MICHAEL CRABTREE CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT
WR Michael Crabtree
Congratulations. Can you talk about the emotions? It didn't take long for you to find a new team. Is this how you envisioned it playing out? (Jeff Zrebiec)"I actually didn't. I actually just let it happen. As soon as I got released, the first call was to the Ravens, and I was on the first flight to the Ravens. It just happened. I'm just now leaving. It's 6:30 p.m. [and have] been up since 7 a.m. trying to get this done. We got it done."
Obviously, everyone remembers five years ago in the Super Bowl when you played against the Ravens. In visiting the Ravens, does that memory of the Super Bowl ever come into your mind at all?* (Jamison Hensley)* "Oh yeah, pretty much all the time. It was definitely something to remember. It feels a little different, but I feel like I'm at home. Super Bowl left me with a lot of memories – mostly bad memories. *(laughter) *Like I said, it was a battle out there, and the best team won. I'm excited to put this purple on."
You were in San Francisco, so you know head coach John Harbaugh's brother, Jim, quite well. How much do you think this is a good fit from a football standpoint? (Luke Jones) "It's football. It's guys that know what I can do, what I'm capable of. [Wide receivers coach] Bobby Engram was the assistant receivers coach at the 49ers, too, in 2011. He's a receivers coach here. It's guys that I've been around pretty much my whole career. Being with Harbaugh is like being with coach Harbaugh. Jim and John, they're like the same to me. When I talk to them, it's like I'm talking to the same person! *(laughter) *It's almost as if they were twins or something. It's weird, but it's a new team for me, new journey."
**You're coming in here as the veteran player, leader of this group. What are your thoughts of being that guy, the leader, of the receiver group? *(Garrett Downing) *"In football, I feel like age doesn't really determine the drive that you have. When I came in the league early, I felt like I was the leader in the room at 21. But it was more off example, leading by example. The older I've gotten, it seems like it's more verbal. So it's more speaking, showing these guys and telling these guys, instead of just showing them by example. It's a little different when you get older. I'm comfortable with it. I feel like I'm in my prime right now. I'm ready to go! I feel young; I feel like I'm still 25. I could talk on this phone all day about how I feel. Being the veteran guy, I'll take that and do what I need to do to better the team."
You were a Ravens fan growing up?* (Jeff Zrebiec)*"Ravens were my favorite team – maybe because of the hardnosed defense they used to have back in the day. Well, they still do. That was their uniform – the hardnosed defense. I always was a tough kid growing up. I played safety; I thought I was Ed Reed at times. It's exciting."
Was there anybody that recruited you, that talked to you, that sold you on this? I know you talked to S Eric Weddle. (Jeff Zrebiec)"I think the Ravens upstairs recruited me. I met Weddle in the weight room. But pretty much everybody else that I knew … [Assistant head coach] 'G-Ro,' Greg Roman, Bobby Engram, I pretty much knew these guys, and I trusted them to a certain level. They gave me the information I needed, and I just made the decision to do it."
You're always a fiery guy. How things ended in Oakland, does that give you an even bigger chip on your shoulder to prove to people that – like you said earlier – you're still young? (Jeff Zrebiec)"It's not just [proving that I'm] young, it's just that I can play ball. Prove that you can play ball no matter what the age is. I'm sure you had guys here that played wideout that were 33, 34, 35 years old. I'm early 30s. I feel like I always have something to prove. Coming off the year I had at the Raiders, and the Ravens had at receiver last year, there's a lot to prove at the position. I'm sure the rest of the guys are ready to go just like me."
Can you describe the intensity you bring when you get on the field? (Jamison Hensley)"I really can't describe it. It's just a feeling. I love to play the game, so as soon as you put the helmet and shoulder pads on, it's just go-time. You go for what you know – and that's football. You take it off, and you have a whole other guy."
You put up some really big numbers against the Ravens the last few years. Did they mention that they were tired of having you make plays against them? (Luke Jones) "They talked about it a little bit. *(laughter) *Me and [Ozzie] Newsome talked about it a little bit. I was just playing ball, and it happened like that. I mean, we are here now. I don't want to have too many comments about that. But, we are here."