Here's five takeaways from Redskins wide receiver Jamison Crowder's conference call with reporters on Monday, April 17, 2017, at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.
1. Crowder is prepared for whatever may be thrown his way in his third NFL season.With the departures of 1,000-yard wide receivers Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson last month, Crowder enters 2017 as the Redskins' most productive returner.
In a breakout second season for the 23-year-old, he caught 67 passes for 847 yards and a team-high seven touchdown catches along with 328 punt return yards and a touchdown.
Crowder could be in line for a bigger role in 2017 as the familiar face in receiving corps that features two new free agent signings and a second-year player that appeared in just two games during his rookie season.
"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," Crowder said. "I'm just going to roll with the flow and make sure I do what I have to do. If my role does increase, then I'm prepared for that. If it stays the same, then I'm prepared for that as well. We just have to see when the season gets here."
Even with Garçon and Jackson no longer members of the Redskins, Crowder is confident that the passing game will remain explosive this season.
Terrelle Pryor Sr. is coming off a 1,000-yard season – his first full season as a wide receiver – and Josh Doctson was a first-round pick last year for a reason.
"You look at Pryor coming from [the] Cleveland [Browns]; he put up some big numbers last year with the Browns," Crowder said. "Doctson, everybody is anxious to see what Doctson is going to bring to the table. I have faith in him that he will be a huge weapon for us. Obviously with [Jordan] Reed and Vernon Davis, those guys had really good years last year and J-Reed is J-Reed. I feel like the offense can still be explosive if not more than it was last year."
2. The private workout session in Florida with Jon Gruden gave Crowder and the rest of the Redskins present an opportunity to build chemistry and break down film.In late March, quarterbacks Kirk Cousins and Nate Sudfeld along with Crowder and fellow wide receivers Josh Doctson and Terrelle Pryor Sr. participated in a three-day private workout session with former NFL head coach Jon Gruden.
Check out these photos of Terrelle Pryor.
Not only did the Redskins go through some throwing sessions, but Gruden sat down with them for two to three hours at a time to review film.
"He made cut-ups of each individual player that was down there from the season," Crowder said. "Like I said… we talked about some things that we could possibly incorporate into our offense, just so we can take advantage of things we see on the field. It was a good experience."
The session marked the first time Crowder and Pryor met after the latter signed with Washington on March 10.
Crowder said the time in Florida served as an icebreaker for Pryor and his new teammates.
"With our downtime there were a few nights we went out to eat and sat around and talked to get to know each other," Crowder said. "I feel that it was important as the ice breaker, just to introduce myself and so everybody can get to know Terrelle. 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 so it's only going to grow. I feel that the Florida trip was a good start and a good way to introduce ourselves to him."
3. Even with the changes at wide receiver, Jordan Reed is still the man that the passing game runs through.Yes, it will take time for Cousins to work up his rapport with Pryor and Doctson, but there's one other player outside of Crowder that already has a strong connection with the starting quarterback.
That player, of course, is Reed – a 2016 Pro Bowler and one of the best tight ends in the NFL today.
Despite missing six games over the last two seasons, Reed has amassed 153 receptions for 1,638 yards and 17 touchdowns ever since Cousins was named the starter prior to the 2015 season opener.
Reed was also among the players in Florida last month, and Crowder noted that he "looked in shape."
Having a healthy Reed will continue to create mismatches for opposing defenses and will free up the smaller Crowder as teams try to continue the Pro Bowl tight end.
"He's listed as a tight end but he's more of a receiver-type guy as far as his route running and the way that he catches the football and the way that he can make plays after the catch," Crowder said. "I mean, like I said, I look forward to playing alongside with J-Reed [and] just being one of the guys that just plays off of him because everybody knows that he's going to make plays and he's going to help out the offense as much as possible."
4. Crowder has learned how to pace himself during the offseason months.
it was this time two years ago that Crowder was putting the final touches on his draft stock, having already completed Senior Bowl Week, the NFL Combine and predraft visits.
Crowder wasn't the most touted wide receiver in the Class of 2015, evident by his selection in the fourth round, meaning the Duke product continuously pushed himself throughout the months when veterans have some down time.
During the NFL Combine, for example, Crowder ran a 4.56-second 40-yard dash and recorded a 115-inch broad jump.
Check out these photos of Duke wide receiver Jamison Crowder, the Redskins' 105th-overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Now in his second full offseason as an NFL player, Crowder uses the offseason to pace himself before getting back into the flow with the team program.
"When I first was going into the draft and everything, that was the longest offseason just because I was prepping for draft and Combine and Senior Bowl, stuff like that, but since last year I've learned that you have to find that time to let your body rest and let your body heal after the season, you know, because the season is so long and it's such a grind," Crowder said. "So you have to kind of pace yourself and find the times when you want to get back into training and knowing what to train on and on or just kind of tempo it, you know, just so you can kind of stay in shape and get ready for things like OTAs and things like that.
"So I've kind of learned the ropes or what I feel is best for my body as far as making sure that I'm prepared physically to be able to come back and be in shape ready to perform."
5. After a few months away, the OTA program gives the players a chance to work together once again towards their season-long goals.
Monday was the first time that a majority of the players were at team headquarters since the Monday following the 2016 regular season finale against the New York Giants.
Over the next two weeks, Phase 1 workouts will take place in the weight room. This phase is strictly for strength and conditioning activities.
That is followed by three weeks of Phase 2 workouts where the players return to the field with the coaching staff.
"It's exciting to come back and see your teammates and get that feeling that football is right around the corner even though it is still a while away," Crowder said. "When OTAs start everything starts to move fast so it's exciting."