Many Ravens players through the years have often been known for their “bring the lunch pails to work”-type work ethic.
Third-round draft pick tight end Crockett Gillmore seems to fit right into that mold.
Gillmore, the 6-6 260-pound tight end has overcome adversity on the football field during his time at Colorado State.
Recruited to play tight end in college, Gillmore converted to defensive end shortly before their season opener filling a void due to injury. In 2011, his sophomore season, Gillmore made the shift back to tight end just nine days before their spring game, secured the starting job and led the Rams in receiving that season.
Gillmore credits his time spent on the defensive side of the football for understanding the ins and outs of the game better, which will only help him learn to play tight end at the NFL level.
“Throughout the whole process, I think it was something I learned,” he said. “I was studying the tight ends as a defensive player, and now that I’m a tight end, I’m studying the defensive players. So, it goes hand in hand. It helps itself out, and like you said, I’m still pretty new to the position. Obviously, in coach [Gary] Kubiak’s offense, we’re learning some different things, but I definitely feel like I’m helping myself by having played both.”
For much of the offseason, when the position of tight end came up across radio waves or in print the first opinion many fans and pundits alike shared was that the Ravens needed a blocking tight end. The re-signing of Dennis Pitta along with the free agent signing of Owen Daniels gives the team two guys who are both known for their hands and not their blocking. The Ravens will look to Crockett to fill the void.
“For me, a tight end is a guy that can play any position on the field; he just happens to be a bigger body. So for me, I think of myself as a blocker with ability to catch the ball. I think championships are still won running the ball and playing defense. So, I’d much rather be considered a blocker that can catch than a receiver that can block.”
Gillmore certainly isn’t above getting his hands dirty and for the Ravens that is a welcomed attitude on the offensive side of the ball. For now Gillmore is excited to learn from both Daniels and Pitta, both of whom have been players he watched growing up.
“I’ve watched Dennis [Pitta] and O.D. [Owen Daniels] for a long time – a Texas kid watching the [Houston] Texans. So now that he’s here, I can actually be in the offense with him. It’s something special.”
As the rookies familiarize themselves with the fast pace of the NFL and the Ravens organization during rookie minicamp, Gillmore is ready to show the fans and the team what kind of a player he is. He’s starting by adjusting as quickly as possible to his new surroundings.
“You’re definitely new to it, but you’ve got to understand this is a professional game. You’re not a freshman anymore. You’re not 18 years old. You better man up and come to work. It is that mentality that you need to know who to respect, and who to watch, but at the same time, it is a business.”
Sounds like Gillmore will fit in just fine in Baltimore with that work ethic. It’s becoming clear just why the Ravens selected him with the 99th overall pick.
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