Michael Crabtree didn't see the ball much this post season, and he made his frustration clear to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee after the game.
"Sometimes, you've just got to move the ball," Crabtree said. "You've got to make plays. You've got to give people chances to make plays. You've got to make plays."
By you, one could infer that he was talking about the offense as a whole, but the intelligent reader knows better - "you" is Alex Smith.
In a post game locker room that quietly took onus for the loss, that rallied around a dejected Kyle Williams, that stood solemn in defeat, only one player pointed the finger. Only one guy shoved the blame outward. Only Michael Crabtree played the blame game.
Crabtree has been a polarizing figure for the 49ers since he showed up in 2009. After a contract holdout that lasted into midseason, Crabtree surprised many with his ability to grasp the offense and become a target for Alex Smith. But after three consecutive no shows in preseason and training camp, his progress was stunted.
Admittedly, Crabtree had a stellar second half of the 2011 regular season. But save one short touchdown in the divisional round of the playoffs that was more a result of play calling than play making, he was a no show when the 49ers needed him most.
3 dropped passes in the Saints game and only one catch for 3 yards in the NFC Championship game left 49ers fans scratching their heads. With New York doubling Vernon Davis for most of the game, Crabtree was going to be the factor, for better or worse, in determining the outcome. As it turns out, he was a factor for worse.
Forget the fact that the 49ers fell short of a Super Bowl - it was a stellar season that came down to a few decisive plays. 49ers fans want to hear one thing after a loss - "I could have done better and I didn't. I'm hungry to get back there and I'll do whatever it takes to get there." Unfortunately Crabtree went the other way with it.
We know what happens to players who don't tow the company line with Harbaugh. Braylon Edwards was never fully healthy, and after some offhand remarks about playing time were made to the media, he got shown the door. Michael Crabtree is what he is - a possession receiver with some playmaking abilities. But what lies beneath the surface is an entitled diva, a young soul who believes he deserves credit for things that he hasn't accomplished. Trent Baalke can only hope that some GM out there stopped watching the 49ers after Crabtree's two touchdown performance in week 17. He can only hope there will be a team dumb enough to trade even a third round pick for number 15.
One thing is certain - 53 men walked out of Candlestick Park Sunday evening wearing a painful loss on their sleeve, and only one of them did it WITHOUT a humble heart. That doesn't fit Jim Harbaugh's image of "team," and that may spell the end for Michael Crabtree.
Source of Quote: CSN Bay Area - "Is Crabtree a Diva or Demanding?"