Mike Singletary had to get in the middle of a heated argument between Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis during Wednesday’s practice. While no one is saying what the issue was, it appears that all parties have gotten it behind them and are ready to move on.
If not, they better do.
Playing in one of the weaker NFL divisions, the 49ers are a near-lock to make the playoffs in 2010. So far in preseason, it looks as if they have everything going for them. Alex Smith is not making any crucial mistakes, the running game is solid, a reliable receiving corps and a terrific defensive unit validate the pundits crowning the 49ers as NFC West champions. That being said, they must leave any baggage that they have with each other at the door.
Sure, this episode, whatever initiated it, has to potential to make the team a lot stronger than it currently is. But let’s not forget, it could also cripple a team. “We didn’t get better on the field in practice, but we got a better team” said Singletary. And, I believe him. I firmly believe Singletary is one of a handful of coaches in the league who has the ability to handle multiple characters on a team. Just take a look at the Vernon Davis situation from two seasons ago. Most thought Davis would not be able to last under Davis’ tutelage. Wrong. Singletary knows how to deal with his players and that has lead to the relative success he has had so far with the team. He is brutally honest with the players and the media and no one takes his words lightly.
Now, what could have started this whole confrontation is the great unknown. Does it matter? No. Apparently, what sparked the exchange was a non-football issue. I could speculate endlessly on what it might have been about, but I will never know. I get the feel that it had to do about Davis trying to get Crabtree to straighten some things out, whatever they may be. If that is indeed the case, I would be incredibly impressed by Davis, with him being one of the team’s captains.
Neither Crabtree nor Davis have taken part of the preseason games (Crabtree has not seen preseason game action since he has been in the league), and that may hold true for tonight’s final preseason tune against the San Diego Chargers.