After listening to numerous sports radio shows over the last few days talk about Richard Sherman and his post game comments after the Seattle Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship, I decided I needed to look at the situation in another way.
I have no problem when players talk. After all, you have to be supremely confident to make it in the world of pro sports and as long as you can back it up it doesn’t ruffle my feathers. That of course, is if what you say in public is accurate. With that in mind I decided to analyze whether Michael Crabtree was in fact a “sorry” player. In my mind I knew what the answer of this question was, but to prove my point I wanted to back it with my favorite thing in the world (besides my wife), stats.
Since Crabtree didn’t play much this season because he was coming off a brutal injury, we will just look at what he has done in his other four years in the NFL and his two seasons at Texas Tech.
Crabtree came to the 49ers as the 10th overall pick in the 2009 draft after dominating the Big 12. As a freshman, Crabtree led the nation in receptions (134), receiving yards (1,962) and receiving touchdowns (22) on his way to being named First-Team all-American and winning the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the Nation’s best receiver. A year later he repeated as the Biletnikoff Award winner and as a consensus First-Team All-American while catching 97 balls for 1,165 yards and 19 touchdowns.
After missing the first five games of his rookie season with the 49ers because of a contract dispute, Crabtree stepped right into the starting line-up and had an instant impact. He had 48 catches for 625 yards and two touchdowns while helping the 49ers’ passing offense open up substantially. In fact, in the five games he missed, the 49ers never passed for more than 188 yards in a single game. If you want to compare that to the number-1 receiver from the Seahawks that year here is how Crabtree stacks up. T.J. Houshmandzadeh led Seattle with 79 catches for 911 yards and three touchdowns, but if you pro-rate that to the last 11 games of the season like Crabtree played, then he ended up with 52 catches for 596 yards and one touchdown. Better than your number one receiver as a rookie without a training camp is not bad.
Here are the comparisons to the leading receiver from the Seahawks every year since then.
Mike Williams: 65 receptions, 751 yards, 2 touchdowns
Crabtree: 55 receptions, 741 yards, 6 touchdowns
Doug Baldwin: 51 receptions, 788 yards, 4 touchdowns
Crabtree: 72 receptions, 874 yards, 4 touchdowns
Sidney Rice: 50 receptions, 748 yards, 7 touchdowns
Crabtree: 85 receptions, 1,105 yards, 9 touchdowns
Now if you are scoring at home, that is Crabtree with 260 receptions, 3,345 yards and 21 touchdowns, compared to 218 receptions, 2,873 yards and 14 touchdowns for the leading Seattle receiver in the same time span.
Does that make Michael Crabtree one of the best receivers in the game today? Probably not, but I’m sure Seahawks fans would love to have a guy on their team who put up those kind of numbers. And one thing is for sure, Michael Crabtree is not “sorry.”
When you open your mouth and go at guys, by talking all kinds of crap, just make sure you know what you are talking about!