The minicamp practices have concluded and the players won’t be in uniform again until Training Camp opens in six weeks.
The four non-contact spring practices produced two torn Achilles tendons and one blown ACL knee. Two of the injuries were to players who might not have made the team, but the third was to Michael Crabtree, our erstwhile Number One WR.
The guys who thunk up the Top 100 players list did not deem Crabtree worthy of inclusion, mightily miffing our broken player, but it’s hard to fault the exclusion. It took Crabs four years to learn how to get open in the NFL and reach the 1,000 yard marker for a season. Until last year, he’d been more famous for cryptic remarks and injuries than his dangerous receiving skills. Needless to say, he won’t be moving up the list this year, either.
In what can’t be described as particularly thrilling news, the WR who had the best practices this spring was Chad Hall, a twenty-seven year old, five foot eight journeyman with 4.56 speed. We may see a lot of running plays this year, and we might even prefer them for a change.
Jim Harbaugh said he’s happy with this team, but it’s hard to share his glee. Our WRs are worse than last year, our DBs are worse, and our run defense does not seem improved. But the 49ers have shored up the Special Teams unit that has played a significant role in putting an end to each of the past two seasons. Or have they? Punt returner Ted Ginn is gone, his backup Kyle Williams is coming off an ACL injury from last year, and the other candidates for the job are untested in a real game.
On the plus side, Harbaugh said QB Colin Kaepernick is a 1,000 times better than last year at this time. But Seattle HC Pete Carroll says his QB Russell Wilson is 1,000,000 times better. Not sure if it’s good or bad that Harbaugh is getting out-hyperbolized by the northwest blue menace and NFL home to PED Abuse, Inc.
For the nonce, as the players head out the door armed with the toxic mix of youth, fame, and money for six weeks of summer fun, I would feel remiss if I did not strenuously remind them: There is no vacation from a vocation.