49ers’ Crabtree to Killion and Kawakami: “I’m a third-down receiver.”

USA Today Sports

USA Today Sports

If you made a game-changing play that helped propel your team to victory, how would you feel? Happy, sad, or complacent? While many would obviously feel joyous there are others like San Francisco 49ers WR Michael Crabtree who took the “salty” route. Just moments after making a spectacular 51-yard catch on 4th-and-10 which may prove to be the season’s greatest play, Crabtree went on a rant in his post-game interview as he told San Jose Mercury News Ann Killion and Tim Kawakami, “I’m a third-down receiver…I mean, I’m like the third option. So I come in and do my job.”

He was then corrected as it was a fourth-down play and Crabtree shrugged and said, “Fourth down — I guess when they need me, I guess that’s when I play…When you count stats, look that up.”

Crabtree seemed a little upset and it may be due to the personnel groupings that he was not included in. Not to mention other 49ers wide-receivers like WR Anquan Boldin played more snaps as Boldin had 63 compared to Crabtree’s 45, its no wonder Crabtree is upset with his role with the team especially playing in a contract year.

[Related: 49ers WR Michael Crabtree on down season: “I can’t do nothing about it; I play receiver.”]

49ers’ head coach Jim Harbaugh talked about that incident at today’s presser as he said, “Well, my response is, and I was there, I caught the tail end of it, I didn’t catch all of it, so I don’t have it all verbatim, but I did see the two reporters that were talking to him and here was my view of the battlefield as I walked up to it: There’s Michael Crabtree catching a 4th-down-and-10 play, where he comes open, Colin hits him with the long pass. Great catch. Sets up a chance for us to kick a field goal to tie the game and togo into overtime. And again, I just caught the end of it, but what I heard the two reporters asking him was, ‘You don’t seem like you’re getting the ball as much. Are you not part of the offense? Why aren’t you getting the ball? You dropped some balls.’ Again, I didn’t see the whole thing, but I felt a little defensive for Michael. Here’s a guy who makes a great play and now he’s answering this question or that question. Maybe I might’ve gotten a little defensive too.”

Through nine games this season Crabtree has 40 catches for 424 yards and three touchdowns. This isn’t the first time Crabtree has voiced his role with the team as he spoke about his down season saying, “I can’t do nothing about it; I play receiver.”

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of NinerFans.com, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at BEASTwriterNFL@gmail.com or call him at (408) 622-0996.