Last year the Minnesota Vikings drafted defensive end Scott Crichton in the third round out of Oregon State. He expected to contribute plenty in his rookie season and was very disappointed at the end of the season when he was not able to do so.
He was present for the mandatory minicamps in 2014 but had to miss the rest of the spring practices because of school. So by the time training camp rolled around he was behind in learning all the new schemes head coach Mike Zimmer was trying to implement and was never able to catch up.
This season seems to be different, however, because he has a whole year of learning the system under his belt and he is able to participate in the spring practices.
“What’s changed for me?” Crichton asked. “Just being here with the guys because last year I wasn’t here and just being here, bonding, running together, it’s just fun being around the guys.
“I came for mandatory minicamp (a year ago), but training camp I feel like I was playing catch-up, but right now I’m with everyone. I’m learning everything with everyone so I feel better about this year.”
Crichton only played in 16 defensive snaps last season, and people were already writing him off as a bust. But he is looking to change things this season and be able to contribute to the team on a more regular basis.
“Yes, I hope so,” he said when asked if he expects his role to increase. “That’s what I’m hoping for. Whether it be rotating with the ends or the three techniques, or even special teams, I’m just trying to get on the field and contribute to the team.”
It appears it will be that way. With Brian Robison not taking full-team reps as he recovers from a pectoral injury early in OTAs, Crichton has spent the majority of OTAs and minicamp with the first-team defense at Robison’s usual left end position.
This offseason, Crichton has spent a lot of time training to get stronger and faster. Anything he can do to help improve his game.
His teammates and coaching staff have both taken notice to his improvement and have made compliments on the strides he has made. Although he does appreciate the kind words, he tries not to look into it too much. Instead, Crichton just tries to focus on himself and what he is doing.
“I’m just doing my thing, try not to listen to everybody,” he said. “I’m confident in my own game, but I’m trying to get better, trying to get better each and every day. That’s what I mainly focus on.”
Crichton sees increased role
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