Tim Crowder carving out a role with Bucs
Reserve defensive end Tim Crowder didn't seem to garner much consideration as a starter at left defensive end, where Kyle Moore was anointed the starter in the offseason. Perhaps that's because the Bucs had a sense of how good Crowder might be in spot duty, something he proved further today.
Crowder finished with two sacks, a forced fumble and three solo tackles, making his presence felt at the line of scrimmage a week after he was used as a psuedo linebacker in coverage. Crowder also showed great penetration on the Bucs' fourth-quarter goal-line stand that helped ice the win.
He played both right and left end depending on personnel and the game situation and he welcomes the challenge of playing multiple roles as it keeps him relevant.
"I'm the rotational guy so I have to learn to play both sides," he said. "That makes me valuable and hard to get rid of if I can play both sides."
A former second-round pick of the Broncos who flamed out Denver, Crowder is doing a good job of reestablishing himself in Tampa. His ability to force quarterback Matt Moore to fumble on a sack early in the fourth quarter won't hurt. The fumble, recovered by Kyle Moore, came as the Panthers were driving and hoping to trim a 13-point deficit. It also proved to be Matt Moore's final play of the day, as he was benched afterward.
"That’s when you want it," Crowder said. "Right when they’re gaining momentum, you have to take their heart away."