The second-year receiver improved in nearly every statistical category in his 2016 season, racking up 847 reception yards and seven touchdowns on 12.6 yards per reception. With his recent success in mind, Crowder is working on becoming a well-rounded player rather than focusing on one specific talent. Washington's top slot target spoke with local reporters Monday via conference call about his offseason, the Redskins receiving corps and his potential role for the Redskins in 2017.
No doubt that role gets larger as he enters his third season. Since Crowder came to Washington in 2015, the Redskins passing offense has been among the NFL's best and ranked second (297 yards per game) last year. This year, however, the Redskins will be without Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, two 1,000 yard receivers who left for San Francisco and Tampa Bay in free agency.
“I think [our offense] can still be very explosive like the previous two years I have been here,” said Crowder, who is now joined by free agent Terrelle Pryor Sr. and Brian Quick plus 2016 first-round pick Josh Doctson. “I have faith in [Doctson] that he will be a huge weapon for us.”
Phase one of the Redskins’ offseason workouts began Monday, but Crowder has been working on his game since last season ended with Washington's Week 17 loss to the New York Giants.
“Just route running and catching the football that’s the main thing,” Crowder said when asked about what skill he worked on this offseason. “I'm making sure that I am getting stronger, doing some things, working out and trying to build speed but nothing too crazy. I know that each year I have to build on what I did last year.
“You have to kind of pace yourself and find the times when you want to get back into training.”
Part of Crowder’s offseason included a private workout session in Florida with Jon Gruden, brother of Redskins head coach Jay Gruden and current Monday Night Football analyst. Other Redskins at the three-day workout in late March included quarterbacks Kirk Cousins and Nate Sudfeld, Pryor Sr, Doctson and tight end Jordan Reed.
Pryor, who was signed March 10 to a one-year deal, also had a career year in 2016. With five different quarterbacks throwing to him, Pryor caught 77 passes for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns. The Tampa trip was the first time Crowder met Pryor. The two watched film
“It was important as the ice breaker, just to introduce myself and so everybody can get to know Terrelle,” Crowder said. “We know that the chemistry is only going to grow as the season goes on and as OTAs progress because we will be around each other all the time.”
With Pryor, Reed and tight end Vernon Davis, paired with a now healthy Doctson, Crowder says he is looking forward to playing with them and will fill whatever role he needs to.
“I'm excited to play alongside those guys and all the other weapons that we have on offense. I think that we have unique guys all across the board,” Crowder said. “As far as my role increasing… it’s on the coaches. I’m just trying to make sure that I do what I can to be as much prepared for whatever situation the coaches put me in.”
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