Crabtree weighs in 'light'

September 4, 2012, 11:14 pm
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I find Michael Crabtree funny. Not a "look-at-me-I'm-hilarious funny," but a "good-natured-I'm-gonna-dish-it-out-and-I'm-gonna-take-it" type of funny. I've seen snippets of Crabtree's wit in his first three years with the team, but it's typically been from across the locker room or field when I happen to see him interact with a teammate. I've seen a lot more of it this preseason.As Crabtree stood in front of his locker today and answered questions about the upcoming season opener against Green Bay, a reporter asked him if he's bigger, more muscular this season. Crabtree didn't miss a beat."You see my guns?" Crabtree said, flexing a little, causing the group to laugh. "Just a little bit. Just a little bit."I had heard an assistant strength and conditioning coach yelling for players to come step on the scale and after most of the reporters left, I asked Crabtree if he had weighed in yet. He hadn't, and he asked me what I thought he weighed.I guessed, "215?"Crabtree made it clear that was too heavy -- 6 pounds too heavy to be exact. He's at 209, he said. Same as last year."OK," I challenged him. "Fair game, then. How much do I weigh?"Crabtree laughed and guessed way too light (on purpose I quickly found out). He followed up his first guess a few seconds later and nailed my weight within two pounds. He smiled and walked off to get ready for the team photo.During preseason practices, Crabtree sometimes warmed up with the defensive linemen. One day, he stood on one end of the line while the group did leg kicks a short distance up and down the field and yapped at Justin Smith almost the whole time. Smith was standing on the other end of the line. Crabtree was sure to use Smith's nickname "Cowboy" a lot and what he was saying amused the players in between them as well as defensive line coach Jim Tomsula.Then there is the tally sheet he keeps on his matchups with cornerback Carlos Rogers. He gives himself a point each time he wins the battle when the two match up in practice. He makes sure he shows Rogers how much he's leading by before they head out to the field. Rogers laughed about it when he brought it up during a session with the media. Crabtree was happy to explain further when he was asked about it during his media session a few days later.Those cramming to find players for their fantasy teams right now may be thinking, "And why do I care about Crabtree's sense of humor?" Simply put, he appears utterly relaxed and comfortable heading into the season. The addition of Randy Moss could have something to do with that. During today's media scrum Crabtree was asked once again about Moss' influence on him this preseason."That's my dude. Makes me feel like I can be myself," Crabtree said. "Seeing an old guy like that, being himself so long, you just have to accept him. I just feel like that's what I'm doing, I'm just going to be myself go out here and play. You can learn from a guy like that. You don't have to change for nobody. All you gotta do is be yourself and play your game."There are no stats to back up my observation. And yes, right now the players are typically relaxed and in good moods as the grind of the regular season has yet to begin. But if Crabtree truly can just be himself and continue to have fun, that could have a bigger influence on the offense this season than his playing weight, how much more he can bench, and his 40 time.

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