Micheal Crabtree: "I have a lot to prove"

The Oakland Raiders went after Randall Cobb in free agency but ultimately missed out on the star free agent.

Instead, the Raiders signed wide receiver Michael Crabtree to a one-year deal in hopes he can become a playmaker for their young quarterback, Derek Carr.

Crabtree saw the field for the first time in Alameda during this week’s voluntary minicamp, getting his first work with his new teammates.

“It’s been a learning process - new coaches, new teammates. Just getting to know everybody,” Crabtree said about the first day.

New Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio likes what he had previously seen in his new wide receiver.

“I think prior to him coming on a visit - just the awareness of him being a player that was taken high and had played well to start his career,” Del Rio said. “We were able to have him come visit and the fit was good for him and good for us, and we made a deal.”

He also likes what he currently brings to the team.

“He brings sure hands, the ability to separate and catch the ball, he’s got a few skins on the wall so to speak - he’s played in big games, he’s made big catches,” Del Rio said about Crabtree. “He’s had really significant production in the first six years of his career. He’s a good football player.”

A lot has been made about Crabtree’s attitude off of the field, but all his new head coach cares about is what kind of a teammate he is with his current team, not the past.

“I don’t know that I really concern myself with how people felt before he got here,” Del Rio said. “I’m only concerned with the teammate that he is and the player that he is for us here now. Our focus will be on him being a good teammate and him competing for his role, creating his role, and working with the quarterbacks to get on the same page and being a productive player for us.”

Crabtree acknowledged the talk about him.

“That’s just talk. I don’t worry about talk,” Crabtree said. “Some people say a lot of things, but until you get to know people, you’ll know for yourself. It’s just talk.”

The wide receiver also mentioned that he has a lot to prove, while nothing to lose. But he is excited to be a part of a legendary program and looks forward to the challenge of restoring the Raiders greatness.

“It’s a challenge. It’s a legendary program, and if you can get them back to the top then that’s a big deal,” Crabtree said. “It’s a challenge for me and I’m ready to take on that challenge. Me and my team. Me and the rest of the guys in the locker room, they’re ready too. And I can’t do anything but ride with them.”

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