Alge Crumpler was one of the greatest ever to man the tight end position in Atlanta, so his opinion carries a ton of weight. I heard him talking about Levine Toilolo the other day on 790 the Zone and decided to see if he would be willing to share thoughts on the tight end position and the offense with Falcoholics the other day.
He was kind enough to share some thoughts with me via email, so you'll find those thoughts below.
On how Toilolo can improve in his second year:
Alge Crumpler: Levine will have to get stronger. He has expressed to me that his plan is to work out at Stanford this offseason. They have very unique and unorthodox methods of training that limit injuries by focusing more on flexibility and body movements than brute strength.
On the importance of a blocking tight end, after I noted he was a great blocking tight end:
Crumpler: Although I was a blocker, a great deal of my success came with Eric Beverly on the field. Every time the Falcons brought in a tackle eligible (Mike Johnson 2012, Joe Hawley, or Ryan Schraeder), it dictated what the Falcons did. With a true blocking TE, they can run or pass without being so predictable. Cincy, New England and the Saints executed that well.
On what the Falcons have with Toilolo and how to best use him:
Crumpler: Levine has a skill set that won't be utilized until he's given the opportunity to succeed. It was the same with Julius Thomas in Denver (behind Jacob Tamme) as well as Jimmy Graham ( behind Jeremy Shockey).
Seam routes where the ball is placed face mask or higher. I worked with Gronkowski post--practice on this route every day and defenses knew the route but it still couldn't be defended. Shallow crossing routes, and deep crossers. Tony G's greatest asset is finding holes in the zone and making the first defender miss. Levine needs to catch the ball on the run. Not sitting in holes.
He's not a blocking TE. But he's a much better blocker than Coffman.
Crumpler: A strong run game will help Matt. Having a week of practice with a healthy skill core will help Matt. Never had a week where TG, RW, Julio and S-Jax were healthy.
Be sure to catch Crumpler on 790 the Zone, and we'd like to thank him for his input.