New England Patriots Links 5/07/10 - Alge Crumpler: Ready, Willing and Able

Alge Crumpler comes to the Patriots 'young at heart'. Hope the rest of him feels that way too.

Tom E. Curran took notes as a slimmed down Crumpler met with the media for the first time as a Patriot.

"Perception's everything," Crumpler said of his new look. "I wanted to make sure I was in the physical condition to walk into the locker room and be able to work. I wanted to get around guys and show I can lead by example. Admittedly, I hadn't done a lot early in the offseason, I was resting my body and I just felt like I wasn't [ready] to come into a locker room and be behind and I didn't want to give that perception so I was able to work that out."

Crumpler said he had extensive phone contact with Bill Belichick before signing here and that expectations were well-defined, even if Crumpler wasn't.

He now expects his role in Tennessee as an in-line blocker - really an extra offensive tackle - is going to be altered. That change made him affect a change in his conditioning, which he feels is for the better.

"I don't want to say I was out of shape," Crumpler said. "I was very effective playing in the role that I was in the last couple of years. I fit that system really well and did things I was asked to do."

Crumpler said he had no issue going from target to battering ram with the Titans. "As long as I had a role that was communicated to me, I was totally fine with it," he said. "I think it only hurt the feelings of the people that picked me in fantasy football. It didn't hurt my feelings. I had a role defined and went out and tried to be best [at it]."

 "Nobody's ever been drafted that the coach didn't want to be here," he said. "When I get an opportunity to work with younger guys, it keeps me sharp. I like teaching. That's one of the things that comes natural . . . I feel young at heart, feel good about stepping into new a new situation and I know it'll be a great one."

John Clayton (ESPN) AFC East dominates the offseason.

New England Patriots did the best. Re-signings aren't sexy to fans, but the Patriots faced a difficult challenge before free agency began. Nose tackle Vince Wilfork headed a list of 10 potential unrestricted free agents. Owner Robert Kraft invested $84.414 million in contracts to re-sign Wilfork, guard Stephen Neal, linebacker Tully Banta-Cain, cornerback Leigh Bodden and running back Kevin Faulk. The only losses -- tight end Benjamin Watson and defensive end Jarvis Green -- were replaceable.

Belichick may not have hit home runs in the draft, but he loaded the bases with plenty of singles. The Patriots needed to add a cornerback with the additions of Holmes and Marshall to the AFC East, so they drafted Devin McCourty in the first round. Jermaine Cunningham and Brandon Spikes give the Patriots much-needed youth at linebacker. Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez more than fill the void at tight end created by Watson's departure. The Patriots added a dozen draft choices and have two firsts and two seconds next year. They've also beefed up their defensive line by signing Gerard Warren and Damione Lewis to one-year contracts, and added Alge Crumpler at tight end and Torry Holt at wide receiver.

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