Michael Crabtree Says He Has No Feelings About Facing Raiders


On Sunday, Michael Crabtree showed once again that he's not afraid of anyone on the field. Just ask Bengals cornerback William Jackson, who threw his hands up in surrender when Crabtree flipped him on his back and menacingly stood over him.

On Wednesday, Crabtree once again, however, showed that he's not interested in a war of the words.

Crabtree will go up against his former team, the Oakland Raiders, Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. He spent the past three seasons with the Raiders but was released in March when Oakland wanted veteran wide receiver Jordy Nelson instead.

Crabtree's time as a free agent was very brief, as he signed a three-year deal with Baltimore the next day. But Sunday is a chance to show that the Raiders, who sit at 2-8, made a mistake.

So, does Crabtree have any different emotions this week as he prepares for the Raiders?

"Next game," Crabtree said. "We're on the end of a stretch right here, so every game counts for us. The next game is the Raiders."

Wait … no special meaning!?

"Oh, no," Crabtree said. "[I'm] playing football."

The Raiders signed Nelson and released Crabtree in a corresponding move. The Raiders had hired Jon Gruden and they were in the process of shaking up the roster. The changes ultimately didn't end with Crabtree, as Oakland later traded star pass rusher Khalil Mack and wide receiver Amari Cooper.

"It was a lot of tough decisions that we had to make here, but we felt, in the best interest of, I think, the Raiders and Michael Crabtree, it was probably better that both parties moved on," Gruden said.

"And it was good to see Crabtree playing well. I really wanted to coach him, but we chose to go in a different direction, and Jordy Nelson has come aboard here and played really well when he's been healthy."

Nelson has made 25 catches for 353 yards and three touchdowns in nine games this season. He missed last week's game because of a knee injury, but could return this Sunday in Baltimore.

Meanwhile, Crabtree has caught 42 passes for 479 yards and two scores for the Ravens and hasn't missed a game. He's on pace for 75 catches for 852 yards.

Crabtree hasn't topped 100 yards yet in a game this season, but he's been a reliable producer. He bounced back from drops troubles early in the year, which were especially costly in a loss in Cleveland.

"He's a very humble guy," linebacker C.J. Mosley said. "On the field, he doesn't say a lot. All he does is make plays, does as he's supposed to do. But in the locker room, he's just like a brother, like anybody else that comes in to become a Raven."

Head Coach John Harbaugh said he knew about Crabtree from his brother, Jim, who coached Crabtree in San Francisco. He held him in high regard, saying Crabtree is a "great guy, he's a hard worker."

"I would just say everything I thought, or we thought, has held true," Harbaugh said. "He's a pro in every sense of the word, just hold him in the highest regard, and I'm really glad he's on our team."

The Ravens are definitely happy that Crabtree will be on their sideline as opposed to in silver in black. Baltimore has played Oakland each of the past three seasons. Crabtree caught 22 passes for 281 yards and five touchdowns in those three games.

"Hopefully he goes out and scores three touchdowns like he did against us a couple years ago," Weddle said. "That would be nice."

"It will definitely be a fun game for him," Mosley said. "I hope he draws a lot of plays to get him some big yards and get him some touchdowns. I'm sure in the back of his head, he'll want to make a couple plays against his former team."

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