Crabtree Talks Talent, Twitter & LabelsMay 21st, 2013
There’s a good possibility newcomer Tom Crabtree will be the Bucs’ starting tight end come September. After four quiet seasons in Green Bay, 27-year-old Crabtree was targeted by Tampa Bay in free agency and he’ll compete with Luke Stocker for the top job.
Joe and others set out to get to know Crabtree yesterday at the first full-squad practice of the year. Here are the highlights:
Beat reporter: Did the Bucs come after you strong? Did you sense it in free agency?
Tom Crabtree: Yeah, they were definitely the front runners, I guess. They showed a lot of interest and, you know, that meant a lot to me. It said a lot. So I took the chance. After a month being here, I’m happy to be here and excited about moving forward with it.
Beat reporter: You were with a good team, a Super Bowl team, but it looked like you were stuck. Talk about your situation in Green Bay.
Crabtree: You know, the way I kind of look it is maybe you do get stuck in a role a little bit. And as a competitor you want to kinda try and challenge yourself and see what you’re made of. Being here, like I said, being a part of this, it’s a new opportunity for me and as well for the team. There’s a lot of new faces here on this team. We all kinda have the same goal in mind. So if we can all put it together it will be that much more special.
Joe: Would it be fair to call you a blocking tight end? Do you feel that’s a strength of yours and can you talk about that?
Crabtree: I look at myself as a pretty balanced guy. If people want to label me, that’s fine, as a blocking tight end. But I think more of that is just lack of opportunities in the pass game more than anything. I have all the confidence in myself as a receiver, as a receiving tight end. That just takes opportunities. Like I said, I feel like I’m a pretty balanced guy whether it’s in the run game or going out catching balls. I think I can do both.
Joe: Being outside this organization and coming in, before you got here, what was your perception of Greg Schiano and this organization?
Crabtree: Honestly, I didn’t have much of a perception of other teams. I think when you’re in a certain spot you focus on you team and what’s going on with you guys and your opponent for that week or whatever. So I can’t really speak to having an opinion before I got here or anything.
Joe: You seem to be a real engaged guy with fans on Twitter. For a guy who was sort of in a small role on the field you had quite a following. Can you talk about your interest in engaging with them and how that came about?
Crabtree: It just gradually started a few years back on Twitter and all that. I originally got on there because it was a cool way for me to interact with the people I look up to — other athletes, musicians, and I have some friends and family on there, too. But then it kind of turned into this thing where I was like, ‘Man, I’ve got all these Packers fans following me and talking to me.’ So I just wanted to give back to them. I know myself, it’s cool when someone I look up to, you know, I get all nerded out when I talk to a musician or somebody. That’s kind of how I look at it.
Beat reporter: What are your feelings about this Bucs roster as you look around this field. Is there talent out here?
Crabtree: Man, I’ll tell you what. Being here for a month, some of the best, just gifted athletes I’ve been around. Some really talented guys. That’s not taking anything away from Green Bay. They’ve obviously had talented guys, as well. But coming here there’s been no dropoff as far as the athleticism and the talent of guys.
Beat reporter: How do you see your situation here going into training camp?
Crabtree: Make the team. That’s my goal. I’m not one to sit here and say, ‘Oh, I’m comin’ in, I want to be the starter. I want to come in and be the No. 2.’ Nothing like that. You know, if my role on this team is being on kick return, if my role on the team is catching a bunch of balls, whatever it is I just want to do that and find a way to help the team win. Make the roster
Joe: Can you describe your special teams role in Green Bay? Did you play a lot?
Crabtree: I played quite a bit and a little bit of everything, kick return, punt return all of it. I definitely have experience when it comes to special teams.