Coming into the 2014 NFL Draft, Crichton was considered to be one of the best defensive end prospects in the draft, and Wootton thinks that he has what it takes to be a great defensive end.
“You know, I think the biggest thing is he is a really strong guy, and his work ethic,” Wootton about Crichton’s strengths. “He’s a really hard worker, he watches extra film, he puts in extra time – like what you saw us doing after practice – and he’s got all the tools to be a great player in this league.”
Both Wootton and Crichton usually stay after practice with assistant defensive line coach Robb Akey to get some more work in and improve their skills.
“It’s a technique thing,” said Crichton. “Just trying to keep it consistent; I got to be more consistent.” Consistency and techniques are both things that players of all positions need to work on, especially when rookies. Wootton understands this and that is one of the reasons why he has been helping Crichton.
When they stay late together you can see Wootton tell him and demonstrate what to do, and he lets him know when he has done a good job. In fact, it’s the same way with the entire defensive end position; they all want to see Crichton succeed.
“Yeah him, and just the whole D-line,” Crichton said about Wootton being a mentor for him. “Every time I mess up they make sure I know everything, and every time I do something good they are always complementing me. It’s the whole D-end and D-line basically, the whole mentoring thing.”
The fact that the entire defensive end position has pitched in together to help Crichton speaks towards them wanting everyone to improve.
“You know, they’ve been doing a great job just helping him out,” Wootton said. “That’s the good thing about our room, you got a lot of good guys, there are no egos in there and everybody’s just trying to help each other out.”
Being the youngest and least experienced player at the defensive end position, Crichton usually gets the least amount of snaps during the games – when he even gets to play. He has been active for only two games, but he is still getting some chances to contribute.
So far, in only 16 defensive snaps, he has two tackles and three quarterback hurries, and has also done things that don’t not show up on the stat sheet, such as hold the edge and force the running back to cut back inside.
As he continues to improve to put in overtime in practice, and with help from his veteran teammates, Crichton’s playing time should increase. And you can expect his teammates cheering him on the entire time.