49ers workouts put pep in Crabtree’s step

Fourth-year wide receiver Michael Crabtree is in good health and good spirits after a camp-opening calf injury threatened his starting position.

Crabtree and fellow teammate and Pro Bowl cornerback Carlos Rogers have ignited a friendly competition on the field in order to keep each other at the top of their game.

The game consists of how many catches Crabtree can complete without Rogers tearing them down.

Rogers told BANG’s Cam Inman that Crabtree was in good shape and had a bit more pep in his step this time around:

“He looks a lot faster. … I’m pretty sure he’s smarter, and he understands defenses a lot better, in what he’s got to do to get open.”

Crabtree said he and Rogers use each other as motivation to better themselves to produce for their team:

“Obviously, I got to catch every pass. I can’t let him knock a ball down. We don’t really face each other that much out there. It’s whenever I’m up against him, I just count that as a win. He’s good competition — friendly competition — really, just making each other better.”

With confidence under his belt after leading the 49ers in receptions last year, Crabtree’s great pair of hands can step back into practice on a healthy set of wheels.

Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman told CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco that Crabtree has a much brighter outlook for this season:

“He was playing last year on a bad wheel and battled his way through it. I think he’s a lot healthier this year, and he certainly appears to be much quicker and faster. Another year under his belt from an experience standpoint is very important.”

The healthier and faster Crabtree looks to better his 72-catch, 874-yard season this time around with the right training and conditioning:

“We got a good training staff, a good strength and conditioning program out here. Those guys have been real good at working on things you really need, things you need to focus on like speed and power, quickness. I just use it.”