Tom Crabtree: 2011 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

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Tom Crabtree
Tom Crabtree

1) Introduction: The Packers signed Crabtree to the practice squad late in the 2009 season, then the gritty tight end surprised by making the Packers 53-man roster out of training camp in 2010. Despite a recent revolution at the position, Crabtree is a throwback player who’s primarily asked to block and be a contributor on special teams.

 

2) Profile:

Tom Crabtree

Position: TE
Height: 6-4
Weight: 245 lbs.
AGE: 26

Career Stats

 

3) Expectations coming into the season: The Packers drafted two tight ends in April, including one (Ryan Taylor) who possessed a skill set that resembles Crabtree’s. Five tight ends then came to camp with a chance to crack the 53-man roster, including Crabtree, and all five ended up making the team. Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson weren’t willing to give up Crabtree’s blocking and experience on special teams. Expectations for 2011 were that Crabtree would reprise those far from glamourous roles.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Crabtree played 342 snaps, second among Packers tight ends, and 247 of those snaps came in a run or pass blocking role. Pro Football Focus had him for one sack allowed with one pressure and one hit. His role as a receiver was limited. After catching just four passes in 2010, Crabtree hauled in six for 38 yards and his first regular season touchdown. His long was 15 yards against Atlanta. He dropped two of his nine targets, including a ball that was low and away in New York and a third down in the playoffs that would have given the Packers a new set of downs.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: The Packers employed Crabtree as a blocker but he was far from the team’s best in that area. Second-year player Andrew Quarless was quickly turning into the team’s best blocking tight end when a horrific knee injury in New York stole the rest of his 2011 season and put his availability for next year in question. That’s probably good news for Crabtree, because his role in the offense was getting hard to pin down moving forward. While Crabtree gives maximum effort, he’s probably too small to be an effective in-line blocker. His true value lies on special teams, where Crabtree has been a top tackler and willing blocker for two straight seasons. As I’m sure he has gotten used to, Crabtree will need to fight his tail off again next August to remain a part of the Packers’ 53.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Crabtree actually played his highest number of snaps (33) against New York in the NFC Divisional Round, as the Packers frequently used him as the sixth offensive linemen to help offset the Giants’ pass rush. But other than a huge third down drop in the first half, Crabtree’s contributions were hardly felt.

Season Report Card:

(B) Level of expectations met during the season
(D+) Contributions to team’s overall success
(D+) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade: C-

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Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.

You can read more of Zach's Packers articles on AllGreenBayPackers.com.

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  • Ron LC

    ST’s and blocking were his strenghts. Depending on Quarles recovery, I see him back unless Finley is gone in 2012. TE will be one of the most improtatn Off-Season positions this year. There’ll be a lot to talk about.

    C- sounds good to me.

  • Mojo

    “But other than a huge third down drop in the first half, Crabtree’s contributions were hardly felt.”

    Ouch! that one hurt. Right in his breadbasket. I think he makes the team next year by default with Quarless on the PUP to start the year.

  • Shavager

    With only John Kuhn on the roster as a FB, Crabtree filled in as dependable. Don’t think he gets enough credit for blocking, against Steelers in SB 45 he demolished several Steelers defenders. He’s serviceable as a FB, can block and catch better as combo than former FB’s Korey Hall and Quinn Johnson did. This season if his name wassn’t called then he was doing his job-he caught a TD on his only opportunity just as Ryan Taylor did. Unless GB finds spectacular talent at a loaded position, Crabtree probably returns. McCarthy don’t keep these players because they don’t perform.