In Week 12, the Oakland Raiders will travel to Baltimore to face the Ravens. While it feels like these teams play each season, this matchup will feel different. Michael Crabtree will line up against his former team. While many credit the Raiders for giving Crabtree’s career new life, how he ended his tenure in Oakland still raises eyebrows and questions. Not too many talented wideouts catch a release in order to sign older receivers. With that said, FPC Raiders writers Ray Aspuria, Chris Simmons, and Anthony Zaragoza delve into Crabtree’s potential mindset for this game.
Where do you think Crabtree’s head is and what is his motivation level for Oakland?
Michael Crabtree always walked to the beat of his own drum. However, once he arrived in Oakland and got to experience the Derek Carr delivery, he remarked how it was great to play with a QB who could throw you the ball. He has that in Baltimore with Joe Flacco (potentially with Lamar Jackson also if Crab sticks in Baltimore a few seasons). As for motivation against Oakland, he would like to prove he has more game than Jordy Nelson does.
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Crabtree does not seem like the kind of person who thinks too much about his previous situation. If asked I think he would generally reflect positively on his experience with Derek Carr, Amari Cooper, and Reggie McKenzie. However, he may also have some less nice things to say about Jack Del Rio, Donald Penn, and maybe even Bruce Irvin. Who knows? In the end, Crabtree usually seems very motivated when he feels like he has a chance to win. I would imagine Baltimore gives him that chance. His time with Oakland may have been winding down even before Gruden returned but with new management, his exit was maybe more sure than fans expected
Fired up. We have seen what type of player Michael Crabtree is in his three seasons in Oakland. He is passionate, competitive and not one to back down. Case in point, the battle between himself and Aqib Talib the last two years. Crabtree will be out to prove that Reggie McKenzie made a mistake letting him go this past offseason.
Granted, Crabtree and Jordy Nelson will never line up against each other. Yet, to see what level of residual enmity exists could determine this game’s outcome. In addition, this game could have head-to-head playoff ramifications.