Tight End Battle for Tampa Bay Buccaneers Will Be Tight

By John Beauchamp
Stocker Bucs
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past couple of years, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had inconsistencies at the tight end position with the departures of Kellen Winslow Jr. last offseason and Dallas Clark this offseason. There is currently a battle between Luke Stocker, who has been with the Buccaneers since 2011, and Tom Crabtree who was acquired by the Buccaneers this offseason from the Green Bay Packers.

Both tight ends have never really been a full-time starter so you’re probably not going to see either one of them have a breakout season. Neither of the tight ends have much experience at the receiving parts of the position, but they seem like are best at blocking which will help out Doug Martin and Peyton Hillis in the run game. The positive on both Crabtree and Stocker is that they are both very young, Stocker being drafted in 2011 and Crabtree in 2010, which gives them plenty of time to improve their game by gaining experience during the game and one of them getting the full-time reps.

I think, besides the tight end position, that the Buccaneers offense is loaded with quarterback Josh Freeman, Martin at running back, receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams, left tackle Donald Penn and All-Pro Guards Davin Joseph and Carl Nicks. Stocker and Crabtree must work as hard as they can because if either one of them performs up to the level that the rest of the Buccaneers offense does, you could certainly see the offense playing better than many others would expect, which could launch Tampa into a playoff spot.

I would like to see Stocker win the position. He is taller than Crabtree and he knows the offense better than the former Packer as well. If Stocker does win the battle, I think that there will be a bright future for the Buccaneers tight end position.

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