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Crumpler, another Titan leader, departs

3/18/2010

It’s Titans’ Tight End Day at the AFC South Blog, or in the case of this post, former Titans tight end.

Titans Radio was first to report that Alge Crumpler has a deal with the tight-end needy New England Patriots. (Earlier Thursday I posted this column on Jared Cook.)

In two seasons with the Titans, Crumpler moved from his role in Atlanta as a top pass-catching tight end to a heavier on-the-line run blocker. He played a big role in Chris Johnson’s 2,000-yard season.

I’d heard questionable things about Crumpler as a locker room guy when he arrived in Nashville, but came to see they were unfounded, and suspect they were simply one mistaken impression of him from Atlanta as a new regime looked to sweep out the locker room.

The soft-spoken Crumpler is funny and smart and I’ll remember him for telling me there is no way I’d get his weight out of him, for advising Johnson unsuccessfully in the course of this piece, for insightful opinions about his friend Michael Vick during tough times and for his work with Jared Cook and Craig Stevens.

It’s Stevens, a third-rounder out of Cal in 2008, not Bo Scaife or Jared Cook, who stands to inherit most of Crumpler’s blocking work.

Here’s something what Cook said about Crumpler when we spoke Wednesday:

“Crump was a big influence on my first year, he just taught me so much. Every chance I got I would ask him questions, just picking his brain a little bit. He was kind of a backbone, to correct a lot of things when I came off the field in any aspect of the game. It’s just part of the game, if he won’t be here, well, that’s just part of football.

“Me and Crump, we’re two different types of tight ends. I think that’s more of Craig Stevens M.O. than mine.”