I just got back from the 49ers’ locker room down here in Santa Clara. We spoke to Michael Crabtree, asked how new offensive coordinator Mike Johnson did on Sunday. This is what Crabtree said:

“Mike Johnson did his thing. He did what he was supposed to do. He got everybody the ball. Only thing is, Mike Johnson can’t throw the ball. He can just call plays.”

When Crabtree said that, many reporters exchanged glances. You could take Crabtree’s words one of two ways:

He was making a general statement about coaches not being able to play – players play and must execute. Players say this all the time.

Or Crabtree was saying Johnson called good plays but Alex Smith did not execute well enough. If Crabtree meant No. 2, he was taking a shot at his quarterback.

I honestly don’t know what he meant. I’m just telling you what he said.

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  1. Ron Rose

    Hi Lowell, you are the perfect person to tell the real story of what is wrong with the niners. JEB YORK MUST BE REPLACED! Please compare the Miami and Atlanta franchises (both sold after 2002) and show their formula for rebuilding bad teams and contrast it with the YORK WAY. Both Miami and Atlanta were rebuilt into play off teams in two years using the same formula. Both teams hired good football men to run the football side of the business including hiring head coach. Contrast that with niners. The YORKS have hiried Dennis Erickson, Mike Nolan & Sing! The issue is how do the Yorks know a good coach from a bad with their background?? HELP!!

    October 4th, 2010 4:00 pm

  2. Niner80s

    I took it as the latter but either way he’s disssing both parties. Oh boy we have full blown mutiny on ninersland happening. No matter they are all living in sucktitudeness.

    October 4th, 2010 4:04 pm

  3. Diehard Fan

    I don’t know if this is fair, but just as Dave Twardzik will forever be known for choosing Todd Fuller over Kobe Bryant, Mike Nolan / Scott M will be know for choosing Alex Smith over Aaron Rodgers. It’s hard to say if Aaron Rodgers would be where he is today if he had been thrown in as the starter as a rookie and gotten beat up. I’d still take Rodgers.

    If the Niners determine Smith has no future, what are their options? Hope Andrew Luck opts for the draft and start over?

    October 4th, 2010 4:07 pm

  4. David

    Do you know why they have stuck with him for six years? Does he have compromising photos of the Yorks? It really blows my mind. Career 68.9 QB rating, hit his numbers yesterday with 65.6.

    October 4th, 2010 4:08 pm

  5. StevenG

    I’m not saying Smith is or isn’t the problem, but I’d like to see this quote in the context of the entire interview. Interesting response though…

    October 4th, 2010 4:10 pm

  6. Tom

    It’s too bad not a single one of those reporters bothered to ask him Crabtree which of those two things he meant.

    October 4th, 2010 4:11 pm

  7. J Canseco

    I get the feeling Crabtree’s not a Smith fan in the slightest. Don’t quote me on this, but I believe he had a comment a few weeks ago about going out and simply “doing his job” regardless of Smith’s performance.

    October 4th, 2010 4:20 pm

  8. BayAreaHydro

    Please get rid of Alex Smith! We (49er fans) have been patient enough!

    October 4th, 2010 4:23 pm

  9. KauaiRobert

    Just biding my time until Cowher takes over…

    October 4th, 2010 4:25 pm

  10. Shawn Weisz

    This is spot on, Alex IS the problem. He is the problem because he is a bad QB, plain and simple. We’ve given him all the excuses in the world, it’s been SIX YEARS and we are still stuck with this guy.

    The Front Office has NO contingency plan. Why have we not drafted a project QB that has lots of up side in that time frame, Nate Davis is not that type, we should have invested a 3rd rounder at least in QB in that time frame but here we sit…

    Alex needs to be benched, we can’t win with him. Carr isn’t any better, heck Troy Smith probably is out best bet at this point.

    October 4th, 2010 4:38 pm

  11. Gabriel

    Quick question: why no reporter asked him to clarify?

    October 4th, 2010 4:58 pm

  12. RC

    I’m of the opinion that Crabtree should shut his yap, not like has lit the world on fire.

    The interceptions hurt. Defense played a marvelous game for the most part.

    Alex will either pull it together or he will not, either way it should be easy call to make in regards to the QB situation at the end of the season.

    October 4th, 2010 4:59 pm

  13. Shawn Weisz

    Alex has had 6 years to pull it together! Holy crap how much more time do we give him, he’s a scrub and a BUST let’s let it go…

    Agreed Crab should shut up about this, as it will only hurt the team further, but if he meant it like I’m reading it then he’s right.

    Defense gave up 9 points after we were up 14-7. Defense didn’t do it’s job and the offense REALLY didn’t do it’s job.

    October 4th, 2010 5:04 pm

  14. Neal

    Its not exactly clear but Alex Smith is nothing to write home about. All during the off-season you hear that Alex Smith is going to be great,so has he improved to what, he still sucks.

    October 4th, 2010 5:26 pm

  15. DennyPat

    One thing we can be sure of……Crabby will never take any blame himself.

    October 4th, 2010 5:28 pm

  16. James

    Crabtree played well yesterday. Alex Smith is not the answer. It’s hard to root against him. I want him to lead the 49ers, but how long must the 49ers players and fans wait?

    October 4th, 2010 5:47 pm

  17. Brad

    I’m boycotting the 49ers until Alex Smith is gone. I am absolutely fed up with his mediocre, inconsistent, amateur-hour performance week after week.

    After SIX YEARS, he should be lighting up the scoreboard, showing good mechanics, and putting the team in scoring position. He isn’t doing that. He’s actually looking worse than before.

    This joker needs to go. Mike Singletary has the intelligence of a bowling ball if he’s going to come out and support Smith the way he has. And I’m sick and tired of hearing “I need to look at the film”, “We’re making progress”, “We’re getting better”, and talks about his “vision” and the “direction” the team is going in. Get this bag of hot air off the mic PLEASE.

    I don’t blame Crabtree for bashing on his quarterback (if that’s what he is in fact doing, which I think he is). He’s probably upset he ended up being drafted by a team that has no offensive spark and no desire to make big plays. No chance to shine. I’d be upset too.

    October 4th, 2010 7:15 pm

  18. Mike

    *** lot of us r yaping, abt Alex.. the Crab is doing the team no favors by shouting off… what has he done? has he tried to be positive? nope got into a yelling match with Davis… who is a pure stud! So ya all be like the crab, close the yap! Alex is the best of three bad choices

    October 4th, 2010 8:04 pm

  19. ready ranger

    The 49ers will continue their downslide as long as the Yorks own the team. The Yorks are Real Estate People, they deal best with Politicians, and building Malls. They have No Knowledge of how you operate an NFL Franchise….But with Politicians in their hip pockets, knowledge of Real Estate, and with some of our Local Media in their hip pocket they are getting away with this train wreck

    The Bigger question is…How long are the 49er fans going to continue to put up with this leadership?

    As far as Crabtree, and Smith are concerned…with Singletary as the “Yes Man” to the Yorks, Smith will remain the 49ers QB. I would not be surprised at all if Singletary remains the 49ers HC.

    October 4th, 2010 8:28 pm

  20. gary

    It sure reads to me like he riped Alex Smith.
    Not that Alex should be defeended for his game-loosing
    mistakes, but a teammate should know to keep quiet about it.

    October 4th, 2010 9:11 pm

  21. EasonRansom

    Can anyone (Lowell?) see any similarities of Uncle Eddie and Young Jed.

    If Eddie can hire Joe Thomas (Pete McCauley) and then realize his mistake(s) drive over to Stanford and hire Bill Walsh then young Jed could do the same and contact Jim Harbaugh. Jim is so competitive and now that his brother has the Ravens pointed in the right direction, I am sure he would consider leaving Stanford for the 2012 NFL season.
    LOOK at the staff(s) that Harbaugh has been able to assemble in his time on the Farm.

    Singletary is a great guy/family man and motivational speaker and IMO he would be a tremendous assistant-position-specific coach but time is running out on his methodology – currently.

    Get Harbaugh! 12 years in the NFL. Captain Comeback himself!

    October 4th, 2010 9:11 pm

  22. JACS

    Keep dreaming. Bill Cowher is not going to come to SF unless the Yorks Give him a contract like the Redskins gave to Shanahan. Get real.

    I would pursue:

    a) Brian Billick as HC and Erick de Costa as GM
    b) Bill Parcells , so he can pick a real HC
    c) Marty Schotenheimer.

    I know Jim Harburgh looks good right now, but keep in mind that most of good HC`s in College , should remain there. See(Saban, Nick; Petrino, Bobb, Carrol, Pete and the list goes on…

    October 4th, 2010 10:34 pm

  23. Kay

    The Niners are more entertaining to me than the Raiders this year. Ouch.

    October 4th, 2010 11:05 pm

  24. Stan


    October 4th, 2010 11:30 pm

  25. Loneraider78

    “Mike Johnson did his thing. He did what he was supposed to do. He got everybody the ball. Only thing is, Mike Johnson can’t throw the ball. He can just call plays.”

    I didn’t see a lot of the game, but looking at the numbers he did not do what he was supposed to do, and neither did A. Smith.

    The offense is way out of balance when Gore touches the ball 28 times and everyone else COMBINED touches the ball 15 times. I realize Gore is a great player, but look around the NFL, teams seem to spread the ball around more than ever. It seems like a guy we’re not familiar with is breaking out weekly. Maybe they need to mix in Dixon more, use more singleback sets and let it fly. Davis should be making a lot more noise, and Crabtree really needs to start doing more than talking. It’s no secret that Gore is one of the more overworked backs in the league, and he’s starting to show that wear now. They need to spread it out again. It seemed to work last year

    And Crabtree shouldn’t even say a word until HE is actually the teams leading receiver for a change, and not Gore.

    October 5th, 2010 12:52 am

  26. Michael R

    It doesn’t matter what he meant!

    The truth is the truth no matter how it comes out.

    Alex Smith just isn’t good enough! This team needs to return to its roots to be great again. Great offense! As Steve Young said, when you watch the Steelers you expect great defense, when you watch the 49ers you expect great offense. And to be more specific great Quarterbacking. That is what made the 49ers of old great.

    It is time for this organization to recommit itself to finding the QB of the future and returning its offense to greatness. I don’t know if this kid is the answer but I know that Alex Smith and David Carr are NOT. It is time to start searching for the future…. Every journey begins with a first step.

    This is why I say….

    Free Nate Davis!!!!!!

    October 5th, 2010 1:06 am

  27. Warren

    Crabtree makes that statement and not one reporter can ask the follow-up question? Clearly there are no budding 60 Minute reporters in the locker room.

    October 5th, 2010 1:50 am

  28. Bob In Pacifica

    No Yards After Catch for the most part for wide receivers. Why? Smith is still throwing behind receivers. If that hasn’t been corrected by coaches in six years, I say start moving down the bench. If you can’t stretch things out you doom the offense.

    October 5th, 2010 10:26 am

  29. ...scotch

    This from the guy that took the preseason off rather than get in sync with his QB!!

    October 5th, 2010 11:39 am

  30. James

    I want someone to please tell me what has Aaron Rodgers done? Has he won a playoff game or taking his all around better team to the super bowl? I agree Alex isn’t good and should be gone after this year if he continues to play this way, but I am sick and tired of hearing we should have, could have, would have gotten Aaron Rodgers. Yes he puts up big stats but he can not win the big game and just stop living in the past we have to look at the present and the future. So stop whining like little girls that we should have taken Aaron Rodgers.

    October 5th, 2010 1:24 pm

  31. John

    Whatever happened to the release of Nate Davis and the signing of Troy Smith? I thought Nate was the playmaker in preseason.

    October 5th, 2010 1:52 pm

  32. Duck Soup

    Looking forward to 2011. Niners have lots of talents, just need a QB. With the 1st Pick next year, hopefully our GM can select the best QB on the draft board. With a decent QB, this team will make it deep in the playoffs. Good job Alex Smith, Keep up the good work, At this pace we will get the 1st pick for sure….. Go Niners!!!

    October 6th, 2010 12:32 am

  33. Jay T.

    Whatever. Crabtree should just his mouth and work on being able to catch passes that aren’t perfect without tipping them up in the air for interceptions.

    October 6th, 2010 4:19 pm

  34. far away fan

    The niners have had 5 offensive coordinators in 5 years, how about we get one and stick with one. I don’t think it really matters who the quarterback is if you don’t have some kind of continuity with your coordinator on offense how the hell are you suppose to make things work. Singletary is a great defensive coach as we can see but it also takes the offense to score points. Lets put the problem where it really is get an offensive play caller and stop whining about the QB. I am not a AS fan but lets get real here. And what is with all our QB’s named Smith don’t we know any other name?

    November 2nd, 2010 5:30 am

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