Rogers explains how 'Crabs' makes grabs

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Rogers explains how 'Crabs' makes grabs

SANTA CLARA -- During the offseason 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh started a slow-news-day-mini-sports-media-dispute when during an interview with KNBR radio he said, "Crab's got the best hands I've ever seen on a wide receiver.""Crab," of course, is Michael Crabtree, a player entering his fourth season with no more than six touchdown receptions in a single season. Considering all of the great receivers to have played the game, and knowing that Harbaugh played with a few of them, many thought, "Surely, the head coach must have misspoken," and wrote, blogged and talked about what he probably meant.But Harbaugh meant what he said. He didn't say "Crab's the best receiver" or "the most productive." Harbaugh said "best hands." And to that, his starting cornerback agrees."I put (Crabtree) up there," Carlos Rogers said. "Him, Larry Fitzgerald. There are a lot of receivers who can catch that ball and when coach talks about hands he's talking about strictly hands, not all these body catches."He's talking about hands in each and every position. That's one thing I put Crabtree up there with Larry Fitzgerald and some of them. He's just one key guy I can think of right now that has some of the best hands around I have seen."RELATED: Healthy Crabtree running better than ever
Rogers has a knack for explaining things well. It makes him a go-to guy for the media when there is something that may need a bit more detail to understand. In this instance, as an eight-year veteran who has matched up against some of the game's best receivers, Rogers also happens to have first-hand experience of what "best hands" look like."Snag any ball, that's basically what it is," Rogers says. "Snag any ball that comes in the area. When you talk about hands, they don't put much effort into it. A lot of guys struggle with certain balls. Crabtree, I've seen him sometimes, he can be running across the field, the ball comes, he can catch it and then still be looking at his direction to make another move."They teach you to look the ball all the way in, Crabtree has the hands and that focus that, 'OK, I know the ball is coming. OK, I catch it. Now I can make my move.' He is one guy who has the gift of that."Crabtree's skill with his hands is different than the strengths of, let's say, a Randy Moss. Rogers can explain that, too."He's a tall guy, a crafty veteran," Rogers said of the future Hall of Famer. "If there's one thing that I think about him, you can be on him, and most time you play guys eyes or play their hands. Randy is a good guy. He's not showing you nothing. He'll let the ball fall into his chest before he puts his hands up. Most guys are going to come out and reach for the ball and give us a chance to break the pass up. Randy is going to make sure the ball is coming to his chest and you can't get to it."That should clear up any lingering doubts about what "best hands" means. But even if it doesn't, Crabtree doesn't feel any pressure to live up to the moniker."I'm just going to go out there and do me," Crabtree said. "If that's what the people say, that's what the people say. I'm just going to play."

Goodell reacts to suggestion Kaepernick is being 'blackballed'

Goodell reacts to suggestion Kaepernick is being 'blackballed'

PHOENIX – NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday he does not believe quarterback Colin Kaepernick is being “blackballed” in his attempt to continue his career.

“I haven’t heard that from our clubs in any way that that’s an issue,” Goodell said during his press conference to conclude the NFL owners meetings.

“My experience in 35 years is that our clubs make independent evaluations of players. They work hard to try to improve their teams. But if they think a player can help improve their team, they’re going to do that.”

Kaepernick remains unsigned as an unrestricted free agent after opting out of his 49ers contract earlier this month. Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman this week was asked on ESPN’s "First Take" whether he felt Kaepernick was being blackballed.

"I'm sure he is," Sherman answered. "It's difficult to see because he's played at such a high level, and you see guys, quarterbacks, who have never played at a high level being signed by teams. So it's difficult to understand."

General manager John Lynch on Tuesday said the 49ers have not had any contact with Kaepernick since he and coach Kyle Shanahan met with Kaepernick on Feb. 22 in Santa Clara. The 49ers signed free-agent quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley have shown no interest in re-signing Kaepernick.

Kaepernick, 29, created a controversy last season when he opted to take a knee during the playing of the national anthem to protest racial inequality in the United States. Kaepernick has decided to stand for the national anthem this season.

Earlier in the day, Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh said it was “stupid” and “intellectually lazy” to think teams have colluded to keep Kaepernick out of the league. Last week, former 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, John’s brother, said Kaepernick is still an outstanding player and can win championships.

“I absolutely think he’s going to get signed,” John Harbaugh said. “I agree with Jim. He can win games for people.”

 

49ers GM Lynch speaks with Harbaugh about Michigan prospects

49ers GM Lynch speaks with Harbaugh about Michigan prospects

PHOENIX – John Lynch’s draft preparation as a first-year NFL general manager prompted him to make a phone call Monday to Jim Harbaugh.

“I talked to an old 49ers coach yesterday,” Lynch said at the NFL owners meetings. “He was great. He has a lot of players who are draftable. (He) gave me a lot of great information, and it was entertaining, as it always is with Jim.

“He just said, ‘Fired up for you, man,’ then we started talking about his players. He had to go to a meeting and I had to go to a meeting, so it was quick.”

Before Lynch could quiz Harbaugh about some of the Wolverines’ draft-eligible prospects, Harbaugh had a brief chance to catch up with his brother, John, the Baltimore Ravens head coach.

“It was fun because right when we called, his brother was right there,” Lynch said.

“So John came over and before I could get on the phone, John and Jim were talking. I said, ‘Hey, you’re cutting into my time, give me the phone.’ We had a good time.”

Michigan’s top prospects are safety Jabrill Peppers, who won the Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most-versatile player, and edge rusher Taco Charlton.

Lynch said he does not ask “lazy questions” of any college coach about his former players. Instead, he’s looking at specifics, such as what position a player is better suited to play at the NFL level.

Harbaugh, who was let go after the 49ers' 8-8 season of 2014, enters his third season at his alma mater after two seasons with 10-3 records.