Jason Croom’s touchdown against the Bengals was one of the lone bright spots for the Bills on Sunday. The second-year tight end knows roster cuts are looming, but Croom says all he can do is keep working.
“I try not to think about stuff like that,” said Croom. “I just try to put my best foot forward everyday. I just try to continue to make progress in my game and let everything else take care of itself.”
Croom spent nine weeks on the Bills practice squad last season, and has impressed throughout this offseason. His teammates are not surprised to see his play produce results on gameday.
“Croom has been balling all preseason,” said running back Marcus Murphy. “Even back to last year, coming here everyday and working hard, knowing the plays and being able execute when his name is called. “
Croom originally was a wide receiver before converting to tight end in college. His fellow tight end Charles Clay understands what that transformation entails after entering the NFL as a fullback.
“From all the little things, to his stance, to his footwork, to catching the ball,” said Clay. “Definitely not surprising anybody in the locker room who sees the way he works.”
After Clay, there is an opening on the Bills for the backup tight end job. With a touchdown reception on Sunday and a 21-yard catch to set up the Bills second touchdown, Croom is making a strong case to land that role.
“He’s done a great job of getting better, coming each day with his lunch pail and his work hat, coming to get better everyday,” said defensive end Eddie Yarbrough. “When you have that and you keep stacking those days together and together, eventually all that hard work is going to bring a profit.”
The 6-foot-5, 246-pound tight end is one more member of a Bills locker room that is loaded with players trying to shed ‘underdog’ labels.
“You have to take that chip on your shoulder and use it to a competitive advantage, and that’s what the guys who are considered underdogs are doing,” said Croom. “Going out there, playing hard and taking advantage of each opportunity.”
Croom does have history with another Bills player as well. He attended Tennessee at the same time as quarterback Nathan Peterman, who threw the touchdown Croom caught against Cincinnati.
“He’s a freak,” said Peterman. “He definitely has a lot of talent and could be a really good weapon for us this year.”