Crabtree: 'I'm in the flow'


Crabtree: 'I'm in the flow'

SANTA CLARA -- Receiver Michael Crabtree participated in team drills for the first time Tuesday since sustaining a strained right calf muscle in practice on July 27."I don't know too much about injuries," Crabtree said. "You think I would. It's always something different in football. It was just my calf, and I just had to stay off it. I didn't want anything serious to happen to it. It's the training staff and coaches, and when they tell me I can go, I'm going."Just before entering the locker room after the afternoon practice, Crabtree was stopped and agreed to answer some questions. It was the first time Crabtree has spoken to the media since the end of last season.Here is some of what he had to say:On returning to practice:
"I'm in the flow. I did everything I'm supposed to do today, pretty much taking it one day at a time practicing, a lot of routes, in and out of my cuts, timing with quarterbacks."On whether he will be able to play Friday night:
"Friday night? Yeah I should. I don't think the ones (starters) are going that much Friday. Whatever time they give me, I'll just go out there."On how he felt at practice today:
"I felt good. I'm running good. I didn't have any problems out there. Really practicing. I didn't feel like anything was holding me back or anything like that. Just cruising through practice."Is it frustrating to have your training camp cut short every year?
"How short was it cut this year?""A full week"
"For like a week? I'm sure a lot of guys go through that, right? Does everybody go every day of camp? . . . I'm here. I'm not missing a beat."It's not frustrating for you?
"I don't really think about it like that. I think of it as football. And whenever I can go, I'm going. If I can't go or they don't let me go, I can't be out there. But I look at it as football. I'm listening to the training staff and coaches on what's wise for me to do. It's football."How beneficial was a full offseason for you?
"It wasn't my first full offseason, if you really want to know. But it was good to be with Alex (Smith) and the whole team and really the new guys who came in. It was really good to be with those guys, (Randy) Moss and (Mario) Manningham, and putting everything together. I'm here, man. Whatever I need to do on the field, I'm going to do."On being alongside Randy Moss:
"It's great. You get to learn a lot of stuff, little techniques. Really learn football, talk football. He's amazing, man. You can't do nothing but learn."How's he going to help you on the field?
"Everybody helps each other. It's not just about Moss. Vernon. We got Delanie (Walker). Teddy (Ginn), coming in strong. Teddy's having a good camp. Manningham. It's everybody together. We all going to help each other out and get this thing rolling as a passing offense. Whatever coach has for us. I've been talking to Moss about blocking today, too. . . . We're talking."Do you think the passing offense can be a lot better than a year ago?
"Every year I think we can get better. Every year is the year to get better. Of course, I'm thinking like that this year. Really just getting into that end zone. That's the goal for this year. Wideouts, quarterback and offense, as one. Put some points up. I'm sure that's what everybody's planning to do. We just got to go out and do it."Is next step for you to go through a full practice?
"Whatever the trainers got for me. I can go. I got a lot of reps today. I feel like I did. The only thing I didn't do was 'two minute.' But I'm out here. I'm healthy. I'm good enough to run without any pain. I'm here, man."Thoughts on rookie A.J. Jenkins:
"Every day he gets better. That's what I tell A.J. 'Every day is a chance to get better.' A.J. is looking good. All those rookies are looking good. No 9 (Brian Tyms), 89 (Nathan Palmer), those guys are out there working."Are you a little frustrated with the questions about your injuries?
"Frustrated? I'm just talking. I don't like how you use those words 'frustrated.' Ain't nobody frustrated. It's football."Does it get old talking about injuries?
"No. It's a part of football. I mean you see somebody injured everyday. That's news. It's a part of football. It's a physical game. And I know how to deal with it. I've been here. I know how to deal with it. I'm sure you guys know when they say, 'Hut,' I'm going full speed. If I'm 100 percent, I'm going. I'm not worried about that. I'm really just worried about what we're going to do in these games and practice, and try to get better every day. That's all I can do."

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.