The San Francisco 49ers needed just five yards to win the franchise’s sixth Super Bowl, but could not complete a fade route to wide receiver Michael Crabtree on fourth-and-goal.
The results of Super Bowl XLVII still haunt Crabtree.
“I just can’t let it go,” the fifth-year pro told 49ers.com. “It’s something that’s going to stick with me until I accomplish my goal.
“A lot of people don’t know that about me, but I’m ready. I’m ready for this year. I’m ready to take on my job as the No. 1 receiver for the 49ers.”
The 25-year-old Crabtree caught 85 passes for 1,105 receiving yards to go with nine touchdowns in 2012. In the postseason, the 6-foot-1, 214-pound wideout had two 100-yard receiving games and added three touchdown receptions.
Still, Crabtree is not satisfied and wants more. He said he wants to be one of the best players in the National Football League.
“I’m taking a different approach this year,” he said. “I’m the No. 1 receiver on the 49ers and you can quote me on that because I’m really working hard and I’m really trying to be the best player, one of the best in the NFL. It’s going to take a lot. I know what it’s going to take. I just need to go out there and take it.”
Crabtree said this season, he’s making it known that he’s ready to take on the responsibility of being the 49ers No. 1 receiver.
“I’ve been quiet the past four years on who’s the No. 1 receiver,” he continued. “I try not to talk about that, but I’m going into my fifth-year, it’s really time to take that responsibility, be No. 1 and go out and do your job and give the fans what they want to see and give the coaches what they expect of you and that’s greatness or be the best I can be.”
Crabtree is going to lead by example this season and plans to push himself harder in the 49ers offseason programs.
“It’s only going to make me better,” Crabtree said. “I got a lot to prove, that’s how I feel, even if people don’t think that. I’m just ready to go out here and get with the rest of the offense – the offensive line, the wide receivers, the new addition, Anquan Boldin – I’m taking it like that.”
“The 49ers have had the greatest receivers in the game here,” Crabtree said. “From Jerry Rice to Terrell Owens to Isaac Bruce to Anquan Boldin – I feel like the best go through San Francisco and I got some big shoes to fill.”