Rather than rest this offseason as he has generally done in his career, Alge Crumpler set about to getting into better shape. The tight end -- the only player at his position in New England who has played an NFL down -- had packed on the pounds in Tennessee, but saying he wanted to set a good example and that much is expected of him with the Patriots, he got himself in the gym, working with trainer Mackie Shilstone for six weeks.
Crumpler wouldn't divulge numbers in terms of how much he's lost. "All that matters is that I feel great every day," he said this afternoon.
The 32-year old four-time Pro Bowler was asked about New England choosing two tight ends in the draft, but Crumpler seems to relish the opportunity to work with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez as well as practice-squad players Rob Myers and Robbie Agnone.
"When I get the opportunity to work with young guys, it keeps me sharp. Teaching comes naturally to me," he said, adding that he'll help the players any way he can, encouraging them to arrive a little earlier to watch some film and improve.
A standout as a receiver with the Falcons, Crumpler's role shifted to more of a blocker with the Titans -- something he said he had few issues with because he knew the move was coming.
"As long as I had a role that was communicated to me, I was fine with that. It only hurt the feelings of people who picked me for fantasy football," he said, laughing.
Crumpler sounds a lot like a coach when he talks so enthusiastically about helping his teammates, but he has no plans to go that route even though others have him pegged as a future coach.
"I really enjoy playing," he said, and plans to keep playing for as long as he's allowed. "I feel so much better now than I did a few months ago."