Friday, March 07, 2008

Safety Visit

According to a report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review free agent safety Chris Crocker visited with the Steelers on Thursday.

After doing a Google search for "Chris Crocker" I became concerned about just who the Steelers were meeting with.

However, it turns out the Chris Crocker with whom the Steelers actually met played most recently for the Atlanta Falcons (2006-2007) after having been drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2003, and playing for that franchise through the 2005 season.

Here, in rapid fire order, are some specifics:
  • Mr. Crocker is listed at 5'11" tall, 193 pounds, and will turn 28-years old on Sunday.

  • He has seven career interceptions, and had a career best three interceptions in 2007.

  • In 2007 he had 51 tackles, 4 assists, and 1 sack.

  • He was drafted in 2003 by the Browns as the twentieth pick in the third round, the 84th choice overall.

  • He attended Marshall University after having graduated from Deep Creek High School in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Of particular interest to us is a comment that Mr. Crocker made in Q&A session (April 5, 2007) that is posted on the Atlanta Falcons website. The comment, really an answer to a question, that drew our attention is:
"Q: What does it take to be successful at safety?

Crocker: You have to be very disciplined. You are the last line of defense at free safety and you are pretty much the last guy to make a tackle if someone breaks away. If there is a batted ball, you have to get around it and try to pick it off. You have to be like a quarterback, also by delegating responsibilities in the back end, especially with the corners and the other safety to make sure everyone is on the same page."

As we read this, the image that flashed before us was of Anthony Smith getting burned, twice, versus New England. Some in the media are hypothesizing that Mr. Crocker's visit (and Eugene Wilson's before that) are a response to Ryan Clark's injury. However, we believe that it is more accurate to say that the recruiting of a safety is a response to Mr. Smith's inability (whether due to inexperience or some other factor) to handle the responsibilities of the position.

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