September 13, 2010
When a key component of your fantasy roster delivers a useless performance, it's never a good thing. But when that key component happens to play for San Francisco head coach Mike Singletary, at least you know that someone's going to deliver a caustic postgame rant.
No, you don't get to yell at the player yourself, but you can rest assured that Singletary will act on your behalf (and maybe he'll even do it without pants, a step you might be reluctant to take).
Following the Niners' humiliating 31-6 loss at Seattle on Sunday, the team's head coach reportedly had a few choice words for his quarterback, his offensive line, and his No. 1 wide receiver. This from Comcast SportsNet's Matt Maiocco:
…in the 49ers' locker room, Singletary "called out" [Alex] Smith, receiver Michael Crabtree(notes) and the offensive line, a team source told Comcast SportsNet after the game.
Smith and Crabtree certainly did not grow as a tandem during training camp. Their work together was limited, as Crabtree never stepped onto the field during the exhibition season because of a neck strain.
We can't stress enough just how poorly Crabtree played, facing a Seattle pass defense that ranked 30th in the NFL last season (245.4 YPG). He finished with just two catches for 12 yards, and he was the targeted receiver on both of Smith's interceptions. The first pick actually hit him in the shoulder pads, then bounced to Jordan Babineaux(notes). On the second, he and Smith were clearly not on the same page — and perhaps not even in the same playbook. Marcus Trufant(notes) returned the interception 32 yards for a touchdown, and Crabtree whiffed on the tackle.
According to offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye, chemistry between QB and receiver should not have been an issue on the pick-six, because the play is in heavy rotation in the Niners' game-plan. "We've probably run it 50,000 times," said Raye. But Crabtree looked like he was taken by surprise.
This should be a delightful week of practice for San Francisco. The Niners host the Saints on Monday night in Week 2, and they'll apparently have to cram an entire preseason's worth of work into the next seven days.
OK, you should all know the 7-on-7 gimmick, because this thing was a staple of the Arcade offense last year. These are the links…
• Matthew Stafford(notes) could "barely move his arm" after Sunday's loss to Chicago, according to the Detroit Free Press. The Lions quarterback injured his throwing shoulder on a strip-sack by Julius Peppers(notes). The early word from NFL Network's Jason La Canfora is that this could be a 4-6 week issue, which would leave Shaun Hill(notes) at the controls of the offense. At least we now know that Hill is willing to repeatedly lob the ball to Calvin Johnson(notes), regardless of the coverage, so Megatron's value shouldn't take a severe hit. As for the rest of this promising offense, all bets are off. The Lions have a tricky schedule in the weeks ahead, too: vs. PHI, at MIN, at GB, vs. STL, at NYG.
Grant, who hasn't missed a start since becoming the featured back in November 2007, wasn't sure if he could be ready next week.
"For me, if you look at my track record, I would say yes," he said. "But we'll take it one day at a time."
Grant's ankle injury looked relatively severe — he hopped to the locker room after the play, placing no weight on his right leg — and he's reportedly in a walking boot. The Packers face Buffalo in Week 2, a team that allowed 132 rushing yards to Miami on Sunday, and 156.3 yards per game last year. It's a fantastic matchup; Brandon Jackson(notes) will get a full workload if Grant can't go.
Update (1:35 pm ET): And we now have confirmation via official-ish Twitter that Grant will not play in Week 2. Jackson is clearly your priority waiver add.
• We definitely haven't heard the last of the questions regarding Andy Reid's in-game approach to concussion management. Kevin Kolb(notes) and Stewart Bradley(notes) were both initially allowed to return to Sunday's game, but were later diagnosed with concussions and removed. In Bradley's case, it was perfectly clear that he was disoriented and wobbly immediately after the injury; he actually toppled over on the field. As we've already discussed, Reid has declared that Kolb — not Michael Vick(notes) — will be the Eagles starting quarterback in Week 2 at Detroit, if he's cleared to play (which obviously isn't a given). But of course a coach alone doesn't get to decide if he's going to have a quarterback controversy; players and fans have a voice, too, just like the Pro Bowl. Vick was effective against Green Bay, and he'll shred the Lions' defense if allowed the chance.
• Colts safety Bob Sanders(notes) suffered an elbow injury on Sunday that sidelined him against the Texans (and that no doubt assisted Arian Foster(notes), en route to 231 rushing yards). The fear, as discussed by PFT's Mike Florio, is that Sanders' injury could be a season-ender. Sanders was limited to just two games last season, due to a torn biceps muscle.
• The Buffalo Bills passed the ball twice as often as they ran it in their season-opening loss to Miami, a curious ratio when you consider these facts: 1) The score was never out of hand, and 2) Trent Edwards(notes) is their quarterback. Rookie CJ Spiller(notes) received only 11 touches, and he did next-to-nothing with them. Things will not get any easier for Spiller in Week 2, against the Packers' outstanding run defense.
• In keeping with Monday tradition, we close 7-on-7 with the Rams Report Card. It's early in the season, so the Post-Dispatch is being a little generous with the Bs. I'll give them credit for not grading Sam Bradford(notes) on a curve, though.
Photos via AP Images