Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- 49ers coach Mike Singletary had good things to say about receiver Michael Crabtree when a reporter asked about the unsigned draft choice Monday.
Consider it a wise move now that Crabtree is headed to the Bay Area and hoping to sign with the 49ers after missing the first four regular-season games. The 49ers are 3-1, but their linebackers have scored more touchdowns (two) than their wide receivers (one) -- a reflection of their receivers, perhaps, and their conservative nature, for sure.
Singletary spoke at length during his news conference about the unselfish nature of the 49ers' defense. A reporter asked whether a player who was perhaps being selfish -- Crabtree -- would fit into a team built on unselfishness.
"You said the key word: perhaps," Singletary answered. "I don't know that. I don't know that for sure. Why say 'no' to someone that may be one heck of a kid? Like I said, I met him, I talked to him, I had a good feel for him. I haven't been wrong too often. I think he's a great kid.
"Sometimes, it's your rookie year. You're just coming into the NFL. All you know is what they are telling you."
Asked about Deion Sanders' comments suggesting Crabtree could be on the way soon, Singletary closed his news conference by saying, "I just hope he's right. That would be great."
Crabtree probably would not play right away if he signed. The NFL often grants two-week roster exemptions under these circumstances. The exemption would allow Crabtree to practice with the team and get acclimated. The 49ers could activate Crabtree before the exemption expired if they chose to do so. They would have to clear a spot on their 53-man roster to do so.