By Tom Krasniqi (Twitter: @TKras)
Competition is heating up at Buccaneers training camp. The starting tight end spot is one of those positions up for grabs and Tom Crabtree is staking his claim to the job.
After 7 days of training camp, Crabtree is seizing the opportunity that’s in front of him. “It’s going pretty well,” said Crabtree after Thursday’s training camp practice. “It’s a learning process. There’s ups and downs. Luckily, there has been more ups than downs coming into camp than there were in OTAs.”
After spending 3 years with the Packers in Green Bay, Crabtree was signed by the Bucs as a free agent in the offseason. Known more as a blocking tight end, Crabtree hauled in just 18 receptions and four touchdowns in 46 career games with the Packers. “We had so many good guys up there. A few guys were bound to be ‘underutilized’ but it’s no hard feelings with the situation in Green Bay,” Crabtree said. “Here, I’m just looking to take advantage of my opportunities. If it’s catching the ball, that’s great. If it’s blocking, I can do that too.”
With Luke Stocker (calf) still on the PUP list, Crabtree is making the most of his opportunities. He has caught the ball well in camp and quarterback Josh Freeman has already discovered some on-field chemistry with the former Packer. “Tom’s a guy that came to us from Green Bay and he’s kind of an all around tight end. He’s really good at blocking, he runs good routes, and he’s got good hands. He’s getting used to this heat and this humidity, but Tom’s a guy, that I think, has a pretty good shot at doing some stuff for us this year,” Freeman said.
The Bucs believed Crabtree has some uptapped potential as a receiver and that’s why pursued him in free agency. Crabtree says the Greg Schiano and the Bucs made him feel wanted. “It was time for a change,” Crabtree said. “They showed some interest and that meant a lot to me. I wanted to return the favor by coming out here and busting my butt and that’s all I’ve been doing”. So far, so good.
News & Notes:
- CB Darrelle Revis did the “passing tree” (defending against receivers) for the second straight day, according to Schiano. The Bucs are steadily increasing his workload but don’t expect to see Revis much, if at all, during the preseason.
- DE Adrian Clayborn (groin) missed practice on Thursday. Schiano says the injury is not as severe as initially thought but it should be a “few days” before he returns.
- The news is not so optimistic regarding TE Luke Stocker (calf) who’s still on the PUP list. “It’s going a little slower than we initially thought,” says Schiano. No timetable on his return.
- Josh Freeman and Mike Glennon both turned in good practices on Thursday. Freeman threaded the needle on a TD pass to Vincent Jackson in traffic during a 7-on-7 red zone drill. It might have been Freeman’s best throw in camp so far. Glennon fired a TD pass down the middle to WR Mike Williams in the same drill.
- Safety Dashon Goldson made a nice diving interception of Dan Orlovsky during a 1-on-1 drill. Goldson was defending TE Nate Byham.
- During the two-minute drill, Lawrence Tynes pushed a potential game tying field goal wide right. He kicked it well overall during Thursday’s practice.
- The Bucs will hold their next public practice Friday morning from 8:45am-11:30am at One Buc Place. Parking and admission are free. For more information, check out 620wdae.com and buccaneers.com.
- For the latest news on Bucs training camp, keep it locked all day long on 620 WDAE and 95.3FM, your home of the Bucs and the best Bucs coverage.