San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree has had the "diva" label attached to him since his days with the Texas Tech Red Raiders. A contract dispute that lingered well into October of his 2009 rookie season, him missing the last two training camps and preseason games with various injuries, including a chronic foot issue, and a practice field spat with teammate Vernon Davis in 2010 has only advanced the outside perception that Crabtree remains a diva.
Crabtree's teammates, however, disagree with that label, writes Matthew Barrows of The Sacramento Bee.
"I never saw that whole entire label that everybody was putting on him," left tackle Joe Staley said of Crabtree. "He's been nothing but a great professional and a great teammate since he's been here. … He works really, really hard at his craft, and we're seeing the fruits of that this season."
Crabtree set a career-high in 2011 with 72 receptions and 874 receiving yards. In 42 career games, the 10th overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft has 175 receptions, 2,240 yards and 12 touchdowns. Unlike most players at his position, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Crabtree has shown a willingness to block.
"A lot of (wide receivers) don't do that stuff," Staley said. "He does that without question, all the time."