SAN JOSE — The media was barred from watching the first day of the 49ers' players-only offensive minicamp Monday, a 2-hour session during which the participants only covered the basics of the playbook.
Still, one thing appeared quite clear after 24 Niners left San Jose State for the day: Quarterback Alex Smith and wide receiver Michael Crabtree still aren't on the same page.
Without seeing Smith throw or Crabtree catch, the third-year receiver's post-practice comments strongly suggested the pair probably didn't grab dinner together in the South Bay on Monday night.
Smith, the de facto coach during this week's four-day minicamp, has had regular throwing sessions at SJSU during the NFL lockout and those workouts have typically included several Niners wide receivers. Among that group has been Josh Morgan, San Francisco's other starting wideout.
Crabtree, however, hasn't participated despite spending much of his offseason in the Bay Area. Asked last week why Crabtree has been a no-show, Smith said, “Great question. Asking the wrong guy.”
On Monday, Crabtree was posed a similar question: Wouldn't it be a good idea for a receiver to establish some offseason chemistry with his quarterback?
“Who's the quarterback,” Crabtree asked.
“He's the quarterback?” Crabtree responded. “I'm just asking.”
Based on their connection — or lack thereof — perhaps Crabtree wishes someone other than Smith was the Niners' presumptive starter. Smith had a 55.7 passer rating when targeting Crabtree last year (and a 103.6 rating when targeting Morgan).
Niners coach Jim Harbaugh has signaled Smith will be the favorite to win the starting job whenever the lockout is lifted.
Crabtree, though, didn't sound sold on Smith's frontrunner status.
“I wish I could tell you that,” he said. “I know what you're all scratching at. I wish I could tell you who is going to be the quarterback. I don't know. I don't know. Whoever the quarterback is, I'm 100 percent down with it and I'm ready to go. That's it.”