Crabtree arrives, Smith closes 49ers camp to media


Crabtree arrives, Smith closes 49ers camp to media

June 6, 201149ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEO
UPDATED: 1:30 p.m.

Editor's note: We'll update this page throughout the day with news from the 49ers' unofficial workouts.Mindi Bach

SAN JOSE -- Wide receive Michael Crabtree spoke for a few minutes while leaving Spartan Stadium on Monday, indicating he's been in the Bay Area for last three months. Crabtree said he's always worked out by himself, but when there's a team function, he's always been in attendance.

Vernon Davis, another of the team's offensive standouts, said that quarterback Alex Smith, who organized the unofficial minicamp, was running everything -- even going over video and working out plays on the whiteboard "like a coach would."

The issue of closing the practice was somewhat resolved, with word that players will open practice to the media for 30 minutes Tuesday, from 11:15 to 11:45 a.m.

Running back Anthony Dixon said he has been working out at Mississippi State and in Jackson, Miss. during lockout. He's bunking with Anthony Davis this week.

UPDATED: 11:45 a.m.
Smith and David Carr are taking most of the snaps. Colin Kaepernick has yet to throw. The unofficial tally of players is 24, with 19 of them from the offensive side of the ball.

According to a San Jose State University spokesperson the players contributed to the Spartan Foundation as compensationappreciation for the use of the facilities.

Regarding the practice closure, security guards were asked by Alex Smith to request that the media leave Spartan Stadium. Media members said they were not inclined to leave, citing the fact that it was a public university.

That prompted Smith to come over himself and emphasize that this not an issue he was going to relent on. Bottom line: Smith indicated that they would not begin workouts until the stadium was clear.

He literally walked the media out, pleasantly but firmly.

There are four offensive lineman working on their own. Smith is working with receivers and running backs, going through set plays and formations.

The defensive players finished running the steps and headed to the weight room.

Even though the practice is closed, there's a partial view of the field from the north end of the stadium. We'll stay on site and report what we can.

UPDATED: 11 a.m.
Alex Smith has told the media that Monday's workouts at San Jose State's Spartan Stadium are closed to the public. A handful of media members voiced a protest, but Smith held firm. He indicated that the workout could possibly be open to the media on Thursday.

Running backs on the field are Anthony Dixon and Moran Norris. No sign of Frank Gore yet.

A group of defensive players is also in the mix. Confirmed are: Justin Smith, Parys Haralson, Isaac Sopoaga and Ray McDonald.

UPDATED: 10:30 a.m.
Wide receiver Michael Crabtree was among the notable arrivals in the South Bay Monday morning as an Alex Smith-organized, players-only minicamp got under way.

Players did not immediately take the field. The first item on the agenda was a classroom session.

Other attendees included: Anthony Dixon, Anthony Davis, Ted Ginn Jr., Mike Iupati, Dominque Ziegler, Vernon Davis, Colin Kaepernick, Joe Staley and Adam Snyder.

LeBron James: Colin Kaepernick ‘had a vision like Martin Luther King’


LeBron James: Colin Kaepernick ‘had a vision like Martin Luther King’

LeBron James is an avid football fan. He's now an even bigger Colin Kaepernick fan than the sport. Following the Cavaliers' practice on Sunday, James opened up on Kaepernick and his absence from the NFL. 

"I've commended Kap, and for him to sacrifice everything for the greater good for everyone, for what he truly believed in, the utmost respect to him," James said to ESPN. "Obviously he had a vision like Martin Luther King and like some of our all-time greats that people couldn't see further than what they were doing at the point and time. And Muhammad Ali and things of that nature."

James believes the masses don't truly understand what Kaepernick was doing when he first took a knee as a protest against social and racial injustices in America. For his actions, James respects Kaepernick choosing his beliefs over his sport.

"When it's something that's new and it's something that people are not educated about or don't understand what your beliefs are all about, people are so quick to judge and people are so quick to say that what you're doing is wrong," James said. "For him to sacrifice the sport that he plays and to sacrifice the things he's done his whole life because he knew what he believed in, I salute him. I salute and respect that."

Add James to the list of those who believe Kaepernick is being blackballed by the NFL for taking a knee last season. The more games he watches, the more James sees the evidence on the wall. 

"I don't represent the NFL. I don't know their rules and regulations. But I do know Kap is getting a wrong doing, I do know that," James believes. "Just watching, he's an NFL player. He's an NFL player and you see all these other quarterbacks out there and players out there that get all these second and third chances that are nowhere near as talented as him. It just feels like he's been blackballed out of the NFL. So, I definitely do not respect that."

Kaepernick, who recently turned 30 years old, appeared in 12 games for the 49ers in the 2016-17 season. Through the air he completed 59.2 percent of his passes and ended the year with 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. Kaepernick also added 468 yards and two more scores on the ground. 

"The only reason I could say he's not on a team is because the way he took a knee," James said. "That's the only reason. I watch football every Sunday, every Thursday, every Monday night. I see all these quarterbacks -- first-string, second-team, third-team quarterbacks -- that play sometimes when the starter gets hurt or are starters that play. Kap is better than a lot of those guys. Let's just be honest."

For his career, Kaepernick has thrown for 12,271 yards and 72 touchdowns to 30 interceptions. With his speed as a dual-threat quarterback, Kaepernick has also gained 2,300 yards rushing and 13 more touchdowns. 

Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals


Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals

TEMPE, Ariz. — Blaine Gabbert will get his first start for the Arizona Cardinals when they play the Texans in Houston on Sunday.

Coach Bruce Arians announced the decision after Friday's practice.

Drew Stanton, the starter the last two games, bruised his knee early in the Thursday night loss to Seattle last week. He stayed in the game but has been limited in practice all week.

Arians said it will be a game-time decision as to whether Stanton or recently signed Matt Barkley would be Gabbert's backup.

Gabbert will be making his 41st NFL start. He has a 9-31 record. He signed with Arizona last offseason and was the third quarterback until Carson Palmer broke his arm against the Los Angeles Rams in London and was lost for the season.