San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh held a conference call after last night's Texans-49ers debacle, and there wasn't much he was positive about concerning the performance, particularly regarding the offense. He referred to the offensive performance as akin to "being violated", even though the Texans defensive scheme wasn't all that complex from his viewpoint.
Harbaugh did have a potentially good piece of news. Feature receiver Michael Crabtree could be on his way back to practice. Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area with the story.
Coach Jim Harbaugh was asked Sunday afternoon in a conference call with reporters if Crabtree would be cleared to begin practice this week.
"We'll see," Harbaugh said. "It's possible."
Crabtree sustained an undisclosed left foot injury on June 6 while running routes during a players-led workout at San Jose State. He has not been seen running full-speed routes since that time.
Harbaugh has said Crabtree has been "outstanding" in meetings and with his understanding of the offense. And once Crabtree is cleared to practice, Harbaugh said he'll be making a quick evaluation to see how he envisions the No. 10 overall pick of the 2009 draft fitting into the offense.
"Everything in terms as it reales to his position and how quickly he can get back to full speed and get caught up with the rest of the unit," Harbaugh said.
With both Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick struggling to make the offense go, Crabtree's return becomes all the more important. The 49ers offense needs all their weapons on the field to provide effective offense, and Crabtree is perhaps the most crucial cog.
Additionally, the 49ers have yet to resolve the center battle. Adam Synder has been starting most games, but Jonathan Goodwin has also been taking snaps at the position. Having the quarterbacks deal with two separate centers has to be an additional burden to deal with.
I wouldn't count the Niners quarterbacking situation as a lost cause quite yet; Crabtree and a firm starting center could do a lot to help alleviate offensive woes. If there are still clear deficiencies, then it might be time for Harbaugh to reconsider what he should do with the quarterbacking position.