Mike Leach has never been a soft-spoken guy. And after Eric Mangini supposedly questioned the type of person that Michael Crabtree is -- potentially causing the former Texas Tech wideout to slip in the draft -- Leach got a little worked up.
"Michael Crabtree has been more successful as a receiver than that guy has a coach at this point," Leach said. " ... Part of the reason is he's (Crabtree) too shy to be like that."
Said Leach: "My definition of a diva is someone who's loud and self-absorbed. Michael Crabtree is the furthest thing from loud that I've seen."
[...]Leach described Crabtree as the "ultimate team player who would serve the 49ers well." As for Mangini? "Let's see how all those non-divas do up in Cleveland this year," Leach said.
Now, yes, that is awkward, but only in the sense that Leach's comments are waaaay beyond aggressive, given that they were stated in a public manner. But, at the same time, you have to back a coach who's willing to stand up for his former players.
We know nothing about how Crabtree will behave now that he's a pro -- outside the possible teaser of Erin Andrews' report that his draft-day table sighed in relief when the Raiders passed on him -- but it seems pretty reasonable to give him of the benefit of the doubt. Leach doesn't believe that Mangini did that, and the real problem here is that there's no on-field rivalry between the two coaches.