All the hullaboo leading up the NFL Draft about Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree acting like a diva on one of his pro interviews absolutely stunned Red Raiders coach Mike Leach.
"That doesn't even exist,'' Leach said. "That's really stupid, ignorant comments by individuals that don't know him.
"He's the farthest thing from (being a diva). The real Michael Crabtree is excited because he wants to be on you and force you to be a better player. That's Michael Crabtree.''
Leach blames Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini for starting the controversy and for Crabtree slipping to San Francisco with the No. 10th pick in this past Saturday's NFL Draft. The Browns reportedly didn't like Crabtree's attitude when he visited the team before the draft.
"Then the thing permeates a little bit,'' Leach said. "But suffice it to say I know Michael Crabtree.''
Crabtree was in Leach's program for three years _ one during his redshirt season and the past two years while he was twice an All-American on the Raiders' active roster.
While some draft experts had Crabtree being the best player in the entire draft, he wasn't even the first wide receiver drafted. That honor went to Maryland's Darrius Heyward-Bey, whom the Oakland Raiders used to draft No. 7 overall.
"I thought Crabtree was the best receiver in the draft, but receivers don't usually get drafted that high anyway,'' Leach said. "They select for the reasons the select and that's kind of why I don't spend a lot of time messing with the draft, because it's a collection of opinions that vary and contradict one another that I don't necesarily value to begin with.
"So why would I follow it with any interest? I don't, other than hoping for my guys to go and for them to make as much money as possible, and most importantly don't lose the perspective that it's important to make the team.''
-- Dwain Price