Singletary's Notebook: Oct. 7



Opening statements:**"Good afternoon, or good morning to be technical about it. First of all, this is a great day for the 49ers. Yesterday, when [President] Jed York and [general manager] Scot McCloughan and [Vice President of Football Operations] Paraag [Marathe] went down to visit with [WR] Mike [Crabtree] and all of his assistants and officially the agent and worked all day and all night to get a deal done, it shows the commitment in place of having Crabtree here. Obviously, Michael has missed a lot of time, a lot of valuable time and has a lot of work to catch up on, in particular, spending a lot of time with [wide receivers coach] Jerry Sullivan and [offensive coordinator] Jimmy Raye, in terms of getting all the little nuances right about where his position is going to be, where he's going to play and learning all that stuff that he needs. So, I'm excited about the opportunity for Mike to continue to grow there.

The contract, it is a six-year contract. The terms or details will not be discussed, but it is a six-year contract. It's a fair deal for both parties involved. The other thing here is I know there have been a lot of things said back and forth. And, I've always said from Day 1, until I heard something from Michael, all the other stuff doesn't mean anything to me. I'm very excited to have Mike Crabtree be a part of this team. In my mind, he has been since the day of the draft and today really makes it official. But, I'm excited about the talent that he is. I'm excited about his attitude, and now it's just a matter of getting him injected into our organization and what the 49ers are doing, our work ethic, our culture, our respect that we have for each other and the way we play the game. I think that's very exciting to me, and I know he fits that.

As I look forward, it's going to be a process. Mike will not play this week. We have already applied for a roster exemption, and we will hear back from that and go from there. Hopefully, after the bye, Mike will be ready to go. Certainly, it's going to start small. A small role here and there, figuring out ways to get him on the field, and as he understands what it is that he needs to do and begin to understand the package, it's going to be a work in progress. But, I'm very excited about that, and we will find ways to get him on the field. Once again, I want to say that it's a tremendous opportunity to have Mike on our team. I'm excited for him, and I'm excited for us. I think he's coming to a great place where there are a lot of great young men who will help him in the process of getting acclimated. Everything has been said, everything has been done, all that other stuff – it is behind us. We are going forward. We're looking forward to the opportunity that we have this weekend with Atlanta. Now, without further ado, I'm going to let you have Mike here for a couple a questions because he's got to go and look at the game plan. He's got to start learning this stuff. Go ahead."

On whether Crabtree will be at practice today:
"He'll be on the field. I know that. First of all, thank you for how you treated him and the questions that you asked. All that I can tell you about him is after meeting with him a couple of times, I only met with him a couple of times and I know some of you guys have your own opinion. The only thing that I can say is I know that this kid is a kid of character. When I talked to his high school football coach, when I talked to people that were around him, that grew up with him, I learned a lot about him and was excited about having him be a part of this team and was really hoping that at some point in time that it worked out because I want people like that on this team. All the diva and all of that stuff, we don't even have time for that. We are working so hard and we are going in another direction and anything else that tries to enter that picture cannot fit. Aside from everything else, I'm excited to have him here. The team is excited to have him here because they want to win too and anything and anybody that helps us win, that's what we want."

On what he needs to do to show his teammates that he was worth the wait:"I think he's going to do what he needs to do and that is work his tail off, stay with the coaches, be a shadow to [Wide Receivers Coach] Jerry Sullivan, make sure that he works his tail off and obviously he's going to have to earn their trust. But, the most important thing is that he doesn't worry about, 'How do I do this and how do I do that? What are they thinking about?' Forget that. That's done. All you need to do is come in here and be who you are. What we saw on film in college, let's see that on film in the pros, it's as simple as that. You just have to jump in with both feet and not really be worried about the other peripheral things because that's going to slow you down."

On whether this can be a distraction:"It will not be. We are going in this direction and everybody that's not going in this direction, they are going to get left behind. So any distraction, we will leave back there, but this will not be a distraction."

On whether he thinks Crabtree can be a difference maker in right away:"I think it all depends on how we approach it. I think [Offensive Coordinator] Jimmy Raye, Jerry Sullivan, they've dealt with rookies before. They've been around the game for a long time. They know it's personality and they are just going to feed him information as he can grasp the information. I know he's in great shape, he's been working his tail off the whole time, so that's not an issue. So all he really has to do is understand the nuances of the offense and as he continues to grow. Another thing that I think will help him tremendously is what he did in college. He ran an offense where they ran a number of routes. So the passing tree, I think he'll understand that going into it and that makes it that much easier. I think that will help him."

On whether he jumps ahead of the other receivers on the roster because of his talent:"I think from the beginning, what we'll do, we'll have certain packages that he will be a part of and instead of just putting him in and saying, 'Okay, I know you worked the whole offseason, I know you've been here, but you know what Crabtree is here now.' Instead of doing that, [we'll] make him a part of smaller packages and as his teammates see what he has, it's just a matter of them saying, 'Hey coach, we need him on the field.' It's a matter of [QB] Shaun Hill saying, 'Hey, he makes us better.' That's when you put a guy on the field and that's how you have to bring a guy along."

On whether he will play any special teams:"To begin with I think he's going to do more to help the offense rather than just putting him on special teams right now. I think the biggest thing we want to do is put everything that we can channel into learning the offense. That's what we want to spend time on. Special teams will come later."

On what his expectations are for Crabtree during the Bye Week:"I don't know. I'll have to wait until after this game. I haven't thought that far enough along yet."

On whether he ever told general manager Scot McCloughan and President Jed York they needed to have Crabtree in by a certain date:"Absolutely not. The only thing that I've said in every meeting that we had, every comment that I've made, I've said, 'Crabtree, I want you to know exactly how I feel.' We talked about it at the very beginning. I said, 'Scot, Jed, you will never me see walk down and knock on your door and say, we need to have Michael Crabtree.' Because this team is built around 53 guys that want to be here and want to play. For me, the team is what's going to win. Guys like Michael Crabtree - talent helps us win football games, but when you have guys out there that are willing to do the work that we were doing, those are the guys that I was most excited about. Now he's here and he'll have to work himself into that slot, into that 53, but I have never hinted, I have never said anything like that."

On whether he was involved in the talks that went late into the night:"No, I just talked to Scot a couple of times during the day about the progress in the meeting and told him to give me a call when it looked like it was going to happen. Otherwise, I really didn't want to hear anything."

On what time the call came:"I was asleep."

On whether he had any conversations with Crabtree after OTAs ended:"One conversation."

On when it was:"I can't remember when it was, but I had one conversation."

On what the message of the conversation was:"The conversation was basically, 'Whatever you do, just continue to work your tail off. I don't know when you are coming in, but whenever it happens, just know that we'll be here. But make sure you stay in great shape because there will be no balloons, no parties, nothing else, when you get here. We've got to work. That's what we are doing, and just to know that I was praying for him and pulling for him and excited for when that would happen.'"

On whether he talked to him this yesterday:"No, I did not. I talked to him once and that was the only time."

On how much of a relief it is to get it done:"It's not really a relief. I think more than anything else, I'm happy for him and don't get me wrong, I'm happy for us too, but I'm really happy for him because this team is really going to be something special and if I'm reading him right, I want young men like him to be a part of this. This is a great group of guys to play with. These guys are winners and for him to be a part of this and the desire that I have felt from him when I've been around him. He is a football guy so he hasn't played one play in the NFL yet, but it's just a vibe that I've gotten every time that I've been around him. So I think it's a win-win situation."

On how he would explain all the other things: MC Hammer, missing four games, etc. if he is a football guy:"Understand this, there are so many factors and by him being a rookie, it is so important for me not to sit back and judge him, 'Oh, I heard this. He's going to sit out all year. Wait until he gets here. We don't need him.' I didn't hear him say one word. All I heard was a lot of talk back and forth in the media, but I did not hear Mike Crabtree say one word and to me that's very important and I think it's one of those things I learned a long time ago that I can't go on what I think I heard. I have to go on, if I have an issue with somebody – and it's one of things that I tell our team, 'If you have an issue with somebody on this team, go to them directly. Don't go through the media. Don't go through your coach. Be man enough to go to him directly and say, 'I've got a problem, I've got an issue.' Deal with it that way.'"

On whether he sees him starting at the end of the season if he picks up the offense quickly:"I'm not going to go that far. I'm going to say right now, I am thankful he is here. We've got Atlanta this week. That's a team that's 2-1, a good football team, a dangerous football team. They had a week off to do all kinds of gadgets or whatever else. The most important thing right now is that I'm thankful that he's here, but we are getting ready for Atlanta. We are now 3-0 in our division and I want to be 3-0 at home and that's going to take everything we've got to get there."

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