Milwaukee Talks: Green Bay Packers tight end Tom Crabtree
In the last two years, few Green Bay Packers have endeared themselves to fans like tight end Tom Crabtree.
The 26-year-old Columbus, Ohio, native joined the team for the 2010 season and has appeared in all 32 regular season games since, but he hasn't become a favorite for his durability or on-field production.
Yes, he was part of a Super Bowl-winning team and one that won 15 games last year, but Crabtree's personality is what earned him cult-following status. His 46,000-plus Twitter followers prove that.
Except that this year, he decided to follow the lead of his quarterback and abandon the social medium during the season.
OnMilwaukee.com caught up with the Packers tight end at training camp this week to talk about why he decided to keep his Tweeps in the dark, who has to deal with his musings because of it, how open his social calendar has become now that the season has started and some thoughts on tonight's preseason game and the season ahead.
OnMilwaukee.com: You gave up Twitter for the season – has it been harder or easier than you thought it would be?
Tom Crabtree: I think it's been a lot easier than I was expecting it to be. You know, I'm not going to lie – I get on there every now and then. I check certain people that I follow that really has nothing to do with football because it's still a great place to get the latest news. I'll look up stuff about TV shows and video games and music. I still follow some stuff like that, but I have no desire to check in with anybody, to chat with anyone on there. In that regard it's nice to not be checking your phone, checking your replies constantly.
OMC: So if you hit a squirrel, or something like that, you haven't had a "delete draft" moment?
TC: (laughs) Where I'm tempted to tweet? No, I really haven't. There's definitely been some stuff that's happened in the last month or so that I could've definitely entertained some people with, but I'm keeping that to myself. Maybe I'm sharing it with my wife (Chelsea) more and she's probably getting tired of me cracking jokes at home now.
OMC: To football for a little bit – this is your third year with the Packers, but does this camp feel entirely different because you had the lockout affecting the offseason last year and with the new restrictions on practices, it's new from 2010?
TC: It seems pretty normal. It's similar to the regular offseason we had (in 2010). It doesn't seem much different. We might have had (two-a-days) when I was in Kansas City (in 2009). In that regard it's nice to only have one a day. It's a lot easier on the body.
OMC: Do you feel fresher after practices at this point?
TC: Yeah. Thinking back to college and the two-a-days and all that ... I would say it's more taxing on your mind at this level. In college it seemed like you were just struggling physically every minute. It's definitely nice to have your legs under you but still getting a lot of good work done. The time you're not spending on the field you're learning and communicating with guys in meetings. It's good.
OMC: On the other side of it, do you feel there are fewer margins for error for you on the practice field without that second session?
TC: I would say that's the expectation any time, whether you have three practices a day – you don't want to be messing up any time. I would say you're always trying to be on top of your game. If you mess something up it goes up in review and I guess the goal is to not repeat mistakes and learn from them, move on and have a short memory.
OMC: To that end – do you all as an offense have to have a short memory regarding how well you've performed the last two years? How do you balance the expectations that are you while also knowing it's a different year?
TC: At this level part of being a pro is forgetting the last play. Being in the moment forgetting the last play, moving on. As far as last year goes, we did some great things on offense and going through it, you know what that feels like, the tempo, the vibe, how that works. I think that carries over. At the same time, any negative plays I think you learn from it and transition those corrections into the following year. You know what it feels like to be clicking on all cylinders, what works and what doesn't.
OMC: How do you judge yourself then, knowing it's a different season and you may be doing this better – but maybe the numbers don't bear that out compared to the past?
TC: To a certain extent numbers can be a little deceiving. Sometimes they don't always reflect how well an offense or even a defense. I say that, but at the same time numbers aren't too deceiving. They mean something. I know I'm kind of talking out of both sides here. It's kind of a balance. You set certain goals as a team as far as numbers go but at the same time you understand game by game situations are going to be different. You might want to meet a certain goal and you might miss it but at the same time you did something else well in another area and ultimately won the game. That's the important thing.
OMC: The third preseason game is tonight and coaches and players sort of mark that the most important one of the four. How do you feel going into it and how do you view this magical game?
TC: (laughs). Honestly, not any different than the last couple preseason games or even a playoff game. Personally, that's how I go about my business, just prepare the same way each week leading up to the game. Just prepare the same way every time, go out there and execute to the best of my ability. It's not safe or smart to be taking plays off just because it's preseason or anything like that, getting one of the guys hurt or getting yourself hurt. I approach it the same way.
OMC: When we last talked it was about the Foo Fighters – now that the season has started and you're up here in Green Bay, anything on the calendar for you musically?
TC: You know what, honestly, I have no idea. I have no idea what's going on other than right now I'm just football, and then get home and spend time with my family a little bit. As far as any extra entertainment or any of that goes, I'll just take it as it comes I guess.
OMC: It was great to finally meet you, put a face to the voice and the Twitter handle.
TC: You too, man, for sure. Good talking to you.
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