Alex Smith clears the air about Michael Crabtree

A mini-stir was created earlier this week when Michael Crabtree questioned just who will quarterback the San Francisco 49ers this season.

The wide receiver, who has largely been absent from the team’s player-organized workouts, questioned whether Alex Smith truly was the man. Smith, of course, is the player who has completely organized and directed the Niners’ offseason workouts. He’s the player coach Jim Harbaugh gave a playbook to even though Smith isn’t under contract to the team. He’s the player pretty much everyone assumes will be quarterbacking the team in 2011.

He's the quarterback?” Crabtree said. “I'm just asking.”

On Thursday, Smith responded to the issue with one of the team’s top offensive weapons.

Obviously, (over) the last two weeks a lot has been made of our relationship," Smith, according to the San Jose Mercury News. "Things have come out in the paper that I think we both wish we could take back. I know I feel that way."

Smith believes the stir began when he made a quick response to why Crabtree wasn’t present for the workouts.

“Great question,” Smith told reporters last week. “Asking the wrong guy.”

“I read it the next day and I was really disgusted with myself with the way it came out,” Smith said. “It looked like a jab. I called him up and talked to him and apologized.”

Their relationship wasn’t exactly good on the field last season, either. As the report indicates, Smith had a 55.4 passer rating when trying to throw to Crabtree last season.

“He and I would both agree that we were -- 'unhappy' would be an understatement," Smith said. “We know we have to play better. Both of us. Absolutely. No question."

Maybe they could use some work together during the offseason, you know, to develop some of that chemistry that might be lacking.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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