Rogers explains how 'Crabs' makes grabs


Rogers explains how 'Crabs' makes grabs

SANTA CLARA -- During the offseason 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh started a slow-news-day-mini-sports-media-dispute when during an interview with KNBR radio he said, "Crab's got the best hands I've ever seen on a wide receiver.""Crab," of course, is Michael Crabtree, a player entering his fourth season with no more than six touchdown receptions in a single season. Considering all of the great receivers to have played the game, and knowing that Harbaugh played with a few of them, many thought, "Surely, the head coach must have misspoken," and wrote, blogged and talked about what he probably meant.But Harbaugh meant what he said. He didn't say "Crab's the best receiver" or "the most productive." Harbaugh said "best hands." And to that, his starting cornerback agrees."I put (Crabtree) up there," Carlos Rogers said. "Him, Larry Fitzgerald. There are a lot of receivers who can catch that ball and when coach talks about hands he's talking about strictly hands, not all these body catches."He's talking about hands in each and every position. That's one thing I put Crabtree up there with Larry Fitzgerald and some of them. He's just one key guy I can think of right now that has some of the best hands around I have seen."RELATED: Healthy Crabtree running better than ever
Rogers has a knack for explaining things well. It makes him a go-to guy for the media when there is something that may need a bit more detail to understand. In this instance, as an eight-year veteran who has matched up against some of the game's best receivers, Rogers also happens to have first-hand experience of what "best hands" look like."Snag any ball, that's basically what it is," Rogers says. "Snag any ball that comes in the area. When you talk about hands, they don't put much effort into it. A lot of guys struggle with certain balls. Crabtree, I've seen him sometimes, he can be running across the field, the ball comes, he can catch it and then still be looking at his direction to make another move."They teach you to look the ball all the way in, Crabtree has the hands and that focus that, 'OK, I know the ball is coming. OK, I catch it. Now I can make my move.' He is one guy who has the gift of that."Crabtree's skill with his hands is different than the strengths of, let's say, a Randy Moss. Rogers can explain that, too."He's a tall guy, a crafty veteran," Rogers said of the future Hall of Famer. "If there's one thing that I think about him, you can be on him, and most time you play guys eyes or play their hands. Randy is a good guy. He's not showing you nothing. He'll let the ball fall into his chest before he puts his hands up. Most guys are going to come out and reach for the ball and give us a chance to break the pass up. Randy is going to make sure the ball is coming to his chest and you can't get to it."That should clear up any lingering doubts about what "best hands" means. But even if it doesn't, Crabtree doesn't feel any pressure to live up to the moniker."I'm just going to go out there and do me," Crabtree said. "If that's what the people say, that's what the people say. I'm just going to play."

What they're saying: Happy Thanksgiving 2017


What they're saying: Happy Thanksgiving 2017

Bay Area sports teams and your favorite players have plenty to be thankful for this year. 

Check out how the teams and players are celebrating Thanksgiving in 2017.

Shanahan: Garoppolo's best football will come next season


Shanahan: Garoppolo's best football will come next season

SANTA CLARA – The two quarterbacks who finish this season with the 49ers are probably going to be the same two quarterbacks the organization carry on their 2018 roster.

So every decision coach Kyle Shanahan makes with C.J. Beathard and Jimmy Garoppolo is being made to consider what is best for those two players.

Shanahan made the expected announcement this week that Beathard will make his fifth consecutive start on Sunday when the 49ers face the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium.

Beathard is coming off his best game as a pro. He was a major contributor to the 49ers’ first victory of the season, throwing for 288 yards, throwing two touchdowns and rushing for a score in a 31-21 victory over the New York Giants. His performance seemingly did enough to earn him another start.

Meanwhile, Garoppolo pulled up to 49ers headquarters on Oct. 31 with no prior knowledge of Shanahan’s offensive system. Even as a rookie, Beathard has five more months of experience in the 49ers’ offense than Garoppolo, a four-year professional who made just two starts during his time with the New England Patriots.

“We’ve had C.J. in there for some time,” Shanahan said. “He’s getting more used to it, and I’m getting more used to him. The players are getting more used to him around him. It’s been nice to add a few things each week for him.”

General manager John Lynch reiterated this week he considers Garoppolo the 49ers’ quarterback of the future. Garoppolo is not under contract for next season. If the 49ers are unable to work out a multi-year extension, the club would be expected to designate him as their franchise player to retain him for the 2018 season.

Garoppolo is likely to get some playing time in the final six games of the season, but the 49ers have every reason to take their time in order to give him the best chance at success. On the first three days of the bye week, Garoppolo had a chance to go back to the beginning and learn the basics of the scheme in meetings with quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello and Shanahan.

Shanahan’s scheme is complex with unique verbiage and an abundance of adjustments that are required on any given play. Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan took a step backward in his first season in Shanahan's scheme. The next year, Ryan was a runaway MVP winner with a career-high 38 touchdowns and a career-low seven interceptions.

It took Ryan a full season of experience with Shanahan to fully grasp his responsibilities, so it is unreasonable to believe Garoppolo would be able to do much more than just function if he gets onto the field for extended action.

“Jimmy gets more and more ready each week,” Shanahan said. “Is Jimmy going to be the best he can? To me, that’s impossible. He just hasn’t been here long enough, and I think he’ll get an opportunity to be better each week.

“I don’t think we’re going to see Jimmy’s best football, to be fair to him, until next year because that’s what guys need. But C.J. did play his best football last week, which definitely, to me, made the decision easier.”