Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Alge Crumpler's never had a body builder's physique.
"Because I'm a big guy, I think he's great looking," Titans tight end coach John Zernhelt said when I asked if Crumpler didn't have a beautiful body. "He doesn't look like a basketball forward, no."
In 108 games with the Atlanta Falcons over seven seasons, Crumpler produced yearly averages of 45 catches for 602 yards and five touchdowns.
Last season, after Atlanta's purge, he was let go and happily signed with the Titans. The way the season unfolded, he caught just 24 passes for 257 yards and one score. (His worst moment was a lost fumble in the playoff loss to Baltimore.)
But he was very productive as a blocker, a key piece to the league's seventh-ranked rushing attack.
I asked him at the Titans' OTAs about the altered role and his weight -- he's listed at 262 but looks at least 15 pounds more than that.
"That's not what I expected, but I became very good at it," he said of working more as a blocker. "I always felt like my goal was to be one of the most complete tight ends, and when asked to do that, I've done it very well."
With the Falcons, he was freed up to be a big pass catcher, the way Bo Scaife is now with the Titans.
"When you talk to a lot of guys around the league at all these charity [golf] tournaments you go to and to all these different functions, to have guys that come over, reach out to you and talk about the things they saw, it makes you stick your chest out a bit," he said. "It's definitely a different role, but I feel like I am one of the few guys in this league who can set the edge and give us a good point of attack as long as that's what they want me to do. I'm pretty sure that'll be the role that I will be in again."
As for the weight: Crumpler said if he was working as more of a pass catcher, he'd be 10 or 15 pounds lighter.
"But if I'm going to have to control that line of scrimmage, then I have to stay where I'm at," he said.
Which is where?
"You'll never get that out of me," he said.
Then, when he ran past me from one drill to the next during Friday's OTA session, the 31-year old Crumpler added: "Don't let the baby fat fool you."