49ers

Crabtree: 'We have our own style'

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Crabtree: 'We have our own style'

SANTA CLARA -- There are no secrets with the Green Bay Packers' offense. Behind league MVP Aaron Rodgers, the Packers are going to throw the ball around.Meanwhile, the 49ers strive for a balanced approach."I feel like we have our own style," 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree said Tuesday. "Those guys (the Packers) are a spread offense. That's all they do is throw the ball. They got some run game, but that's their offense. We're really not like that. It's focusing on being us, and going out there and making plays."When asked to describe the 49ers' offense, Crabtree answered, "I wish I could describe it to you, but that would be hard."What makes it difficult is that even Crabtree probably does not know exactly what the 49ers plan for the regular season.The 49ers have more possibilities in the passing game with the additions of starting wideout Randy Moss and No. 3 receiver Mario Manningham. The 49ers gave very few glimpses in the exhibition season of how they plan to utilize their offensive players."The sky's the limit," Crabtree said. "We got everything we need. It just depends on us going out on Sunday and putting it together, making plays, making things happen. That's when it counts. We're looking good at practice. Been practicing real hard, running real hard. We just need to carry it over to Sunday."Crabtree led the 49ers last season with 72 receptions for 874 yards last season. He played the first three exhibition games of his NFL career this summer before he was one of 15 starters to be held out of the exhibition finale.Crabtree said he is running a lot and is stronger than ever, thanks to an intense weight program designed by 49ers strength and conditioning coach Mark Uyeyama. It will not only help Crabtree as a blocker but also break more tackles, he said.
And he said he has already felt the benefits of being surrounded by one of the all-time great pass-catchers in NFL history."Man, I learn so much from him," Crabtree said of Moss. "That's my dude. (He makes) me feel like I can be myself. Seeing an old guy like that, and he's been himself for so long that you . . . I'm going to be myself and go out and play. You can learn from a guy like that. You don't have to change for nobody. All you have to do is be yourself and go play your game."On the field, it remains to be seen if Moss' presence will draw coverage away from Crabtree.
"I don't really know," Crabtree said. "We haven't played a game, yet, so I'd be crazy to tell you how it's changed. I'm looking forward to going out there."Everything should come into focus soon enough. The 49ers open Sunday at Lambeau Field against the Packers, who finished the regular season with a 15-1 record but lost their playoff opener against the New York Giants."They won the Super Bow two years ago," Crabtree said. "You know they're a winning team. So we'll just try to match that."Crabtree's fifth NFL game was at Lambeau, where he caught four passes for 77 yards and a touchdown. The next season, 2010, he had three receptions for 45 yards at Green Bay."It's legendary. It's a good feel," Crabtree said of Lambeau. "It makes me feel like I'm in high school. It's got that good stadium, the bleachers, no seats. That's the old-fashioned style. You don't see that these days."

Montana, Clark scheduled to address crowd at Levi's Stadium

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AP

Montana, Clark scheduled to address crowd at Levi's Stadium

SANTA CLARA -- Dwight Clark and Joe Montana are scheduled to address the crowd Sunday at Levi’s Stadium at halftime of the 49ers’ game against the Dallas Cowboys.

It should be an emotional day, as 36 members from the team that defeated Dallas in the NFC Championship Game and went on to the franchise’s first Super Bowl title are expected to attend.

Montana is scheduled to be surrounded by his former teammates and speak from the field at halftime. Clark is likely to be situated in a suite, where he is expected to make some remarks. Clark, 60, announced in March he was diagnosed with ALS.

Former 49ers offensive lineman Randy Cross, appearing on the 49ers Insider Podcast, said he is looking forward to seeing so many of his teammates from the squad that served as a springboard for five Super Bowl titles under the ownership of Hall of Famer Eddie DeBartolo.

“I can’t wait to see (Clark),” Cross said. “I can’t wait to see Eddie. I can’t wait to see Joe. There is a core group of guys I’ve gotten to see a few times a year since we all went our separate ways. There are guys I’ll get a chance to see, in some cases, (for the first time) since almost around the time we parted ways in the early-‘80s.”

The NFC Championship Game on Jan. 10, 1982, is best-remembered for “The Catch” – Clark’s leaping, finger-tip grab of a Montana pass for a 6-yard touchdown with 51 seconds remaining.

The 49ers defeated the Cowboys 28-27 at Candlestick Park. Coach Bill Walsh’s team went on to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals, 26-21, in Super Bowl XVI.

“For those of us who played on the Niners charity basketball team with both Joe and Dwight, and knowing their hoop skills and the way they could jump, we weren’t terribly surprised at: A, how high he threw it; and, B, how high Dwight got,” said Cross, who was blocking from his right guard position near the sideline and had an unobstructed view of the play.

“If Dwight got his fingers on it, it was going to be a catch. That was the thing about D.C., you won’t find too many instances in which he had a ball on him or near him that he dropped. There wasn’t much doubt.”

Shanahan showed patience with Beathard; Will now have to show more

Shanahan showed patience with Beathard; Will now have to show more

Kyle Shanahan is, self admittedly, not a patient person. As he watched quarterback C.J. Beathard run the scout team over the last couple of weeks -- how he visualized an unfamiliar play, went through his progressions and handled the defensive coverages -- the head coach saw rapid improvement every day. But he suppressed any urge to play the rookie before he was ready.

“I tried to wait for the right time for him and the right time for the team,” Shanahan explained.

Down 14-0 to Washington halfway through the second quarter with starter Brian Hoyer struggling, Shanahan knew Beathard’s time had come.

“I felt the team needed it right then,” Shanahan said. “It also made me more confident to do it because I thought he was ready for it, also.”

Moments after the game was over, Shanahan named Beathard the starter. Watching the game tape on the flight home only bolstered his decision.

“By no means was he perfect, missed a couple of things, but that always happens,” Shanahan said. “I thought he came in there, didn’t hesitate, competed. The moment was not too big for him. Made a few plays in rhythm, made a few off schedule plays and was a big reason we got back in that game.”

Beathard led the 49ers on two scoring drives and finished 19-of-36 with 245 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception, though it came on fourth-and-20 on his final pass attempt of the game. On his 45-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson, Beathard extended the play when the fifth year receiver wasn’t where he expected him to be.

“He was supposed to go to the post for a certain coverage, and they had a busted coverage, so he just hung out there which is why C.J. didn’t see it right away,” Shanahan explained. “We had enough protection where he could take a couple more hitches. He drove the pocket and saw where Aldrick was, and he didn’t hesitate. Made that throw with that arm strength.”

Shanahan smirked at his not-so-subtle dig at those who questioned Beathard’s arm strength during the draft process. He sees a quarterback who can make all the throws, and make them from the pocket, and scramble when he needs to. All he needs now, Shanahan contends, is experience.

“It’s about playing in the game and reacting to defenses, reacting to coverages, reacting to adjustments. He’s going to see a lot of things he hasn’t seen before, and that will change each week. It will probably change each quarter.”

Helping Beathard continue to grow through those experiences will require patience, but in this situation, it’s the kind the head coach can handle.

“You’re never going to get a quick answer. You see over time, but he’s got the ability to do it. He’s got the mental toughness to do it. I think he will get better the more he plays.”