Schiano: Crabtree’s Been A Really Good AdditionJune 15th, 2013
The tight end competition is easily the most wide open on the Bucs. So Joe finds it worth noting any clues that come out of the New Schiano Order.
This week, Greg Schiano gave a take on two hopefuls: Nate Byham, who caught a touchdown pass against Carolina last season, and newcomer, free-agent pickup Tom Crabtree.
“We went out and got Crabtree and I think he’s really been a good addition,” Schiano said. “Byham is more healthy than he was anytime last year, and I think you can see a little more pop in his step.”
Still in the mix at One Buc Palace is second-year man Danny Noble, who was a surprise rookie to make the roster out of training camp last season. Noble played half the season before hitting injured reserve.
And here’s a trivia question: What Bucs tight end has the most receptions?
Answer: Zach Miller. He caught 45 receptions for 470 yards and five touchdowns with Jacksonville from 2009-2011. But a shoulder injury sent him to injured reserve early in the 2011 season, and hamstring and chest muscle injuries got him waived before the start of 2012.
Miller’s an interesting dude. He’s a former starting college quarterback (Division II, Nebraska-Omaha) who successfully made the transition to ”athletic” tight end (his words) after being a project sixth-round pick by the Jags. The Bucs pounced on Miller immediately following last season. Miller told Joe he had a workout with the Bucs and inked a contract in early January, before Crabtree was signed in March.
Who knows what will shake out at tight end? But Joe can say with confidence that the Bucs absolutely plan to run the ball over and over and over, and they’ll keep the best two blocking tight ends.