San Francisco 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree had to sit out most of last year's regular season due to an Achilles tear in the offseason.
Now that the injury has just about fully healed, he's drawing rave reviews from teammates. Speaking to the San Jose Mercury News, quarterback Colin Kaepernick noted how impressed he's been with one of his favorite offensive targets.
“At the end of last year he still wasn’t 100 percent,” Kaepernick told the newspaper. “He has a lot more burst to him now. Looks really good.”
Even fellow receiver Anquan Boldin has noticed a difference in Crabtree, a former first-round draft pick that began coming into his own as an NFL standout in the past few seasons.
“He’s a lot more explosive," Boldin said. "I see him being back to his old self. He’s taking things slowly. We want to make sure he goes into the season healthy.”
When Crabtree was out last year, the Niners' passing game relied mostly on Boldin and Vernon Davis. With Crabtree back, the opportunity to be much more balanced in 2014 exists.
The 49ers should once again have one of the NFL's best running games, which should open up plenty of play-action opportunities down the field to Crabtree. If he's as explosive as advertised, this could be a fun season for Niners fans.
Follow me on twitter: @JasonHButt
Check out our partners at TiqIQ for the best deals on all games on the 2014 NFL schedule.
SEP 30 Jesse Lawrence
Jesse Lawrence of TiqIQ takes a look at the week's action
SEP 30 Joel Corry
A look at the players coming up big and small at the most important of times.
SEP 29 Jeff Fedotin
Better quarterback play has given Green Bay the edge.