No Crabtree? No Problem, It's Morgan's Time To Shine

Vikram DimbaCorrespondent ISeptember 4, 2009

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 10:  Josh Morgan #84 of the San Francisco 49ers makes a juggling catch for a touchdown for a 14-3 lead over the Arizona Cardinals during the first quarter at University of Phoenix Stadium on November, 10 2008 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

With a team lacking an "explosive," receiver, the most highly touted wide receiver in this years past draft, certainly has the tools to fill that role. The two-time unanimous consensus First-team All-American, with his athletic 6"1, 214 pound frame, Crabtree seemed to have a found a home where he could grow even further as a player, and step in immediately to make his impact on the franchise.

But with Crabtree's holdout no closer to coming to an end, it's time for the San Francisco 49ers to move on, and focus on the WR corps that have been with the team since the first day of training camp. Nobody should reward whiners, especially those that have yet to prove them self on the highest stage, which in this case is the NFL.

Facing a potential season with no Crabtree, emerging second year player Josh Morgan will have an extended role, while newly acquired Brandon Jones will be a bigger part of the offense that intended. The cagey veteran Issac Bruce has always been a terrific contributor and most importantly, it's the final year for Vernon Davis to prove he can be an elite catching tight end in this league.

Aside from Morgan's growth as a player that the 49ers will be banking on, it will also heavily depend on Frank Gore, who is reportedly healthy and in shape ready to go, hoping to regain his status as one of the best running backs in the league. People often forget, it was Gore who led the 49ers in receptions, and was their go to receiver in the need of a first down.

He's the 49ers play-maker, and with him healthy, as opposed to last season, it should open up the game for everyone on offense, more specifically for the passing game and the wide receivers mentioned above.

We all know what Issac Bruce will bring, and what Bradon Jones is capable of. Bruce coming off a solid season in which he found the end-zone seven times and cemented himself in history as one of the most targeted wide receivers to have played. But alas he's getting older as well, and Brandon Jones has never shown more than mediocrity throughout his entire career. The burden will fall on Josh Morgan.

To elaborate more on Morgan, more-so than his size and physique, what he was able to show in the second half of the season with Hill stepping in as the starter, and Morgan crawling himself into the rotation was impressive. He showed the ability to be a pocket receiver that can run routes, and make the catches, while being a threat to go down-field and get the touchdown.

With a hopefully improved offensive line, and a healthy Frank Gore, the 49ers hope Morgan can grow and involve into their top receiver. His stats last season in the final four games were as follows:

five receptions for 86 yards and a TD, Four receptions for 54 yards and a TD, two receptions for 55 yards, and another touchdown while finishing the season with a three reception game for 50 yards. The opponents were the New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams, and Washington Redskins respectively.

That equals out to 245 yards, and 3 TD's in four games. Expand that out to an entire 16 game season, and your looking at a wide receiver that gets nearly 1000 yards, while grabbing double digit touchdowns in an entire season.

While it's not the most accurate way to predict how ones season will play out, it's not too far fetched to think that Morgan will average roughly 60-65 yards per game, and he with Bruce be the 49ers prime target in the end-zone. If Morgan can be that type of producer on offense, it also reduces the role on Vernon, allowing the 49ers more flexibility on offense.

While the 49er fans have a right to be upset and disappointed that Crabtree isn't working out the way it was envisioned. It's time to move on and focus on what the 49ers do have, and that's a healthy Frank Gore, a decent QB battle between Hill and Smith, and an emerging second year wide receiver in Morgan, that's filled with potential. Put that with their ever improving defense last season, it shouldn'tย  be a time of sorrow, rather a time of optimism.

* I'd like to thank Rory for the honor in choosing me to write about the whole 49ers and Crabtree situation, more so writing about what the 49ers should do to move on from the entire fiasco. My first "assigned," article, and considering I have only been following football recently, unlike basketball, or the NBA, I hope you all will enjoy the read, and comments are welcome, good or bad. Just don't be too harsh!


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