Playing in his first professional game, wide receiver Jamison Crowder scored a touchdown and helped Kirk Cousins and the first-team offense click.*
It wasn't exactly the way wide receiver Jamison Crowder envisioned his first professional touchdown.
Midway through the second quarter of the Redskins' 31-13 victory on Saturday vs. the Baltimore Ravens, Crowder and wide receiver Andre Roberts ran crossing routes down the seams of the field. Before nearly colliding, quarterback Kirk Cousins' pass deflected somewhere in their convergence and the ball popped up.
Crowder, escaping a collision, took the easy floater into the end zone.
The score capped an eight-play, 64-yard drive, and was the first touchdown orchestrated by the first-team offense this preseason.
"Yeah, it's the right place at the right time," Crowder said. "Definitely not how I expected my first NFL touchdown to be… when I scored, it was just surreal."
The first catch of his career was a little less lucky. The previous drive, on 3rd and 1 at the Redskins' 29, Cousins rolled to his right and found Crowder just ahead of the first down marker, connecting on a 2-yard pass to extend the drive.
That helped settle some – not all -- of his nerves, part of the rookie's four catch, 41-yard receiving night.
"I mean it felt great," Crowder said. "I feel like I could have played a lot better but I just say 'charge it to the game' my first time out there I was obviously anxious and nervous so I felt good overall but I feel like I could have performed a lot better."
None of it might have happened had Crowder not felt well enough during pregame warmups. This past week he participated in team drills with full pads on, a welcome change after missing the team's first two preseason games with a sore left hamstring.
Crowder remained cautious on the field making sure not to over-stride and further aggravate anything.
Check out the top photos from the Washington Redskins' 2015 Preseason Week 3 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens Aug. 29, 2015, at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
"I felt like I could control myself enough," he said. "They just wanted me to get some experience under the lights in the NFL so it all worked out well."
In between his first two offensive series, Crowder also had his first opportunity to return a punt, a skill the team hopes he can exploit as he gets more experience on the field. * *
He caught a punt with some room to make a move deep in his own territory, but tripped as he attempted to find an opening.
"I definitely set high standards for myself, and I have high expectations in that department, so I was kind of disappointed in my performance there, but I slipped trying to make a break," Crowder said. "It's different playing on artificial turf, where we for most of the part of camp, the whole camp, we've been on natural grass, just getting used to the playing surface was a little bit different. I definitely plan to do better my next opportunity at punt return."
Maybe Crowder will lament on the missed opportunities more than the string of professional firsts. But after a last-minute quarterback change, a week of shaking off the rust and playing in a hostile environment against a demanding defense, he can just be glad to have fit right in.
"Right now I'm just taking it day by day," Crowder said. "Preparing and getting ready -- to my knowledge, I'll be suiting up next week."