Baltimore Ravens
Division: afc north
Team Record: 10 - 6
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24
1/3/2016, Ravens @ Bengals
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Crabtree on leading Ravens: 'I don't have a choice'
NFL.com | 3 weeks ago

Michael Crabtree finds himself with some new surroundings.

The Texas native is as far east as he's been in his career, he's with his third team in the past five seasons, and he might even be trying crabcakes for the first time. Most importantly, Crabtree, who was once drafted to be a No. 1 wideout but has spent less than half of his career as one, suddenly has to occupy that role again in Baltimore.

He's the runaway leader in experience for a Ravens receiving corps that has cycled a veteran or two in and out of the room for the last half decade. Names like Lee Evans, Steve Smith and, most recently, Jeremy Maclin come to mind when considering this trend. Unlike in his other situations, Crabtree will also have to become a leader because he simply doesn't have an alternative.

"I don't have a choice," Crabtree said after Thursday's practice. "I'm going on 10 [years] in the game, and all these guys are three-, four-, first-year guys. That's just my role. At the same time, I'm out there competing like I'm 21, so I'm going to have fun with it."

Having fun with it is a good approach for a team that has lacked a solid receiving corps since Anquan Boldin last suited up in purple and black. The tone -- "I don't have a choice" -- might not be the best, but the point is true. The next-closest receiver in experience is slot man John Brown, who has just four years under his belt and is also new to the Ravens.

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