Smith, Crabtree are on the same page


Smith, Crabtree are on the same page

SANTA CLARA -- The early season chemistry problems of the past that appeared to plague 49ers quarterback Alex Smith and top wide receiver Michael Crabtree has not been an issue in the first two regular-season games.Crabtree ranks tied for eighth in the NFL among wide receivers in catches. He leads the 49ers with 13 receptions for 143 yards.RELATED: Michael Crabtree game logs
Furthermore, when Smith needed a target on third downs in a crucial late-game drive Sunday against the Detroit Lions, he kept going to Crabtree. And Crabtree responded with three first downs on the drive that resulted in a touchdown to give the 49ers a 15-point lead with three minutes to play."I really wasn't thinking about it," Crabtree said. "I was just trying to take it one play at a time. Whatever Alex threw, I was trying to catch it. (I) felt bad on one third down I dropped the pass, and I felt like I had to redeem myself."A year ago, Michael Crabtree had surgery to repair a broken foot just prior to training camp. Whether it was because he was not completely healthy, he and Smith never seemed to be on the same page.Crabtree got off to a slow start last season. After hobbling through Week 1, he was inactive for the 49ers' second game. In the 49ers' first six games, Smith targeted Crabtree on 46 passes attempts with Crabtree catching 25 of those throws -- 54 percent.But with a full, healthy offseason of work at the 49ers' practice facility and a mostly healthy training camp (he sat out more than a week with a calf strain), Crabtree is off to the best start of his career.RELATED: Harbaugh -- 'Crabtree catches passes like a frog eats flies'
In two games, Smith has targeted Crabtree on 16 passes. Those two have teamed up for 13 receptions -- a remarkable 81.3 completion percentage."I'm just getting better every day," Crabtree said. "I'm healthy right now, thank God. And I'm just going to keep it moving."The soft-spoken Crabtree even got the attention of veteran Randy Moss last Friday, on Crabtree's birthday, when he got the team together and demanded that the offense match what the defense has been doing."Crabtree has been through a lot," Moss said. "For him to be able to come out and -- I know it's early in the season -- but he's having a pretty good season so far. For him to stand up and bring us together and (say) the offense has to match the defense. And then to come out here and make plays, that's something you can really hang your hat on and follow a guy like this."

Chip Kelly: 'Zero distraction' from Colin Kaepernick last season

Chip Kelly: 'Zero distraction' from Colin Kaepernick last season

Former 49ers head coach Chip Kelly was front and center last season with the controversy that surrounded quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the 2016 season. 

Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem as a stance against racial injustice in the United States. The former 49ers quarterback first sat while the anthem played in a preseason game and then decided to kneel throughout the regular season. 

“There was zero distraction," Kelly said to the Monday Morning Quarterback. "He met with the team immediately after [his first protest]. He met with the other team leaders. He explained his position and where he was coming from." 

After Kaepernick met with his teammates, Kelly saw one focus in his signal caller -- football only. 

"Literally, that was it. Colin was focused on football. He was all about the team and trying to help us win," Kelly said. 

Kaepernick is currently a free agent after opting out of his contract this offseason. Kelly believes Kaepernick is still plenty capable of leading an NFL team. 

"Do I think he is one of the top 64 quarterbacks in the world? There is no question. Does he have the ability to play quarterback on a winning team in the NFL? There is no question," Kelly said. 

In 2016, Kaepernick played in 12 games for Kelly, starting 11 of them under center. He threw for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. On the ground, Kaepernick added 468 yards rushing and two more scores. 

49ers scheduled to meet with Garrett, the likely No. 1 overall pick

49ers scheduled to meet with Garrett, the likely No. 1 overall pick

The 49ers have a visit scheduled with the presumptive top pick in the upcoming draft.

The 49ers, owners of the No. 2 overall selection, will visit with Texas A&M pass-rusher Myles Garrett, he told reporters Thursday at this pro day, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

General manager John Lynch attended Garrett's pro day workout in College Station, Texas.

"I thought it was impressive," Lynch told Wilson in a video posted on social media. "Here’s this kid who really doesn’t need to show everyone much more, but yet he shows up and runs a 40. I think it just speaks to the kind of kid he is. It was impressive. It’s well-documented – I’m not saying anything ground-breaking – he’s a special athlete.

"He checks all the boxes. That’s why people are talking about him in the way they are."

Garrett said he has upcoming visits with the 49ers and Chicago Bears.

Each NFL team is allowed to bring in 30 draft-eligible prospects from outside their area. The 49ers have their list of 30 prospects already finalized, Lynch said.

In addition, teams can visit with an unlimited number of local prospects. The 49ers’ local pro day -- featuring athletes from Stanford, Cal, San Jose State and prospects from the Bay Area who played college football elsewhere – is scheduled for April 12 in Santa Clara.

The Cleveland Browns hold the No. 1 overall pick, and coach Hue Jackson ruled out the possibility of the team trading that selection for a quarterback. Garrett is considered the overwhelming favorite to be chosen with the No. 1 overall selection.

"We're getting closer to it but the draft is the 27th (of April),'' Jackson said at the NFL owners meetings. "I think it's a little soon to really say it's this guy or that guy.”

Garrett (6 foot 4, 272 pounds) recorded 31 sacks and 47 tackles for loss during his three-year college career.