Saturday, March 30, 2013

Crabtree says quarterback change divided locker room


When 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh decided to install Colin Kaepernick as the starting quarterback after a concussion suffered by Alex Smith (and a great Monday night performance from the 2011 second-round pick), plenty of people in the media thought he was making a mistake.

Plenty of people in the locker room apparently did, too.
Receiver Michael Crabtree explained on Rich Eisen’s podcast that the decision created a schism in the locker room.

“I hate to talk about it.  But you have the starting quarterback, and a couple of weeks later, he’s the starting scout-team quarterback,” Crabtree said.  “And he’s taking all the snaps with the scout team.  It was kind of crazy to see. . . .

“You had guys on Alex Smith’s side, guys on Colin Kaepernick’s side,” Crabtree said. “I was on the winning side. . . .  You can’t beat the guy who was hot.  Kap was hot. As soon as he came in, even though we lost that game — I think it was a tie, that game — he came in and it just went up from there.  We were scoring that many more touchdowns.  We were just going every drive it seemed like. . . .  We had like a triple threat with Kap’s feet, the passing game and the running game.”

Crabtree explained that Kaepernick eventually “kind of won everybody over by winning.”
 
In the end, they came within a Kaepernick-to-Crabtree fade route of winning a Super Bowl.  And the question of whether Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith interfered with Crabtree will linger long after the question of whether Harbaugh made the right decision did.

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