Even with quarterback Alex Smith now a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree was careful to steer clear of any controversy.
When asked Tuesday on the NFL Network why he clicked so well with quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Crabtree answered, "I think he trusted me more. Playing wide receiver, you need a quarterback who trusts you. I feel like he trusted me."
Of course, that prompted a follow-up question of whether there was a lack of trust with Smith was quarterback.
"I wouldn't say that," Crabtree said. "I don't want a controversy."
Crabtree produced career-highs with 85 receptions for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns last season. In three postseason games, Crabtree had 20 catches for 285 yards and three touchdowns.
In 8 1/2 games with Smith at quarterback, Crabtree caught 43 passes for 459 yards and four touchdowns. In 10 1/2 games with Kaepernick, including the postseason, Crabtree had 62 receptions for 931 yards and eight touchdowns.
Crabtree expressed his excitement that Anquan Boldin, acquired in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens, is now a teammate. Last year, veteran Randy Moss was a good influence on Crabtree. The 49ers did not offer Moss a contract as a free agent.
"One legendary guy leaves, another one comes in," Crabtree said. "We need a guy who can make plays. We are short on wide receivers with Ted Ginn and Randy Moss leaving. It should be great.
"I am going to learn something from him. The guy has been in the league a while."