Harbaugh: Crabtree injury a minor bump in the road


Harbaugh: Crabtree injury a minor bump in the road

SANTA CLARA -- Receiver Michael Crabtree's absence from training camp has been one of the major storylines in each of his four summers with the 49ers.
There was his contract stalemate as a rookie, followed by a whiplash injury a week into his second training camp that prevented him from suiting up for any exhibition games. Last year, Crabtree underwent surgery to repair a left foot fracture just prior to the start of camp.As a fourth-year professional, Crabtree was completely healthy when camp began on July 27. But he sustained a lower right leg injury late in the first practice. He has not been on the field since. On Friday, he missed his sixth consecutive day of practice.
"The thing I feel for Michael -- I know he's feeling, too -- he came (into camp) in such great shape," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "He looked fantastic. We feel like we'll get him back soon and we can pick right up."I don't think this is going to be a major bump in the road. I think it'll be a minor one. He's chomping at the bit to get back out there and I anticipate that happening soon."Crabtree will have to get cleared to return to practice soon if he has any hope of ending his streak of 12 exhibition games without suiting up. Crabtree was seen rehabbing on a side field Friday. He ran distances in which he slowly built up to near top speed.Harbaugh said he does not anticipate any lingering impact on the rapport between Crabtree and quarterback Alex Smith because of the amount of quality work they achieved during the offseason program."Both of them had fantastic offseasons," Harbaugh said. "Michael was lean, in shape, tip-top shape, moving extremely well. So I don't anticipate any issues when he gets back."Likewise, Smith said he is not concerned that there will be any long-term impact from the time Crabtree misses at the start of this camp."At this point, I'm not worried about it," Smith said. "He had such a great spring and summer. I don't know when he's going to be back, but we look forward to his return. Hopefully, it's not too long. I know I feel good about what he got done this offseason. It's a long camp. I feel like he'll be back and get some good work in."Last year, Crabtree was inactive for the second game of the regular season with his foot injury. Through three weeks, Crabtree caught just four passes for 28 yards. He ended the regular season as the 49ers' top receiver with 72 catches for 874 yards.

Harbaugh goes Biblical, responds to Jacobs' criticisms of his coaching

Harbaugh goes Biblical, responds to Jacobs' criticisms of his coaching

Former NFL running back Brandon Jacobs spent one season with the San Francisco 49ers in 2012 under head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Jacobs only played in two games and gained seven yards on five carries. The results were nothing like his 5,087 yards and 60 touchdowns over eight years with the Giants. 

Apparently being pushed to the bench as a 31-year-old veteran running back didn't sit well with Jacobs. 

“Going somewhere where they don’t have route conversions into certain coverages was just absurd,” Jacobs said Thursday on the Tiki and Tierney Show. “They’re just running routes in the defense, getting people killed. Size and strength is what they had, and that’s why they won.

"Let’s be real. They had great assistant coaches, but Jim didn’t know what he was doing. Jim had no idea. Jim is throwing slants into Cover-2 safeties, getting people hurt. That guy knew nothing, man."

On Saturday morning, Harbaugh responded to Jacobs with a tweet to him. 

Harbaugh went 44-19-1 in four seasons as the 49ers' head coach. He also added five playoff wins and a trip to the Super Bowl in the 2012-13 season, the one that Jacobs played for him.

Shanahan: Brooks earns place on 49ers' first-team defense

Shanahan: Brooks earns place on 49ers' first-team defense

SANTA CLARA – The eldest non-kicker on the 49ers’ roster is learning a new position this offseason.

But Ahmad Brooks has plenty of experience adapting to new positions during his 12-year NFL career. He has played inside linebacker, outside linebacker in a 3-4 and defensive end in pass-rush situations.

Now, Brooks has moved to the strong side linebacker position -- the “Sam” -- in the 49ers’ new 4-3 scheme under first-year defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

“He’s getting them (first-team repetitions) because he deserves them,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said this week. “Watching how he played last year and then going into this offseason, you never know when a guy who has been around a bunch, if they’re going to feel that they need the offseason like other people do. And Ahmad’s been here every day and he’s needed it just like everyone has anytime you’re learning a new scheme.

“But anytime you have a veteran like that, you worry that, hey, maybe they won’t think that they do need it. But Ahmad has and he’s been here. He’s worked at everything. He’s in good shape. He’s done what we’ve asked in the weight room with Ray and he’s done everything with the position coaches and coordinator on defense. So, I think he’s learning it and he should because he’s putting the work in.”

Brooks, 33, has entered the past three offseasons with his place on the 49ers seemingly in jeopardy. But the 49ers have not been able to find a younger, better player to replace him. Brooks has tied for the team-lead in sacks in each of the past four seasons with 27 sacks over that span.

Eli Harold, Dekoda Watson and undrafted rookie Jimmie Gilbert were the other players who lined up at the Sam position during the first week of 49ers organized team activities.

Brooks and Aaron Lynch, starters at outside linebacker for the 49ers in the previous systems, have the steepest learning curves in the transition to a new defense. Lynch has moved to the team’s pass-rush defensive end position, known as the “Leo.”

“I think techniques are totally different,” Shanahan said. “How you want to take on blocks, how you want to play the run. Ahmad has been around a little longer than Aaron. So he’s probably had a little bit more crossover, some similar schemes.”