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DE Crawford transcript

By Steve Corkran
Saturday, April 28th, 2012 at 1:50 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Here is the entire transcript from a conference call with fifth-round draft pick defensive end Jack Crawford:

Q: Did you know Raiders were interested in you?
A: Yeah, the Raiders were one of the teams I was close to from the beginning, since the Combine. It was good to seem them come through and give me an opportunity like this.

Q: Did they have you out here for a visit?
A: No.

Q: Have you taken a moment to reflect how unlikely this is, given how long and how far you’ve come?
A: It’s crazy. It’s a little emotional right now, everybody is crying. It’s so unlikely. I told myself coming into this situation that I wasn’t going to get upset if I didn’t get drafted. I have come so far already. I am just so happy. This is one of the best days of my life.

Q: Saw you worked out with Tre Thomas. How much did that help you?
A: Yeah. He is just so insightful and he has so much experience. It was good to see things from an offensive tackle’s perspective. It helped me out so much. He told me things that I didn’t know. The small things that you don’t recognize in a game. Helped me mentally a lot.

Q: How soon before you reach out to Stefen Wisniewski and ask about the Raiders?
A: I was just living with Stef Wisniewski at the offseason training up at Penn State. I stayed with him, and I was asking him about the Raiders. He had nothing but good things to say, and now I can be his teammate again. It’s a good feeling.

Q: You had a dip in production your junior year. What happened there?
A: I got hurt. I sprained a ligament in my right foot and it was just hard, because instead of having the surgery, I decided to let it heal a little bit and try and come back. I didn’t give myself enough time to heal up and I could never play up to my full potential.

Q: When did you make the transition in your mind from basketball player to football player?
A: It was the first year I played. Stepping on that football field for the first time, it was a feeling I never had before. I like how it was physical game. I grew up playing rugby and stepping on the football field, there was just a lot more excitement. When I started to get more of a feel for the game, I became more and more intrigued by it.

Q: Did you watch football growing up?
A: A little bit. Not so much. I couldn’t really follow it like you can in America.

Q: Because you haven’t played a lot, do you feel like you have a lot of room to grow?
A: That’s the one thing about me, I always feel like I have room to improve. That’s my mindset. And that’s what’s gotten me to where I am now.

Q: How did you discover football? What was the reason you played for the first time?
A: Just watching a game in high school, it looked fun. I liked the contact, the physical part of it, that’s what brought me over to the sport.

Q: How does a guy go from not playing football to being recruited by Penn State in two years?
A: (Laughs) That’s crazy, man. My high school coach told me, when I stepped on the field, just told me a little bit about the positions I’d be playing, defensive end and wide receiver and then he just told me, on defense, just go get the ball. And that’s what I did for him. Every play I lined up, I took off and try to get back to the running back as much as possible. And one thing I think helped me was just my work ethic. I used to always do the extra part just to try to get better.

Q: What did the Raiders coaches say to you when they got you on the phone?
A: They said, congratulations. They said, We expect you to keep showing us the motor that you showed on the tape. Keep working harder now you’re here because this is about football now; celebrate with your family for tonight and then get ready for mini-camp when it starts because it’s about football.

Q: What were you trying to prove to scouts and coaches through this process?
A: I think the biggest thing I’m trying to show is that, I think physically I’m just as able as any other defensive end in the draft and I think that whatever they need me to do, whatever they want me to do, I’m not going to stop working until I get to that point where they’re satisfied and I’m satisfied with my performance. I really want to bring a lot to the table and I think that I’m happy that I got drafted, but for me this is the beginning. This is where I have to improve myself so I can help the Raiders and hopefully help us win the Super Bowl.

Q: Preparing to not get drafted, what’s this process been like for you?
A: It’s crazy, it’s weird because I don’t know what the coaches think. I don’t know how people rank different players and stuff and I don’t know what different coaches want. I talk to different teams with different rankings and you just never know. So a lot of these mock drafts, I don’t like to look at them, but a lot of them had me going undrafted or sixth round, seventh round, and I just kind of been hoping for the best the whole time, kind of prayed and hoped everything went well. But when I finally got the call, the waiting was hard…my while family was here, I had to watch it. But when I got that phone call it was just a relief. Now I really get an opportunity to showcase what I have.

Q: Where are you right now?
A: I’m at my family’s place in New Jersey, my host family, in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Q: Did your whole family move to America from England?
A: My real family still lives in London. They still live there and I keep in contact with them, closely. Ever since I’ve lived in America I’ve lived with a host family, like a big Italian family and they treat me like their family, they treat me like real family out there so I feel lucky. I feel blessed to be with them and for them, they support me and treat me like their son.

Q: What’s the name of that family?
A: Dandrea.

Q: You grew up in London, Aresenal supporter?
A: Yeah, yeah (laughs).

Q: Thank you, congratulations.
A: Thank you so much, man.

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  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Criner is a raw talent who was inconsistent throughout his career at Arizona. He was dominant in the Pac-12 at times and used his athleticism and leaping ability to simply make more plays than the man across from him. Criner effectively uses his great size when going for jump balls or when “boxing out” to catch balls in the short game. He shows his athleticism after the catch, displaying an ability to make things happen early in the play, and has the burst to finish them. He needs to learn how to show up every Sunday, but his talent alone legitimizes him as a prospect. He should be one of the first five receivers taken off the board.
    ANALYSIS
    STRENGTHS Criner is a lanky but athletic receiver who uses his jumping ability and large catch radius to his advantage when going up for jump balls. He runs crisp routes and is explosive off the line of scrimmage. Criner gets a clean release with ease by using quickness and power, and he understands how to stem his routes to keep cornerbacks off him. He is deceptively agile for such a tall player and is a reliable option in short areas. He can use his lateral agility to make defenders miss and get up the field for yards after the catch. He is a natural who works well against zone defenses and finds his openings and quickly work upfield. Criner has emerged over the past year as the go-to receiver for Arizona, and he has a confidence about his play that allows him to match up against the best.
    WEAKNESSES Criner had a tendency throughout his career to disappear from games if he is not heavily involved in the action. At times, his routes can look sloppy. He is a strong blocker but the willingness can slip away from him at times. A medical concern he had before the 2011 season will also be on the minds of scouts.

  • Plunketthead

    MR got banned again so he is stirring up trouble and preparing his new persona. Dont be fooled, remember he can show some intelligence untill the hamster cage starts spinning too fast

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    I like this kid a lot.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    2012 NFL Draft Individual Grades:

    95. Tony Bergstrom, OT/G, Utah: B Grade
    The Raiders needed help on the offensive line. Tony Bergstrom, who can play multiple positions up front, definitely fits the range. He’s also good for Oakland’s scheme.

    129. Miles Burris, DE/OLB, San Diego State: B- Grade
    Miles Burris was a fifth-round prospect, but this is close enough to his range. The Raiders lost some pass-rushers in free agency, so they had to find some replacements.

    158. Jack Crawford, DE, Penn State: B+ Grade
    I had a strong feeling the Raiders would draft Jack Crawford. They really liked him as a fifth-round prospect – this is the exact correct range for him – and as I wrote earlier, they had to find multiple pass-rushers this weekend.

    168. Juron Criner, WR, Arizona: A Grade
    Juron Criner could have easily been picked on Friday. He was No. 95 on the consensus board. The Raiders don’t really need a receiver, but you can’t go wrong with this sort of value.

    189. Christo Bulukidi, DT, Georgia State: D Grade
    Georgia State’s first drafted player! The Panthers are coming into Division 1-A, so this is nice for them. However, he’s No. 752 on the consensus board. I don’t know if anyone else would have selected him.

  • Marks hair

    Buliki runs slow, might play inside

  • aig-raiders

    Not impressed with Crawford. Other than a good draft considering our picks. Later gents.

  • RaidO

    Matt Leinart to visit Raiders

  • boss01

    aig-raiders Says:
    April 28th, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Boss,

    Chaz used to go fight for the ball and Jawalrus even pointed that out too. I would never doubt Chaz’s hands but I know he can never be a reliable Wr due to his injuries.
    =================

    I agree in 2009-2010 he had good hands, but that was a very small sample size, this year when he got on the field more, he dropped balls almost every game, the one he didnt catch vs the lions killed me. He proved this year he is not a starter, he is a no. 3 at best.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    I agree with Walterfootball about the last pick. You can get him after the draft. Again, not the BPA IMO.

  • RaidO

    ‏ @AdamSchefter
    Free-agent QB Matt Leinart is likely to sign with Raiders this week during visit he has scheduled to Oakland. He would back up Carson Palmer

  • priesttj

    There’s a lot of raw talent still out there this is the time the scouts really earn the bucks. Normally in the 7th rnd Mr D would call around to USC and other schools to see who wasn’t drafted but can play.

    That’s what Reggie has to got to get good at. But it’s easy to see some of our old guys were heard in this draft and they can still be a big help to Reggie in FA.

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    Keywords: Versatility, Toughness.

  • xraided

    yes i second that motion priest. said it in a previous thread also.

    that’s why i’m not worried about DT … we found Desmond Bryant that way.

  • Plunketthead

    Reg has to get good at calling up schools and asking them if they have anyone good?

    LOL

  • Just Fire Baby

    Al would have never drafted a WR with 4.6 speed so early, or a ZBS O-lineman who was 26 years old.

    Never. He probably would not have even let those guys deliver his newspaper better yet play on his team.

    And guys like Christo he definately would have drafted……in the 2nd round a la “Missile” Mike.

    Loving the new era.

  • alzadoX

    Terrance Ganaway RB off board. He’s a 6th-7th rounder to me. One of the few guys I watched film of. Spread offense, runs through gaping holes, takes 3 steps to get rolling but big strong and pretty fast, no wiggle,

    no instincts, no catch. System manufactured stats. Even as a runner only, Marcel Reece is much more skillful, and of course Reece is a great receiving talent. Needs to learn to be more QB friendly as receiver,

    help QB out when he’s in trouble but Knapp will coach him up and he’ll produce big instead of being a flash guy

  • YoungAmerican

    Acho gone.

  • Just Fire Baby

    I am sure Reggie didn’t wait until the 7th round to start calling schools.

    He already knows who can play, who wasn’t drafted, etc.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Criner and Burris will start for the Raiders!
    Print that!

  • Hardline

    Christo Bilukidi …….

    Kid seems smokin hot to me. I just watched some non-highlight reels on him. He has a high revved motor, sheds double and triple team blockers and still either tackles the RB or knocks down the QB. He’s excellent at disrupting the play even if he doesn’t make the play.

    The only question is what at what level of competition did he play ?

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    I forgot about the OG. He will start, but I don’t like the pick.

  • priesttj

    Raider O I love you man but you have got to get over this BPA crap. The scouts and coaches set their board according to their own grades not someone else’s if this draft tells you nothing else you should at least see that.

  • Marks hair

    Trade up for polk

  • JB

    ENGLANDRAIDER Says:
    April 28th, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    How about that?
    We drafted an Englishman and now a Canadian lineman.
    ***********************

    You gotta do what you gotta do in order to expand the Raider Nation Jersey sales internationally.

  • YoungAmerican

    I’d totally take a chance on Janzen Jackson in the 7th.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Correction, I don’t agree with the pick. I thought there were better players available including OL.

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    Veldheer was a division II player also.

  • Just Fire Baby

    The need for a nosetackle and a switch to the 3-4 wasn’t as pressing a need apparently as some in here claim.

    Hang in there guys, ONE of these years, you may get your wish.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    YA

    I told you the kid will fall, but I didn’t expect this.

    Draft J Jackson please!!!!

  • alzadoX

    finally Billy Winn is off board. Also Emmanuel Acho, Nick Mondek, Matt McCants, Tom Compton, Jason Slowey OLs

    Hebron Fangupo NT/DT BYU
    Miles Burris, LB, S.D. St. GOT HIM ALREADY!
    Billy Winn, DE, Boise St.
    Alfonzo Dennard CB Nebraska charged with hitting cop recently, best in zone
    Adrien Cole MLB La. Tech
    Audie Cole, LB,
    Edwin “Rock” Baker, RB
    David Molk, C
    Leonard Johnson, CB Iowa St
    Chris Polk, RB
    Trevor Guyton, DE, Cal
    Travis Lewis, LB, Oklahoma attitude questionable to some
    Nicolas Jean-Baptiste, NT
    D”Angelo Tyson, NT Georgia
    Sammy Brown, LB, Houston
    Jacquies Smith, DE/LB, Missouri
    Brett Roy LB/DL Nevada
    Coryell Judie, FS-CB
    Alex Hoffman-Ellis, LB
    James Brown, OT-OG Troy St
    Ryan Steed, FS-CB Furman
    Quentin Saulsbury, C-G Miss. St.
    Dale Moss, WR, S. Dakota St. athlete, big, hands
    Derrick Coleman RB-FB UCLA power goalline
    Rishard Matthews WR-PR Nevada
    Charles Brown CB-PR North Carolina

  • YoungAmerican

    People were saying Jackson was BETTER than Eric Berry before getting kicked out of Tennessee.

  • boss01

    I think Reggie drafted Christo because of the cool first name

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    BHP,

    I agree with Criner, Burris (in my mock draft), and I like the DE from Penn. I also think they were some of the BPA, but I don’t agree with the OG and the 6th round pick. You have your opinions, and I have mine. I don’t have to agree with RM on everything. It’s a fact that GMs and oaches make mistakes.

  • priesttj

    I would love Dajohn Harris right now.

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    Reggie needs to draft some dam Samoans!

  • John David Booty

    One of our 7ths will be Burfict.

  • priesttj

    or a fleet footed corner to develope..

  • alzadoX

    Aaron Brown, LB, Hawaii completely stumps nfl.com, size unknown. Rams draftee

  • priesttj

    Burfict wont get drafted he needs to hope he doesn’t.

  • r8eray

    Well guys…who should we draft with our final pick?

    Burfict?

    Anyone?

  • xraided

    YA, that would be the definition of catching lightning in a bottle even if he’s right under the level of Berry.

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!
    Can’t believe Rose is done. Son of a b*tch!

  • xraided

    Burfict can be signed later.
    it’s a whole other position, but look at Blount. everyone knew he could ball, but too much of a problem child. what a great UDFA signing he was for the first TEN, then SF, and eventually the Bucs reaped the benefits.

  • boss01

    Wow, knicks are a complete joke

  • r8eray

    Brewster?

    Jean-Baptisie?

    Fangupo?

    Galippo?

    Brett Roy?

  • priesttj

    It’s not my opinion RaiderO I don’t have a clue about the DT I just know he’s an athlete. That’s what you want in fact I might agree with you on players. But I’m not seated in the warroom they are.

  • alzadoX

    Twitter
    evansilva:
    #Rams @ 209: Aaron Brown. 6’0/237. 4.77 40. In 2 yrs at Hawaii after JUCO, had 22.5 TFL, 10.5 sacks, 6 INTs. Rugby & wrestling background. [via Twitter

    alzadoX Says:
    April 28th, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Aaron Brown, LB, Hawaii completely stumps nfl.com, size unknown. Rams draftee

  • xraided

    wait Brewster hasn’t gotten nabbed yet?! WHAT THE F ?!

    at least be the first to sign him later!

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    Andy Slater ‏ @AndySlater Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    Scoop out of Miami says “whoops” RT @NBCMiami: Report of Derrick Rose’s injury was premature, his status is unknown.
    Retweeted by Victor Cotto
    ———–
    There is still hope.

  • DJ Johnny

    75.YoungAmerican Says:
    April 28th, 2012 at 2:21 pm
    I’d totally take a chance on Janzen Jackson in the 7th.

    You and Raider O the only other guys that are with me on Janzen Jackson.

    The young man likes his weed, meth, whatever..but…he can play.

    Such differing views of the wayward lad but I watched alot of games he was in (before McNeese st.) and i was very impressed.

    Low risk in the 7th. If he continues to rob grocery stores and operate meth labs then no big loss.