Underestimating Tom Crabtree

August 16th, 2013

tom crabtree 0816

Aside from Bucs quarterbacks and defensive linemen, the position that makes Bucs fans twist and turn is tight end.

During this offseason, whenever a tight end’s name recognizable from fantasy leagues popped up, fans wondered aloud whether rock star general manager Mark Dominik would lunge to sign said tight end.

In fans’ minds, tight end is a critical position. In offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan’s mind, it isn’t. That is the key element here.

So when the Bucs signed Tom Crabtree, it was met with much head-scratching. Never mind Crabtree was buried on a depth chart behind one of the game’s best tight ends, Jermichael Finley.

This subject was touched upon recently by the master numerologist of the stat-heavy ProFootballFocus.com outfit.

The “word on the street” is that Tom Crabtree has a shot to overtake Stocker at tight end, but that might not be too helpful even if it does happen. This could be a real area of concern with Freeman desperately needing an outlet valve underneath.

This isn’t just word on the street. Joe would be shocked, barring an unforeseen trade or other roster move, that Crabtree doesn’t start. He made his bones with the Packers as a crushing blocker. He did well with the rare opportunities he had to catch balls down the field. Well enough that the Bucs jumped on him when he was available.

For those who want the Bucs to get a high-flying tight end, consider that with Sullivan as the Giants receivers coach, Big Blue won a Super Bowl after their Pro Bowl tight end was injured.

Bucs franchise quarterback Josh Freeman, at a public outing this summer, was questioned about the Bucs getting a household name for a tight end, Freeman shrugged his shoulders and said the Bucs don’t use a tight end much in Sullivan’s offense so what’s the point.

Luke Stocker, given his erratic play and injury troubles, simply is not reliable.

37 Responses to “Underestimating Tom Crabtree”

  1. Mike J Says:

    Dallas Clark was targeted 65 times last season, IIRC what ”PFF”said.

  2. BrianDorry55 Says:

    I guess it’s going to take actual game tape in a Bucs uniform for you to stop exclaiming that Crabtree is a great blocker…

    Maybe part of the reason Freeman’s completion percentage is so low and he forces INTs is because he has 2 or 3 options on every damn play because these fools don’t want to utilize the tight end position…Love Sully, but wake up dude, Tight End is the fastest growing position in the NFL right now.

  3. Red86 Says:

    “We don’t need a TE. This system don’t need a good TE.”

    Tried to tell folks we needed TE during the draft. I was for Eifert and hoped we got Escobar in the third after the trade for Revis. (A great deal for Revis.)

    I like Crabtree, but who good or proven their worth in either D-1 college or the NFL? We need better depth or competition at TE badly. As well as guards need to be address.

    About the Giants… Kevin Boss and Shockey play very similar. Boss just didn’t have an ego to show out after a catch. It not the name that matter. It’s the production on the field.

  4. Joe Strummer Says:

    off topic, but I just heard Dave Richard from CBSSports.com on the radio say that he believes the Bucs are going to shock the world and win the NFCS.

  5. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Escobar cant block worth a damn and Eifert is suspect in the area also. A TE who simply catches balls wont work in this run-first scheme and will not be on this team, plain and simple. Look at Kevin Boss and Jeremy Shockey from Sully’s Giants days.

    The issue is that Freeman needs weapons underneath, which is why the additions of Brian Leonard and Tom Crabtree are so crucial. With Free getting pressure, he needs somplace to dump off the ball rather than the damn 3 yard in-route from the slot that makes me so angry.We dont need a TE as much as that X factor player, like a scatback (looking at you Michael Smith being or a Tavon Austin-type slot receiver. Offense is one or two weapons away from being absolutely terrifying.

  6. BucsfaninChina Says:

    @red86 Sorry didnt see that you already mentioned boss and shockey lol

  7. BucsfaninChina Says:

    @Joestrummer I try not to get to riled up over the offseason but after seeing the pile of dung the saints and falcons are putting on the field at defense, im starting to think the Bucs are looking like the best all-around team in the NFC South

  8. Red86 Says:


    Stocker isn’t the answer. He can block but can’t catch passes well. Blocking isn’t that hard to teach. In fact a blocker need to hold their block for 4-5 seconds on an average play.

    Let me ask you a question. Who would you take out of Luke Stocker and Jimmy Graham? Graham can block for run plays.

  9. Red86 Says:

    It’s ok no offense was taking. The forum sadly don’t update cause I didn’t see what you said.

  10. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    ^^^remember Brees can overcome a horrible defense according to some (sarcasm)

  11. Red86 Says:

    @Buc’n Junkie
    lol. It take a team doing the job right or good enough to win it all. One guy is never the answer useless it’s golf or tennis. lol.

  12. BucsfaninChina Says:

    @Red86 not saying Stocker is the answer. At all. The guy is shitting the bed on this golden opportunity the Bucs have laid at his feet the past two seasons. I think i also made it clear that the only TEs that are gonna make this team can’t just rely on catching alone, also gotta block.

    The pieces are in place, just need one or two guys at RB, TE, or slot WR to prove themselves as weapons foe he Bucs offense to be IDEAL. We will still put up buckets of points on the board this year, trust me

  13. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Uh yeah brees has been taking his team to the playoffs in spite of his defense the majority of the time hes been there. Could never call the Patriots defense “scary” either, and look what happens every year.

  14. Red86 Says:

    But the Pat haven’t won since they had a good defense and a running game. Back when Ty Law was the man. I notice lately pass happy teams lose in the Superbowl. It seem to lean toward the team that can run, play good defense, and occasionally convert safe passes when needed.

    “Defense win championship” isn’t a worthless saying. Heck Tracy Porter closed that game versus the Colts.

  15. KBecks Says:

    Austin Seferian-Jenkins

    Look into that name gentlemen. He’s my early selection for our Tampa Bay Buccaneers first round pick next season. Tall athletic right end from Washinton.

  16. KBecks Says:

    ^ Tight end**

  17. Joe Strummer Says:

    That’s the reality, NO & Atl have suspect defenses at best, and the Panthers handicap is well, Ron Rivera. All JF5 needs to do is lay consistent and as error free as possible, the offense will go thru Doug, and I believe the defense is going to shock the league.

  18. Couch Fan Says:


    They have no defense but they have elite QBs to make up for it. New Orleans spanked us 41-0 last year. 0 Fricken points against the worst defense in the NFL. Much worse than ours.

    Freeman will have to do much more than just play error Free to beat Drew Brees.. On a more positive note. We seem to have Atlantas number.

  19. Macabee Says:

    Kellen Winslow may have been the wrong person, but it was definitely the right position. The 3rd down receiving TE was a weapon that Freeman used effectively in 2010.

    It’s probably too late now, but a pass receiving TE ought to be high on the draft board for 2014. I hope someone in the FO recognizes the importance of the position.

    Sefarian-Jenkins is a highly touted prospect for 2014. I hope our love for team captains and chastity wouldn’t make us pass up a baller because he got a DUI last year. I also hope our pass rush performance this year doesn’t force us to take a DE first. Lots of hopes here! lol

  20. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    Wouldn’t it be sweet revenge if we could knock off N.O. 41-0 in our home opener? That was embarrassing last year for sure.

  21. KMAC1322 Says:

    I couldnt agree more Joe!

    A solid blocking TE is way more beneficial to this team right now then a good receiving TE….

    I still think Crabtree is a very underrated receiving TE, Ive seen him make a lot of big plays for GB in the small amount of opportunities that he had. Also Aaron Rodgers was interviewed after Crabtree came to the Bucs and he was very disapointed that GB let him go stating that he was a very reliable player and hard worker.

  22. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    We don’t know this yet, but maybe Crabtree is that TE we want. I can’t wait to see him perform when it all counts. He may completely surprise us and rise to the occasion. I hope so anyway, because we could use that this year.

  23. Couch Fan Says:

    Wouldn’t it be sweet revenge if we could knock off N.O. 41-0 in our home opener? That was embarrassing last year for sure.

    YES! And more preferably the 2nd game of the season would be EXACTLY what this team needs. Lol

  24. the_buc_realist Says:

    yes Couch Fan,

    that would be sweet, but so would the Bucs going 16-0 for the season, Even sweeter than that is Buc1987 getting to ride his flying unicorn right to his seats on game day.

  25. Burgi Says:

    Crabtree is NOT a good blocker. I hope (while not thinking that it will happen) that Schiano haver Stocker AND Byham over him on the depth chart. I’m really, really concerned if/when Crabtree is in our starting lineup.

  26. Couch Fan Says:

    Buc1987 getting to ride his flying unicorn right to his seats on game day.



  27. franklinfan Says:

    Crabtree blocking score was -3.0,only Wallace had a lower score-3.5 ,Byham comes in at +3.0. Why all the love for Crabtree,3 articals in 3 weeks??

  28. Adam Says:

    I would like to remind the Joe-Faithful:

    Mark Dominik traded UP for Luke Stocker.

  29. Buc1987 Says:

    “Bucs don’t use a tight end much in Sullivan’s offense so what’s the point.”

    That’s ONE of the problems right there. Freeman relied heavily on Winslow as his safety net.

  30. Buc1987 Says:

    Nothing makes me laugh more on JBF than having my name mentioned when I’m not even there. Buc Realist where are your seats, what section are you in?

  31. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    Realist was just sharing time with his only friend, Couch. Imagine that? lol

  32. the_buc_realist Says:

    First off, I don’t do preaseason, second the best seats I will get this year is from the parking lot where if I stand on my tippie toes I might see the Jumbo-tron.
    After purcahsing a new boat last year and a car that can pull this boat, I will not be seeing to many games. Unless everyone donates to “The United Realist Fund” . If i am able to scalp a ticket I will try to get close to your seats Buc1987.

    In all seriousness Enjoy your tics Buc1987. Hopefully every game will be competitive this year. Go Bucs!!!!!!

  33. Solaire of Astora Says:

    If you went to the games you wouldn’t need a boat. You would have a ship. And Joe isn’t calling Finley one of the best TEs in the league a little bit of a stretch.

  34. Buc1987 Says:

    Realist…I usually won’t do a pre-season game either only the 1st one because I had to see my seats. I could not get that thingy on ticketmaster to swivel around to show me the view from my seats to save my life. I tried and tried like hell. I won’t be going to the Skins game though.

    I will however be riding my flying unicorn to my seats when MY Bucs are in the playoffs this season. I might even have room for Junkie on the back of it.

  35. Kevin Says:

    SULLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE USE THIS GUY TO YOUR ADVANTAGE!!!!! HE IS A BEAST!!!!!!!!!!! Either way, whether its Crabtree or whoever…we need to hit the TE more to be successful consistently. This guy can do it and my fingers are crossed that we give him a shot. Needs to be used in the redone more than anything

  36. Captain Stagger Says:


    Jenkins is a monster. He is my preseason pick for the Bucs as well. I’m sure Sully can figure out how to use him.

  37. Red86 Says:

    My Post was deleted earlier. It had youtube links to compare Shockey and Boss in the Giants offense.(as usual when proven my point.) It’s a big lie that Sully offense didn’t used a great pass catcher as a TE that can block. Both Boss and Shockey was basically the same guy talent wise. Both was pretty fast and very hard to tackle. They were athletic. Something Stocker have not proven so far. Recommend doing research.

    #Put The Kool Aid Pitcher Down