he should be up the challenge.

What is troublesome is that beyond those two guys they really don't have much at wide receiver. Fans would love to see A.J. Jenkins prove he was worthy of a first round pick (from the '12 Draft). Rookie Quinton Patton was in a pass happy offense at Louisiana Tech, but it remains to be seen if his talents will translate to the NFL.

Tight end Vernon Davis will likely be asked to step up, but the real help will likely come from their stacked back-field. Frank Gore is still one of the best in the game and Kendall Hunter is a capable back up. Should he become healthy enough to play at some point this season rookie Marcus Lattimore could be the steal of the draft.

What I would like to see is LaMichaele James being split out some. He's a little guy, but he is fast as lightning. Put him into open space, get him the ball, and don't be surprised to see magic happen.

Then there is that Colin Kaepernick guy; he's kinda good...

Losing a guy that appeared to finally come into his own like Crabtree did last season stings, but the 49ers are far from a one-trick pony. They are going to be just fine.

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