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Michael Crabtree Fully Healthy Entering 2014

Posted Jul 16, 2014

Our positional previews continue with a look at the team’s talented wide receivers, a group that includes a hungry pass-catcher looking to play all 16 games.


Our positional previews continue with a look at the team’s talented wide receivers, a group that includes a hungry pass-catcher looking to play all 16 games.

LEADING OFF

- Michael Crabtree didn’t have to do a whole lot during offseason workouts – coaches took a calculated approach with the team’s sure-handed receiver. Even so, Crabtree demonstrated 2012-like burst during the limited time he worked with quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Crabtree missed 11 games last season because of a torn left Achilles, but he’s as healthy as ever while he enters a contract season. Expect big things.

- Anquan Boldin remains as solid as ever. The hard-working veteran was a consistent pass-catcher for the 49ers in offseason workouts as he continued to build on his strong rapport with Kaepernick. Boldin has often said that he’s around to support Crabtree as the team’s No. 1 receiver. No matter who is the first option on a particular play, the 49ers will have multiple go-to receivers when the ’14 season begins.

- The quest for a third receiver has plagued the 49ers in previous seasons. However, that issue doesn’t appear to be a thorn in the team's side anymore. San Francisco has a number of receivers vying to be the slot wideout. Stevie Johnson, Brandon Lloyd, Quinton Patton and Bruce Ellington are among the favorites to earn slot duties. The race, however, is wide open.

PLAYER TO WATCH

Lloyd.

At 32, Lloyd still has skills. He was constantly open in offseason workouts, and this was even after being out of football in ’13. Lloyd’s return to the 49ers was quite unique when he signed a one-year contract back in April. He was drafted by San Francisco in 2003 and went on to play for five other teams before returning to the Bay Area this offseason.

Lloyd didn’t practice special teams in the offseason. Patton and veteran Kassim Osgood did their fair share of special teams work. The 49ers like versatile backups so Lloyd’s homecoming will likely need to be cemented with high-level production on offense. Helping Lloyd’s case is the fact that the 6-foot, 200-pound wideout gets open, especially in the red zone.

EXTRA POINTS

Crabtree is motivated to have a breakout year and is not fueling the hype of his ongoing battles with a certain NFC West cornerback. But before Crabtree can concentrate on a Thanksgiving night rivalry, the Dallas native will have his eyes set on his first NFL game in his hometown when the 49ers visit the Cowboys in the season opener… Crabtree and Boldin were only on the field together eight times last season… San Francisco had five 100-yard receiving games turned in by wideouts last season. Crabtree turned in two of those outings, including a 125yard performance in the NFC Wild Card Playoff win at Green Bay… Johnson, a Bay Area native, was back home when he learned of his trade from the Buffalo Bills to the 49ers. Johnson caught eight passes for 115 yards and one touchdown in a ’12 meeting against the Seahawks… Ellington was a teammate of Marcus Lattimore in college and a former star point guard at South Carolina. Ellington has punt-return ability, but he did not field any punts in offseason workouts…. Fourth-year receiver Jon Baldwin has a lot of size and is easily the largest target on the roster. However, the former first-round pick missed a significant amount of offseason practices due to an unknown injury. He also changed uniform numbers from 84 to 82; Lloyd now wears 84… Patton was the team’s third receiver for the ’13 postseason run and mostly been healthy for this offseason. Patton suffered a broken thumb prior to last training camp and was unable to catch passes.

WATCH THIS

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