New TE excited by VY, Titans
Posted: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 5:11 pm
By: By TERESA M. WALKER, AP Sports Writer
NASHVILLE (AP) — Tight end Alge Crumpler, who knows the importance of a good relationship with a quarterback, thinks he has found something splendid working with Tennessee’s Vince Young.
“I’m definitely excited about it, and I know he’s excited about it too, especially when we get in two-minute situations, and he takes command of the offense and is able to move our team down the field so easily. He does such a good job. I’m able to point out a couple things here and there … ,” Crumpler said.
“It’s just been a match made in heaven thus far.”
Call it a welcome fresh start for a man looking to escape Atlanta and the mess he had endured last year with coach Bobby Petrino, who abruptly left before his first NFL season had ended.
“I love those fans in Atlanta. The situation that was last season, I’m just glad it’s over with and I’m glad I have a fresh start somewhere else. I … sure don’t want to be there right now,” said Crumpler, a four-time Pro Bowler.
To make sure he didn’t make a mistake moving onto a new team, the seven-year veteran did his homework and chose Tennessee because he felt the Titans are a contender.
“I thought coming in here would be a good situation for me, and it’s (done) nothing but met my expectations, above and beyond my expectations thus far,” he said.
What makes Crumpler so happy?
Finding himself on a team filled with players who push themselves to work harder.
The feeling has been mutual for a team whose biggest offseason catch was Crumpler with his 316 receptions for 4,212 yards and 35 touchdowns.
Even in 2007 when Crumpler missed a couple games with a sore knee, he still caught 42 passes for 444 yards.
His five TD catches would have led the Titans, who had only nine TD passes during 2007.
“Alge fits in very nicely,” Titans coach Jeff Fisher said. “He’s been a pro. He’s been here, he’s working and has a good sense and feel for what we’re doing.”
The Titans didn’t try to keep onetime draft pick Ben Troupe, who caught only five passes last season, or Ben Hartsock. Instead, they went after Crumpler and fellow Falcons’ teammate Dwayne Blakley to give Young better help at tight end.
Bo Scaife, the tight end who played at Texas with Young, has welcomed Crumpler to the team. The two played for the same position coach while in college, and Scaife said he thinks the potential is endless for the tight ends now.
Crumpler’s connection with Young has been obvious this offseason and especially in the minicamps, which conclude Friday. Young likes the big target he has in the 6-foot-2 Crumpler who sees everything the quarterback finds at the line of scrimmage.
“I feel he’s going to help me out a lot because he’s been in the game a long time, and he knows where to be at the right time, especially in certain coverages. If I don’t get my receivers, he knows where to be so I can find him and get the ball to him,” Young said.
It’s easy to assume Crumpler picked up with the 6-foot-5 Young the kind of relationship he enjoyed with 6-foot Michael Vick. Crumpler says it’s not the same.
“They’re two totally different quarterbacks. Everyone has lumped them in the same category,” Crumpler said. “With Vince being so tall and being in the pocket, I can kind of see him more when I’m running my route and get a feel for where he wants me to be.”
It also doesn’t hurt that Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger likes to use his tight ends down field in the passing game.
“I love getting down the field. When I get going, I get to running, it’s kind of hard to bring me down. I just love playing the game,” Crumpler said.
These days, he really means it again.